Tool Kits Made for Archaeologists


When you keep tools together in a central location, they are much easier to find when needed. Archaeologists use various pieces of equipment while conducting archaeological work, and frequently use tool kits that contain specialized tools. Some basic archaeologist kits have fewer than 10 tools, while other kits are more extensive and may contain more than 40 individual pieces. The type of tool kit an archaeologist uses is generally commensurate with the level of his knowledge and experience.

Basic Tool Kit

  • Tools that comprise a rudimentary tool kit are contained in a plastic tool box or rolled up in a tool kit "roll." The individual tools consist of a small pointed trowel, a pair of by-pass trimmers, a retractable ball point pen and notepad, North arrow pointer and scale, a metal probe and an ice pick. Also included is a safety knife with disposable blades, a permanent marker and a steel, metric ruler, as well as a round brush and a 2-inch flat brush.

Student's Tool Kit

  • A student's kit is more comprehensive and has a carrying bag with pockets and a selection of more advanced tools, the largest of which is a Marshalltown pointing trowel. Two measuring devices are included---a retractable measuring tape and an Imperial folding ruler---along with a pocket line level. The kit also contains a by-pass hand-held pruner. Other tools are a pair of 2-inch paintbrushes, a dustpan and hand-broom, and a 50-foot length of mason's line. A plumb bob is included for surveying. Supplementary items are a pen, notebook, gloves and a knee pad.

Intermediate Tool Kit

  • Kits designed for more in-depth archaeological use have even more tools. Added items are bamboo skewers, four metal probes, a Vernier caliper, tweezers, a 1/2-inch paintbrush, a measuring square and a set of 20 artist brushes. Also included is a pocket-type, multi-function, multi-tool set. Supplemental items include a pen that writes in the rain, a black marking pen, transparent tape, a protractor and a clipboard with a selection of pencils and sharpener. The kit also contains 100 sheets of graph paper, a supply of paper clips, an eraser and a glue stick. A map compass is included for surveying use, as is international orange surveyor's flagging tape.

Professional Tool Kit

  • In addition to all of the previously mentioned items, a professional archaeologist's tool kit may contain a set of four files that includes a bastard file, a magnifying glass, a bundle of wire stakes, an air puffer, five 2-inch brushes and a standard clipboard, as well as an aluminum, box-type clipboard. A few of these kits are extensive and are often contained in large metal toolboxes, some of which have drawers and individual compartments.

Supplemental Items

  • Tool kits often include items that are relevant to the area where the work is taking place. A metal detector helps to locate ancient metal relics, while a digital camera is useful for photographing items of importance. Of special value are an all-purpose first aid kit and a supply of bug repellent and sunscreen.


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