What Is Archaeology?

Archaeology, or archeo-astronomy, is the systematic study of human activity by the study and excavations of physical culture. The archaeological record typically includes artifacts, architectural remains, bio-indicators or ecological landscapes and cultural landscapes. Archaeology is considered both an academic discipline and a branch of humanities. The field of archeology encompasses the history, current study, interpretation, classification, and methodology of the study of ancient and prehistoric cultures, especially those that have existed at least partially within the past twenty-five thousand years. This discipline involves the scientific study of the physical world of ancient societies. It also is closely associated with the art and architecture of these civilizations. A broad range of disciplines is required to study archaeological material culture including anthropology, mathematics, physics, chemistry, and linguistics, as well as the study of the cultural world of such societies, including the cultural practices of their people.

Archaeology seeks to identify the place of origin for all human artifacts in ancient or pre-historic times. The archeologist makes use of archaeological methods to reconstruct ancient environments from a variety of archaeological and anthropological data. In addition, the archeologist reconstructs the environment of each area from the archaeological record. Some of the major archaeological areas are Egypt, Greece, Iraq, Israel and the United States. Archeologists often perform extensive research using specialized tools such as metal detectors, computers, computer software, photography, computerized tomography, laser-scanning and other diagnostic imaging techniques. The major goals of archaeology are to learn about the physical environment of ancient societies. They are also interested in understanding the social, economic, political and cultural context of ancient environments and the human behavior that occupied them.

The field of archeology has been advancing steadily over the last couple of centuries, as more knowledge is gained by modern day archeologists. Archaeology is a rapidly growing field, and many new theories and methods of investigation are constantly being introduced to it. Archeologists are currently working on a number of important issues including the discovery of Egyptian mummies, the development of archeological records, and the interpretation of the remains of ancient civilizations. The field of archeology is a popular one because of its broad scope. Even though archeology has a broad theoretical base, there are many different fields of research and different styles of study which have been developed.

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