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Illuminating History by Lily Díaz, 25.IX.2000

measuring the altitude of the terrain and depth of the layers being excavated. S/he also uses inscription tools such as pencils for writing information into pre-defined templates, and pen and paper for recording the position of artefacts and form of the soil. Modern recording devices, such as cameras, are also routinely used by archaeologists for recording the changes occurring in the site as the excavation proceeds.

Archaeologists are writers, since the object that they produce exists mostly in the form of written reports of the excavations, the finds and the subsequent interpretations. As already noted, archaeologists use models as aids in the selection of strategies for excavation. It has been pointed that models are also used in the process of research, since this involves the answering of questions that are formulated prior to the excavation itself.1 0 5

More recently, with the growth of the Information Society and the emergence of a Culture Heritage sector, archaeologists are involved in the development of education and presentation materials used in tourist industries. In addition, archaeologists are more than ever involved as consultants in planning and development projects from the public sector. In this capacity, the archaeologist functions as a voice of expert opinion on matters related to cultural and national heritage. From this perspective, the archaeologist is also one who is skilled in interpretation, and "who provides systems of meaning between the past and present that help orient people in their cultural experiences." 106


The activity of archaeology produces knowledge in the form of narratives and discourses. As is shown in the model in Figure 4, the object being transformed through this activity is the archaeological record. This is done by following several procedures and methods: There is the creation of a series of reports that to the fullest detail possible describe the activities in an excavation, and the finds recovered with respect to their physical situation and condition in the site. These reports may be created under

IMAGE imgs/index24.gif 104. Shanks, IMAGE imgs/index63.gif p. 15.