Leisure and Cultural Services Department - Antiquities and Monuments Office Brand Hong Kong - Asia's world city
GovHKText Only繁體版簡體版
search site map contact us

What is Archaeology?


Archaeology is a scientific study of the people in the past carried out by analysing physical remains of human activities. The remains can be various kinds of artefacts such as stone hammers, stone ornaments and fragments of pottery basins but also features like houses, forts or graves. Different scientific methods are used to locate sites of archaeological potential both on land and underwater. Archaeologists may simply walk across a site and carefully observe the ground (field walking), consult ancient historic texts or maps, analyse aerial photographs or even employ satellite imagery (remote sensing). Small test pits are then dug or auger holes drilled to study the different layers in the ground (stratigraphy) and to plan further steps. In an excavation, all finds and structures are carefully exposed, systematically recorded and carefully packed. All this information is analyzed and used to explain the ways of life of people in the past.


The study of archaeology is of great importance for every society today. It enables members of society to better understand their own history and the cultural transformation of their own place. Archaeology and knowledge gained from archaeological research help to enhance people's sense of belonging to a shared community.

Level Double-A conformance, W3C WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 Web Accessibility Recognition Scheme