Excavation, or digging a hole in layman's terms, has been around since the first human buried something millions of years ago. However, unlike the crude, slow processes of that bygone time, excavation in the 21st Century is a very precise and technical process.

There are several kinds (or methods, if you like) of excavation, including deep excavation, trenchless excavation, and even excavation involving the use of high explosives, such as dynamite.

There are as many uses for excavation as there are stars in the sky. Ever have a swimming pool put in? The hole the contractors dug is an example of excavation at work. Likewise for the installation of basements, irrigation ditches, and even bomb and fallout shelters, for those readers who can remember the 1950s and the unceasing vigilance brought about by the threat of nuclear annihilation.

So, you might be asking yourself, what does this have to do with me? Plenty! Every time you drive through a tunnel, or use the subway, you're entrusting your life to excavation. The same can be said for miners, who live, work, and spend a great portion of their lives in shafts and tunnels which they themselves sometimes excavate. That, in fact, is a prime example of explosives-aided excavation, which makes it possible to subjugate even the greatest of mountain ranges in search of resources. In fact, the human drive to expand and consume is one of the primary reasons excavation exists. The Trans-Continental Railroad was built primarily to facilitate the easy movement of people and goods from one edge of the country to the other - and you may rest assured that excavation played a large part in its construction.

The point of such things isn't to give you a history lesson, but rather to show you that excavation - digging a really big hole - is as much a part of human infrastructural development as the building of skyscrapers or highway networks. Actually, excavation has its place in history, too. Every dinosaur unearthed, every ancient civilization discovered, and every person ever to be buried has excavation to thank.

On a related note, medical terminology even allows for excavation, defining it as hollowing out an area, or as any one of several superfluous hollow pouches. As you can see, there is scarcely an area of life untouched by excavation. So the next time you pass by a hole, stop and think - it could be anything, but it is most certainly more than meets the eye.

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