Excavation is traditionally considered the heart of the archaeological enterprise. But it is an activity transformed over the past two decades of increasingly contract-based work. Carmichael and Lafferty lay out the basics of this brand of excavation for the novice reader in this handy, practical guide. After outlining the ethical concerns in archaeological excavation and the history of the endeavor, the authors walk the reader through the steps of contemporary excavation—site identification, remote sensing, test excavation, and various scales of recovery. They also deal with the complex issues of human burials uncovered in excavation. Written in an accessible, practical way, Carmichael and Lafferty's guide will be useful to students, field school attendees, and other novice fieldworkers.