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Archaeology Home work - Essay Example

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Aside from the excavation of fossils and other historic items, archaeology also involves interpreting the purpose that these valuable items had in the life of…
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Archaeology By + Archaeology Archaeology revolves around the discovery of different treasures from the past from different places all over the world. Aside from the excavation of fossils and other historic items, archaeology also involves interpreting the purpose that these valuable items had in the life of early man and relating such purposes to the existence of man today. Further, archeology includes the protection of and conservation of the cultural heritage of the world. In serving all these purposes, archaeology has become a multidiscipline since it relates closely to other fields such as history and anthropology (Renfrew & Bahn, 2012, 12).
Anthropology entails studying the life of man. Studying the life of man entails looking into man’s behavior and traits, also known as culture, and man’s physical characteristics. Anthropologists get answers ascribed to humans by living within communities and examining them. Archaeology, on the other hand, is about studying the history of man, which is the origin of humanity and the evolution of man through examining the physical remains of their existence. These remains include tools and buildings.
One of the greatest challenges that archeologists face is acquiring knowledge on the interpretation of material culture in relation to humans (Renfrew & Bahn, 2012, 12). For instance, archaeologists may discover historical tools but fail to interpret with accuracy how man used them. To understand man’s use of specific material artefacts, ethnography has become a part of archaeology. Ethno archeology enables archeologists to live within communities so that they develop a better understanding of the use of material culture.
Archaeology qualifies both as a science and as a humanity. Archaeology qualifies as a science through its involvement in the collection of evidence, performing experiments, the formulation of a working hypothesis and undertaking additional tests on this hypothesis against additional data, and finally coming up with a deduction. In addition to that, archeology employs scientific methods such as radiocarbon dating, which helps to estimate the date when an artifact existed, scientific analyses and experiments undertaken on residues found in pots.
Archaeology has developed greatly in the recent past, expanding the field it covers from the earliest periods to the later times. Archeology serves to not only provide an insight into the life of man as it was more than 10, 000 years in the past, but also helps in explaining human civilization (Renfrew & Bahn, 2012, pg15). One of the most notable developments is the role that historical archeology has played in studies on colonial and post-colonial life of man, including studies into historic civilizations of China, the Americas and Egypt, which occurred a few hundred years in history. This indicates the breaking down of archaeology into smaller subdivisions, enabling specialization in the discipline.
Archaeology is further subdivided into other chronological departments. One of such fields is environmental archaeology where archaeologists work with other scientists to examine t humans’ use of specific plants and human adaptation to some environmental conditions in the past. Archaeology covers a wide scope, from studying the designs of unique objects to studying items used during activities such as atrocities and wars (Renfrew & Bahn, 2012, pg16).
Archeology aims at providing answers to questions about the human past. It brings together different artifacts and pieces them together to come up with an explanation on the behavior of man that makes sense to an individual who is learning anthropology. In recent history, archeology has further to explain why humans exhibited some behaviors, why they lived in a certain way and how man’s material culture developed into the form that it took. The ability of archeology to explain change in the life of man makes it a special discipline.
Renfrew, C., & Bahn, P. G. (2012). Archaeology: methods, practice and theories (3rd ed.). London: Hudson and Thames. Read More
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