A "normal day" of an archaeologist may include long hours tracking down relevant documents on site, or a specialist my spend time scanning remote sensing plots .
When a "dig" finally commences, the project usually is developed quite carefully wrt to
1. how much time is available
2 What team members are needed (archeology, pollen specialists, geologists, forensic pathologists, sttatsiticians, surveyors, etc etc)
3 An overall budget needs to be developed so that the directors can see where the available resources need to be provided
4Once the above is taken care of, probably the first step in the field would be to get some remote sensing specialists involved to give the team an idea of where to concentrate(Im talking magnetometry, ground penetrating radar (GPS), LIDAR, hyperspectral imaging)
5 From digs I was on, usually the first product produced is a "contextual stratigraphy map" where they try to depict the environment that existed during the time of deposition qnd/or habitation.
As Timur said in the other thread, in US,Can, UK etc, an archaeological site is more often than not "Stumbled on" when a developement or road building project gets underway.
Years ago, when I was prt of an Archaeology team (I was still in grad chool), I was the second in command to do the contextual stratigraphy. I have to say, watching grass grow is more exciting. Despite what we see in Indiana Jones movies, A dig can be years of "hurry up and STOP" interspersed with a few moments of locating "wonderful things'
I know a husband qnd wife EGYPTOLOGY team at U Penn. Theyve been working on one site for about 20 years an they spend maybe 2 months a year with a team of workers actually digging. MOST of their work is cataloging, and "layering their Kingdom artifacts".
They have been using the newer LIDAR tricks and they will soon publish a book about the detailed use of specific remote sensing tools .
Are you planning a career in archeology? I think first you should look at the jobs available and the size of the market of, say, applied archeology, or contract science (where youre a consultant working for a developer or a govt agency)
Good luck. We used to have 2 real archaeologists on A2k years back. I wish they would pop in from time to time.