(a glossary of archeological terms particularly related to the field of research that can tell us about our origins and our remote past)
2. The study of humans, concentrating on culture, defined as non-genetic human behavior.
- Cultural anthropology, contemporary cultures.
- Archeology, cultures of the past.
- Linguistic anthropology, languages and their cultural roles.
- Physical anthropology, the evolution of humans and the relationsip between biology and culture.
The term usually refers to those scholars and amateurs who investigated artifacts in the 16th-19th centuries, before the development of modern archeology.
Archaeologists work with the material remains of cultures, past and present, providing the only source of information available about past non-literate societies and supplementing written sources for historical and contemporary groups.
An archaeologist is someone whose career lies in ruins.
2. The study of the human past through the recovery and analysis of material remains.
As people search for their origins, archeology provides insights into their shared heritage.
- In the absence of written records, archeology provides a prime channel for the understanding of human societies and cultures.
- Archeology can complement written or historical sources.
- The recovery of the past has involved the removal of layers of earth to look back in time.
- Archeology is more than digging Iron Age sites or uncovering Maya temples in the jungles of Central America, or studying rock art in Australia's Norther Territory.
- Archeology involves teams of science-based archeologists who analyze bones, seeds, pottery, and metalwork.
- Archeologists learn from anthropologists, who study living societies, since they can suggest social structures or economic patterns for societies that have not left behind written records.
- Humans have probably been curious about the past for centuries because such interest can be traced as far back as the first civilizations of Mesopotamia and China, which left records of ancient remains.
- From the 16th century onward, Europeans began studying ancient monuments and forming collections of antiquities where famous sites were visited, painted, and described for those at home.
The great thing about archeology is that no matter what is found while digging, it is always doing ground-breaking research.