What is Archaeology?

Archaeology is the study of past society. Archaeologists study evidence for all kinds of human activity:

  • domestic,
  • industrial,
  • agricultural,
  • religious,
  • burial.

The way that we can interpret this evidence expands our knowledge of people in the past. New discoveries are being made all the time, and new techniques for recovering and studying them are constantly evolving. Archaeological study can cover all periods of human history and prehistory, from the earliest human ancestors to buildings and remains of the 20th century.

Brewhouse at Courage Brewery

The Brewhouse at Courage’s Brewery, Bristol

Professional Archaeology

BaRAS is one of many professional archaeological units all over the country. Some operate nationally, others mainly within their own region. Many are now private companies, but some like BaRAS, are still part of a local authority. Archaeologists work together with planners and developers as part of the planning process, to ensure that buildings and other remains are recorded or preserved without delaying or stopping development. The work can involve a great deal of specialist knowledge in subjects such as pottery, photography, surveying and pathology.