Imagine discovering the world's oldest known tool, or unearthing the skeleton of one of our very first ancestors. Every day, archaeologists are discovering the kinds of buried treasures that give them a glimpse into life thousands -- or even millions -- of years in the past.
The typical image of an archaeologist is a khaki-clad adventurer, up to his or her neck in dust on a dig. In movies and TV shows, archaeologists are typically found in countries like Egypt and other ancient civilizations.
Archaeologists do more than just dig, though. Once they make a great find, they have to identify and analyze their discoveries so they can be catalogued, restored and displayed by collectors or museums.
Some archaeologists don't dig at all. They conduct research for museums or governments, or teach archaeology at universities. Other archaeologists are in charge of protecting historic sites, excavating them for relics before construction crews can dig there and accidentally destroy an important piece of history.