Today, around 8,000 archaeological sites, so-called ground monuments, are known from Hamburg and the district of Harburg. An important task of the museum is to archive the knowledge about these archaeological sites and the finds from them and to protect the sites.
The remains of our ancestors are safest in the ground. Only when they are threatened by construction work, forestry, farming or natural environmental influences do archaeologists reach for the shovel and dig up. However, as this always involves destroying the sites, official permission is required for excavation. Anyone who discovers archaeological finds is also obliged to report them to the competent monument protection authority or the museum.