Monday, July 02, 2007

Archaeologists work to dig up history without using a shovel
"The problem is that the mounds were where the important people lived and were buried," King says. "For a place that has been excavated on and off since 1884, we know very little about the rest of the people who lived here."

To remedy that, he and his team or archaeologists have focused on what other experts ignored – the grassy plain where the common people of Etowah lived and worked.

In the course of three surveys at Etowah since 2005 – the latest concluded last month — the team has not yet turned a shovelful of dirt or unearthed a single artifact.

But, with an assist from modern imaging technology that "sees" beneath the soil without disturbing it, they have found some intriguing new clues about the people who lived here long before white men set foot on the continent.

Good strategy. You could probably spend several years just obtaining, analyzing, and publishing this sort of data and not destroy a thing.