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The process of researching and securing a dig site can take years. Digging is the field work of archaeology. On occasion, archaeologists might need to move earth with bulldozers and backhoes. Usually, however, archaeologists use tools such as brushes, hand shovels, and even toothbrushes to scrape away the earth around artifacts. The most common tool that archaeologists use to dig is a flat trowel. A trowel is a hand-held shovel used for smoothing as well as digging. Archaeologists use trowels to slowly scrape away soil. For very small or delicate remains, archaeologists might also dig with dental picks, spoons, or very fine blades. Often, they will sift dirt through a fine mesh screen. Tiny remains, such as beads, can often be found this way. Archaeologists take lots of notes and photographs along each step of the process. Sometimes they include audio and video recordings. Global positioning system (GPS) units and data from geographic information systems (GIS) help them map the location of various features with a high level of precision. When archaeologists find remains, they are often broken or damaged after hundreds or even thousands of years underground. Sunlight, rain, soil, animals, bacteria, and other natural processes can cause artifacts to erode, rust, rot, break, and warp. Sometimes, however, natural processes can help preserve materials. For example, sediments from floods or volcanic eruptions can encase materials and preserve them. In one case, the chill of an Alpine glacier preserved the body of a man for more than 5,300 years! The discoverer of the so-called “Iceman,” found in the Alps between Switzerland and Italy, thought he was a recent victim of murder, or one of the glacier’s crevasses. Forensic archaeologists studying his body were surprised to learn that he was a murder victim—the crime just took place more than 5,000 years ago.