More about the illustration) Descriptions of North American cultures written by European colonists or explorers may give archaeologists insights into how Native Americans made tools, what they ate, what their villages and homes were like, along with other aspects of their life, such as rituals.All data recovered are thoroughly analyzed following scientific inquiry procedures before conclusions are reached.Similarly, archaeologists often revisit old data armed with increased knowledge about the past and a new set of questions.Archaeologists sometimes use experimental methods to help them understand how people may have performed tasks in the past.
While some early documents may contain accurate observations, the interpretations about the meaning of what was observed can be wrong. Time Before History: The Archaeology of North Carolina. However, archaeologists use these sources cautiously when interpreting evidence.Archaeologists also reexamine data, such as artifact collections, site records, and published reports from previously completed projects.New techniques may allow them to learn from data and artifacts that have been curated for many years.For example, some archaeologists recreate stone tools using manufacturing methods like those they think ancient peoples used.
This experimental process gives archaeologists a better understanding of how stone tools were made and how evidence for different manufacturing stages might appear in a site.