When I first think of archaeology, I immediately jump to the country of Egypt. This country is known for having iconic landmarks that have stopped in time. People were mummified for preservation from the elements and the structures took little damage due to the dessert environment. From here I begin to think of the mummies found in crypt along with the treasure that was buried with them to bring wealth to the afterlife. Archaeologists spend months even years digging at sites trying to understand the life those before us lived. If they are lucky enough, they will understand the mindset of those who stood dozens of years ago where the archaeologists now kneel.
The modern approach has evolved with societies desire to consider all individuals affected by what others did in the area. The Colorado River excavation was carefully thought out with each step planned. This was then taken to multiple tribes within the canyon with ties to the site to ensure there were no disturbances to sacred grounds and to have their blessing to dig. Those excavating the area are also able to provide information about the lives of those who lived there to the tribes affiliated with the site. Historic digs did not take into account how others would feel if areas were excavated and disturbed. They saw or discovered something that could lead to more information and they began digging with little thought about what would happen in the long run. Both processes were delicate in removing sediments from the location due to lack of machinery in the area. Large excavators present at construction sites today were not used historically and weren’t brought in to the Colorado site. The availability for the public to witness the process of archaeology is much greater today than in the past. The use of Internet, travel, and phones has greatly increased the knowledge of the public about what is occurring in nearby areas giving them the opportunity to travel out to the Grand Canyon. The public knows there is an excavation occurring somewhere in the miles of rock and want to learn about what is happening to the environment and the history. This is helping preserve the information that has been lost to the world and is being brought directly to the people instead of being put in books and shelved in libraries.
The modern approach for excavating in todays society vastly differs from what popular media broadcasts. Most people would think the process of this excavation, while educational and beneficial; it is not what would keep the interest for most. Today people want something exciting and thrilling in a matter of seconds or else their interest will move somewhere else. Archaeology is a delicate process where explosions and fast-paced action will destroy most of the delicate artifacts that can be found at the excavation sites. Media also want to make the archaeologists to be attractive men and women who don’t wear sensible clothing, do little digging, and have one main tool that will help them in their adventures. Archaeology is a delicate process that takes time and patience to find small intricate pieces from those who have passed and try to make sense of how they lived and thought.