The Past Has Layers

Many people think the past is behind us. Archeologists know it's just below the surface. If you enjoy putting clues together to solve mysteries, and are curious about people and their cultures in other times and places, then archeology just might be for you!

Archeology is a scientific practice which uncovers the ways people lived in the past through the places and artifacts they left behind. From the stories archeologists uncover, they bring a unique perspective to the present time and to choices about the future.

Learn more about archeological discoveries across the National Park System by digging through these webpages. (Looking for a lost webpage? Try Where to Find ... to track it down.)

Great Gallery wall paintings of people at Canyonlands National Park

People

A unique perspective on past life.

Oyster shell tabby slave cabins.

Places

Lands and seas where people left a mark.

Ceramic sherd on hand.

Artifacts

Things made and used over time.

Oh, Christmas tree...

Archeology This Month: Parked at Home

Shorter days, longer nights. Twinkling lights and holiday brights. Jingle bells and yummy smells. Have a happy holiday season from the NPS!

Boy and woman screening dirt.

Explore Archeology for Kids

Find out what archeologists do and how. Try it yourself!

Last updated: December 2, 2022