The Floatation Device


Archaeologists don't always use flotation devices for every project, but these machines can help them find much smaller artefacts and ecofacts than the more commonly used mesh screens that sift the dirt in sites. Instead little tiny things that may be invisible to the human eye are separated out from the rest of the dirt in the excavation unit by floating them. It quite a simple process. All you do is dump your bucket of dirt in the machine. Within the basin, there are some screens that catch heavier artefacts like stone flakes. The small, light bits, like pollen and seeds, or tiny fish or bird bones float to the top of the water where they are skimmed off and allowed to dry. Archaeologists then look at them under a microscope to find out what kind of plants and animals might have been found at the site.