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Past Horizons : online magazine site covering archaeology and heritage news as well as news on other science fields; The Archaeology Channel explores archaeology and cultural heritage through streaming media; Ancient History Encyclopedia : is put out by a non-profit organization and includes articles on pre-history; Best of History Websites is a good source for links to other sites; Essential Humanities essential-humanities.net: provides information on History and Art History, including sections Prehistory Looting ancient sites and digging up graves to find treasures has been around since the beginning of civilization but painstakingly excavated sites and carefully studying what is there---archaeology, in other words---is a relatively new idea. Many objects obtained in the Middle East were obtained through the Ottoman patronage system. Andre Lero-Gourhan revolutionized the practice of excavations by recognizing that vertical digs destroy the context of a site.
The modern science of archaeology was invented in the 17th century. Over 20 years (1964-1984) he and his students painstakingly excavated “scraping away the soil in small horizontal squares and making notes of where everything was located” the 12,000-year-old site of Pincevent, offering of the most detailed picture up to that point of life in the Paleolithic period.
Wooden objects and wooden structures in most circumstances do not survive very long (although wood does survive better in wet conditions than dry, and the wooden hulls of ships are sometimes preserved for thousands of years under the sea floor).
Context is critical to understanding the significance of artifacts.