So this is where I work at the moment, and this is how a modern day archaeological excavation is carried out - far from what most people imagine :-)
Topsoil is removed with a mechanical diggingmachine - the big orange beast is you had doubts, and we walk behind it cleaning up with a hand shovel. When that's done, the surveying begins and the archaeological remains are drawn on film in a scale of 1:50. When that's done, the diggin and investigation of each and every posthole, pit and ditch begins. At this point, we have excavated a total of app. 70,000 spuare feet. and we still have to open roughly 15,000 more before we're done.
If you look closely, the white survey-drawing in the foreground is lying in the middle of the eastern end of a house. You can make out the outer walls and the small, thin walls that seperated the pens for the cattle. In the iron age, they had the cattle in one end of the house and lived in the other. What you see here in the stall - the living quarters won't be excavated this time, but maybe later!
The picture is poor quality as it was taken with my mobile phone :-).