Getting your camera in close to photograph small artifacts or small areas of the ground or area of an excavation can be difficult and when really close you can create a shadow from the camera itself. Ring lights have been around for awhile going back to the good old film days. Recently I have been trying to improve my macro photography bag of tricks especially for photographing very small objects like glass beads. In poking around the net looking for macro lenses of the AF kind I found this item on Amazon.ca:
Polaroid Digital Macro 16 LED Ring Light for Canon EOS, Nikon, Sony Alpha, Olympus & Pentax Digital SLR Cameras (Includes 49/52/55/58/62/67/72mm Adapters)I recently ordered one of these and paid $29.95. It is a light not an electronic flash unit. It is powered by 4 AAA batteries and has a power switch on the back of the unit. It comes with a variety of adapters to fit various lenses. (My old manual Tamron Macro 90mm f2.5 lens has a 55mm filter size for example, while most Nikon lenses are 52mm filter size.)
I find the light to be amazingly bright and my few test shots to date have turned out well. So consider treating yourself or your friendly archaeologist on your Christmas Shopping list to this photo gadget, it might be very, very helpful.