Archaeological Fieldwork Safety and Health

Part of the Archaeology For Dummies Cheat Sheet

All archaeological fieldwork should have safety rules, a field first-aid kit, and persons skilled in medical assistance. But bring basic supplies like aspirin or bandages. It's rare for an archaeological project not to have one or more of the following: sharp metal tools, bugs, excessive sun, poison ivy, stinging nettles, occasional bad weather, heavy physical work, and lots of dirt.

Here's a list of items relating to health and safety that you may want to have on hand at an archaeological dig:

  • Refillable canteen or water bottle

  • Bandages and a small bottle of iodine or tube of antibiotic cream

  • Prescription medicines, clearly labeled

  • Aspirin, anti-diarrheal medicine, and sore muscle liniment

  • Sunblock lotion

  • Insect repellent and something to relieve any bites/stings

  • Toilet paper

  • Antibacterial hand cleaner

  • Emergency food (like a granola bar and a small bag of peanuts)

  • Tweezers for removing slivers and stings

  • Small flashlight

  • Work gloves

  • Waterproof matches

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