One of the unique aspects of history in the 19th century was the development of the science of Archaeology. It was during this century that scientific method was applied to excavations. By 1860 the concept of laying out the grids or blocks for the excavation then tracking the stratigraphic layers and preserving many features in place began.
I stumbled across this information about archaeology while researching ice skates in the 19th century, (tomorrow's post.) It was also in 1860 that archaeologist discovered bones were used as blades for skating.