Battlefield archaeology refers to the scientific study of a cultural landscape on which a military action – or battle – occurred. Archaeologists understand that by studying what was left behind after the battle occurred, historians, preservationists, and researchers can better understand how the battle unfolded. When studying the material culture, or artifacts, it is also critically important to study the topography, or the physical features of an area. Troops often used the landscape to their advantage, such as points of concealment and higher elevations. This just one reason why battlefield preservation is so important – without pristine landscapes, much of the knowledge we can gain through archaeological investigations could be lost forever.