Every single thing an archaeologist finds must be recorded. Whilst on site, the field archaeologists carefully bag and number everything they find. The finds are then taken to be cleaned, labeled and numbered, and then examined by specialists – so pottery would be examined by experts in a particular type or period of pottery, and a report is produced.

The more delicate and precious finds, such as metal work or textiles, will be carefully conserved. Environmental evidence, such as residues from containers, seeds and pollen are separated and analyzed in a laboratory. Once reports have been produced for all the finds on site, the physical evidence is sent to an archive, usually at a local or regional museum, where they are available for future study. Exceptional finds are usually put on display in a museum.

Archaeologists do not keep anything they find, nor can they get any money for finding ‘treasure’. The past belongs to everyone, and archaeologists exist to protect access to the past for future generations.