Archaeology examples features and What does an archaeologist do


The archaeology 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. In this article we will elaborate the examples of Archaeology.

Given the unspecific nature of its field, archaeology 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 archaeology , today we know much more about past civilizations and can understand much better the dynamics of our sociological and cultural history as a species.

Archaeology Features

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.


Archaeology 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.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 archaeology, 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.

Branches of archaeology

There are many branches of archaeology, some of which overlap with each other.

prehistoric archaeology

It studies the material records of humanity in the periods before the invention of writing.

historical archaeology

Study the writing forms and records of past cultures. For this reason, he analyzes the everyday world of people; It is a union between history and anthropology, through which the archaeologist seeks to know the human processes and customs that originated today’s societies.

industrial archaeology

He studies constructions and remains dating from the period after the Industrial Revolution .


Analyze the past through the present. In other words, this discipline studies the current living groups of hunter-gatherers in regions such as Australia and Central Africa and records how they organize themselves, behave and use objects and tools.

In this way, the analysis of modern behavior can help reveal the customs and behaviors of the past.

classical archaeology

Study the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. This discipline encompasses the Greek Empire, the Roman Empire, and the transition between the two (the Greco-Roman period). Similarly, depending on the human groups studied, Egyptian archaeology and Mesoamerican archaeology have emerged.

environmental archaeology

It is the study of the environmental conditions that existed when different civilizations developed.

experimental archaeology

It is the study and reconstruction of the techniques and processes used in the past to create objects, art and architecture.

underwater archaeology

This discipline analyzes the remains of materials found under water due to shipwrecks or floods. Underwater archaeology uses special techniques and sophisticated diving equipment to carry out these studies.

Archaeology of cultural resource management

Evaluate the archaeological remains found in sites where constructions are carried out. In this way, critical information is recorded and the archaeological find is preserved before the site is destroyed or covered over.

Archaeology Examples

Below are some examples of archaeology

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:

Ta Prohm (Cambodia)

Built in the late 12th century, this temple in Siem Reap was a Buddhist monastery and university. In the world of archaeology, it stands out for being the one that, over time, has best merged with the nature that surrounds it. To preserve the cinematographic aesthetic that it has acquired over time, very little restoration work has been carried out on it.

Luxor Temple (Egypt)

Located in the heart of ancient Thebes, these foundations were essentially built under the Egyptian 17th and 19th dynasties. According to historians, this temple was consecrated to the god Amon.

Longmen Grottoes (China)

The construction of the grottoes began when the Northern Wei dynasty moved the capital to Luoyang. So far, at least 2,345 caves and niches, 2,800 inscriptions, 40 pagodas and nearly 100,000 Buddhist images have been found.

Machu Picchu (Peru)

It is believed that Machu Picchu was one of the many rest residences of Pachacútepec, a sovereign whose reign lasted between 1438 and 1470. Due to its architecture and deep landscapes, this mysterious site is considered a masterpiece of architecture and culture. engineering in the world. Its peculiar architectural and landscape characteristics,

Colosseum (Italy)

It is an amphitheater from the time of the Roman Empire. These ruins were built in the 1st century and are located in the center of Rome. Also, the Colosseum was built by blocks of travertine, concrete, wood, brick, tuff, marble and stucco.

Cappadocia (Turkey)

Cappadocia is characterized by having a unique geological formation in the world and by its historical and cultural heritage. It is believed that the name of Cappadocia  comes from the Katpadukya word as: Land of beautiful horses.

Petra (Jordan)

The Lost City was discovered for the West by the Swiss JL Burckhardt in 1812. Two centuries later, the famous Treasury, his most colossal work, is Petra’s best attraction, but there are also its theaters, fortresses, tombs, canals and a lunar landscape .

Pompeii (Italy)

Pompeii was a city in ancient Rome that was buried by the great eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD . It is believed that this city was founded by the Oscans in the 7th century BC, and over the years it became a wealthy city, full of palaces, monuments and gardens.

Ella (India)

On the slopes of the Charanandri mountains, along a continuous line of two kilometers, a series of monasteries and temples belonging to three of the great religions of India: Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, were excavated between the 7th and 11th centuries.

Chichen Itza (Mexico)

In its origins and until the Mesoamerican Classic Period, Chichen Itza had a development very similar to that of other Mayan cities. Its most famous building is the Castillo de Kukulcán , a 25-meter-high structure with a temple on top.

we hope that you have understood the concept of examples of archaeology

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