Archaeologists study the physical remnants of people’s occupation and activities in the past to understand how people lived and worked. These include artefacts, soil deposits and structures. Many archaeologists also undertake historical documentary research. Some of the services archaeologists can provide include archaeological surveys, excavations and watching briefs (monitoring ground disturbance works). In addition, archaeologists are able to prepare Conservation Management Plans, Archaeological Managements Plans, Heritage Impact Assessments, Heritage Assessments and other relevant reports for archaeological places.
Archaeology can be divided into a number of sub-disciplines, the primary ones being historical archaeology, prehistoric/Aboriginal archaeology, maritime archaeology and industrial archaeology.
Historical archaeologists primarily study the material remains of human societies and cultures with written records. Historical archaeologists have specialist knowledge in recording and analysing more recent sites and material culture such as glass, metals, ceramics, the historical built environment and historical documents.
Prehistoric archaeology in Western Australia is often referred to as Indigenous or Aboriginal archaeology. Prehistoric archaeologists largely study the material remains of human societies and cultures prior to written records. Prehistorians have specialist knowledge in recording and analysing material and sites from this earlier period.
Maritime archaeologists study the material remains of human interaction with the sea, including shipwrecks and other underwater relics.
Specialists in the field of industrial archaeology study and record the nature and workings of industrial places and their surroundings. This may include associated settlement sites.