About Archaeology

Archaeology is the scientific study of the human past using preserved material evidence.

Archaeological goals include reconstructing past environments, explaining culture history/ cultural change, and reconstructing past human lifeways for both prehistoric and historic time periods. In the United States, archaeology is considered one of the four sub-fields of anthropology.

Anthropology is the holistic study of people both physically and culturally. It is holistic in two senses: it is concerned with all human beings at all times and with all dimensions of humanity. The key element of Anthropology is culture. One definition is: Learned patterned behavior, shared by a group, and passed from generation to generation. Archaeology seeks to determine/identify /reconstruct aspects of pattern behavior from past human activities. Anthropological subfields consist of Cultural, Physical, Linguistical Anthropology and Archaeology.

Biological or physical anthropology seeks to understand the physical aspects of humans through study of genetics, evolution, adaptation, and human physiology. Paleoanthropology, human osteology, primatology, nutritional anthropology, and cell/population genetics are a few important subfields of study.

Cultural anthropology investigates the cultural characteristics and structure of a particular people. Language, economic and political organization, kinship, gender roles, religion, mythology, symbolism are but a few elements of this specialty. Subfield examples include culture ecology, medical anthropology, ethnology, psychological anthropology, folklore, anthropology of religion, and ethnography.

Linguistic anthropology studies the structure and process of human communications, verbal and non-verbal; it identifies/compares the many subtle elements of the world's languages, and documents their structure, function and history. Linguistic anthropologists often draw on related fields including cognitive linguistics, discourse analysis, and narrative analysis.