What is Archeology?
Archeology is the study of human behavior and culture from its origin up to the present time. Its goals ranges form human history to cultural evolution. Since there were no written records in the past, to know what is archeology, archeologists would often recreate the past by putting together all their gathered data. These can include artifacts, pictures and fossils obtained through excavations. From there, they would also be able to get the cultural landscape and architecture of this particular era with the help of technology.
Archeology also studies the tools that have been used in order for humans to survive in the past using the materials available. Since the development of archeology, it has been divided into three components. One of them is maritime archeology. As the word itself implies, maritime archeology deals with the study of humans and its connection to great bodies of water such as ocean, lakes, seas and rivers. With the development of sea vessels, underwater archeology can be associated to maritime archeology as well. It mostly pertains to anything that is of interest that might have been sitting in the depths of the ocean for hundreds of years.
Underwater archeology is a way of discovering mysterious shipwrecks and treasures. However, unlike land archeology, things that are underwater are usually very hard to access. It would need an expert to go through the depths without getting into any kind of problem. Going underwater is also very limiting since a person would just be using limited oxygen. Feminist archeology is another component of archeology. It deals with the interpretation of the past but focuses on gender only. Although it has other factors like class, race and sexuality, still it can be a little bias to other structure of archeology.
Archeoastronomy on the other hand is a study of how humans in the past deals with the phenomena in the sky, how they use them and the role it provided to their culture. Archeoastronomy can be related to historical astronomy because they have the same goal. Most ethnic tribes or groups would solely rely on the sun, the moon and the alignment of planets as a kind of energy or to foresee what's going to happen in the future. This is one of the reasons why some ruins are built depending on the rotation of the sun or the moon or is being aligned to astronomical bodies.
There are numerous purposes that archeology can do. One of this is the discovery of technological advances in the past and how it evolved into the things that humans are currently using today. With archeology, there are also discoveries made through literature that greatly influence people today. This recorded writings can be a huge contribution to the present learning.
There are different methods used in archeological investigation. Before archeologists can start on their work, they need to agree upon first on the object that they are looking for, once they have a clear objective, they can now look or scout for the perfect location where they will uncover the past. Archeological survey means locating a specific place of higher interest, like architectural structure that is within the area. This can be done through geophysical survey, which is done by land or Aerial survey, which is done by using a camera while on air.
Once archeologists have settled on the site, they will now start the excavation process. Excavations are being carried out carefully and precisely as to avoid any damages to the land or the object of interest. It can be a very expensive method as well since there are lots of instruments that are needed to excavate and these tools should be of high quality to avoid ruining the excavation site. After this come analysis, where the archeologists would study the object for them to collect as much data as possible. It can be time consuming but very worth it for archeologists.
Websites For Learning All About Archaeology
- Archaeology For Kids!
- A Journey to a New Land
- Mummy Bear
- Mysterious Places
- National Park Service: Archeology Program
- NOVA Online: Lost City of Arabia
- Pecos Rio Grande Museum of Early Man
- Unlocking the Past