The archeology is the science that deals with studying ancient societies that inhabited our world from the debris and materials that survived the passing of the years. through various analyzes on objects and those works elaborated or built in ancient villages.
Given the unspecific nature of its field, archeology is often considered a social science , a subfield of anthropology or even the humanities. This is also due in part to the fact that this discipline uses knowledge from many other sciences and disciplines, such as topography, geology, history or geography .
Thanks to the great findings of archeology , today we know much more about past civilizations and can understand much better the dynamics of our sociological and cultural history as a species.
What do you study?
There are different points of view regarding what this discipline studies.
According to some, their attention is focused on the study of the material remains of civilizations that have already disappeared.
Others consider that this is only a method.
For them, the real object of study is the social and cultural changes that humanity has experienced throughout history.
For others it is the scientific reconstruction of the life of ancient peoples.
Archeology was born from the formalization of the antiquarian trade during the 19th century. What used to be simply the love of things of the past, as a collector or even a seller of antiques, became a discipline.
As a consequence, this trade acquired formal rigor and applied scientific methods . In the beginning this discipline was very close to the philosophy of positivism, which required objective and scientific considerations, often unattainable given the nature of the study.
Currently, contemporary archaeologists have understood the subjective value of their work. Although he points to scientific knowledge , the archaeologist uses his subjectivity to some extent when interpreting the anthropological treasures that he unearths.
What does an archaeologist do?
The work of an archaeologist can be diverse and his work can be oriented to different areas:
- Teaching : Transmits the accumulated knowledge.
- Research : Generates knowledge by analyzing the results obtained by third parties.
- Field : It deals with the search for archaeological remains.
The latter normally comprises three stages:
- Prospection . It is the exploration of the different territories in which it is likely that there is an archaeological site, defining the land to study and preparing the needs of an eventual excavation.
- Excavation . The next step involves the deep registration of the area where the site is located, to extract valuable anthropological remnants from the earth, which can range from fragments of a vessel, to ancient tombs or codices buried in caves.
- Laboratory . Once the anthropological remains have been extracted, they are carefully studied and preserved, tasks that are initially carried out in a laboratory, where they are washed and consolidated to avoid deterioration, and after a thorough registration of their particularities, the cataloging is carried out to allocate it to museums, research centers or universities.
Because it is important?
Archeology is fundamental for the understanding of the human past, since written records or preserved relics are not always available. This is particularly true for Aracic cultures (without writing) or that disappeared long ago, as is often the case with ancient peoples.
Thanks to archeology, we can find, study and understand the remains of our cultural ancestors . In this way you can also understand who we are, where we come from and perhaps where our future is heading.
The people in charge of studying the past through a scientific analysis are known as archaeologists, because they are responsible for rebuilding the lives of those ancient populations from the things they have left, constructions and artifacts made of resistant materials with the passing of the years. Here are some examples:
Contextual archeology : is the one in charge of repairing the study of objects forged in ancient civilizations and how I influence that society.
Cognitive archeology : study the thinking of and the symbology of ancient peoples based on the remains and materials found
Experimental archeology : is responsible for reconstructing various materials using all kinds of means, in order to understand its operation and the limitations it contains.
Landscape archeology : responsible for understanding how the environment was in the villages, how were its inhabitants and how they interacted, whether by signs or by a particular language.
Holistic archeology : analyze the abstract and intellectual aspects of ancient societies to fully understand them. Through political, ecological and artistic notions. This information is one of the most important and by which one can understand how they were a particular group.