Archaeology

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Archaeology (or archeology) is the study of past human life as revealed by preserved relics. [1]

In the US, archeology is the branch of American Anthropology that reconstructs, describes, and interprets human behavior and cultural patterns through material remains such as artifacts, ecofacts, and lithics.[2] In most European universities, archaeology is typically a part of the history department.

Archaeology generally is divided by specialty. Historic archaeologists concentrate on sites and cultures associated with modern times. Classical archaeologists are interested in ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, and other similar societies. Prehistoric archaeologists tend to concentrate on societies not possessing a written language. There is also the field of Cultural Resource Management, or Applied Archaeology, which is entailed with screening for, and then preserving archaeological sites. There is also a number of Biblical archaeologists interested in excavating sites related to Biblical stories or timeframes.

Archaeologists rely on the careful excavation interpretation of artifacts in order to explore the past. The quintessential experience of all archaeologists is the "dig", or field excavation. In actuality, an excavation is nothing more than very precise, very scientific hole digging. Archaeologists must measure and record the exact position in three dimensions of an artifact, and also note differences in soil composition, stratification, color, and consistency. When an arcaheological dig is complete, the researchers must be able to reconstruct the exact locations of all the artifacts and ecofacts that were removed from the site. Failure to do this results in a loss of context, and ultimately data that are unusable.

See Also

References

  1. Exploring Creation with General Science, by Dr. Jay L. Wile
  2. Kottak, Conrad. 2005. Window on humanity: A Concise Introduction to Anthropology New York: McGraw-Hill
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