What role does technology play in archaeology and history?  

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When we think of archaeology we may think of adventure, Indiana Jones, and hired help painstakingly brushing away dust and dirt from the precious relics of times past.  This is not the case for the modern archaeologist, though adventure is still part of the thrill.  Modern technology has allowed archaeologists to use advanced excavation techniques, enabling greater recovery of fragile artifacts.  Using technology that ranges from lidar to x-ray guns, archaeologists can view sites without disturbing the soil and the objects beneath.  This allows for greater care and planning so that archaeologists can evaluate the layout of the excavation site to allow for maximum preservation of the artifacts, skeletons, and structures.  It also allows for preventing unnecessary excavation, preserving the surrounding landscape of the site.  Using advanced techniques, we have been able to peer deeper into the past than ever before.  A perfect example of this would be the study of the condition of the teeth and bones of ancient people through the eyes of modern dentistry and medicine.  Using their remains, we gain an insight into the health, diet, lifestyle, and cause of death of the subject.  As medical science advances, every bone that is recovered tells a piece of their story.

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