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Archaeology

Archaeology

DOING ARCHAEOLOGY

CLASSICAL BEGINNINGS

ROOTS OF PREHISTORIC ARCHAEOLOGY

THE CULTURE-HISTORICAL APPROACH

COLONIAL ARCHAEOLOGY

PROCESSUAL ARCHAEOLOGY

POST-PROCESSUALISM

AN EVOLVING SCIENCE

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Broadly defined, archaeology is the study of the human past through the discovery, analysis, and interpretation of the material remains of that past over space and time. The bulk of such material evidence is artifactual, which is anything made or modified by human action. Artifacts encompass everything from the stone tools discarded at Gona in Ethiopia 2.5 million years ago to the trash discarded yesterday. Immovable artifacts, such as hearths or postholes, are called features. Non-artifactual evidence that have cultural significance, such as human, faunal, or botanical remains, are called ecofacts. These material remains tend to co-occur at archaeological sites. Collectively, these traces of the past are referred to as the archaeological record. It is the province of the archaeologist to find, record, and preserve, where possible, the archaeological record in order to identify, analyze, explain, and understand past events and processes. They are also interested in contemporary material cultureethnoar-chaeologists study how modern-day people use material culture in their everyday lives. While there are a variety of scientific and other investigative techniques used to reconstruct the past based on this wealth of evidence, archaeological interpretations are constrained by issues of preservation. Not everything discarded in the past will survive in the archaeological record, and thus there will always be gaps in our knowledge.

Archaeologists attempt to bridge these gaps by making use of theoretical models, often based on data provided by ethnographic or ethno-archaeological studies. These theoretical models may vary depending on the training and context of the researcher as archaeology has developed differently in different parts of the world. As will be demonstrated below, archaeology in Europe developed from historical roots and is in some cases regarded as long-term history. By contrast, archaeology in the United States falls under the aegis of anthropology and is seen as the study of past cultures.

Archaeology can be characterized as an omni-compe-tent human science as it is concerned with the entire scope of human life from our hominid ancestors to the modern-day industrial age. Archaeological projects are conducted at many different scales. They range from studies of how past peoples used and perceived the landscapes that they inhabited to the re-creation of an individuals life and death, as exemplified by the work done on mummified or skeletal remains. Archaeologists study long-term change at sites that have been occupied for hundreds if not thousands of years as well as the immediate at time capsule sites such as shipwrecks or Pompeii. It is both a science and a humanity. Many archaeologists also have sub-specializations in the natural sciences such as zoology, botany, and chemistry while others make use of anthropological and historical methodologies and sources.

DOING ARCHAEOLOGY

Archaeologists make use of a diverse methodology. While the most important task is to place finds within a chronological and spatial framework, techniques differ depending on the scale at which the archaeologist is working. The upper end of such a scale is that of the identification of sites within a region. Many finds of archaeological sites and artifacts are still the result of accidental discovery by non-archaeologists, but there are a wide range of survey techniques in existence that allow for the location of archaeological sites within the landscape. These range from systematic pedestrian surveys of a region in search of surface traces to the use of aerial photography and other remote sensing techniques (including ground-penetrating radar, bowsing, and magnetometers) to locate buried remains. Archaeologists often cannot afford either the time or money to achieve total coverage of a region and may thus use sampling techniques designed to either maximize site location or to statistically reflect the occurrence of sites within a region.

Once a site has been located and recorded, the material remains at that site can be further explored and their relationship to one another determined by excavation. Excavation can be conducted either horizontally (clearing excavations) or vertically (penetrating excavations) depending on the nature of the site and the kinds of questions that the researcher is attempting to answer. Most excavation projects will include a mixture of both. Excavation involves the physical destruction of the site and the removal of artifacts and other remains and is thus guided by rigorous standards of recording and fieldwork practice. Most importantly, the context of finds is recorded so that their position in the site and their relationship to one another can be reconstructed once their original provenance has been destroyed.

Context is also crucial for establishing either the relative or absolute age of archaeological remains. Relative dates do not allow a specific age to be assigned to an archaeological find or excavation layer; rather they indicate the age of finds relative to one another. Relative dating was paramount until postWorld War I advances resulted in a wide range of chemical and other dating techniques that allow absolute or calendar dates to be assigned to artifacts and sites. Foremost among these are radiocarbon, uranium series, potassium-argon, and thermo-luminescence dating. The most widely used of these is radiocarbon dating, which is used to date organic remains and can provide fairly reliable dates back to forty thousand years ago. The other chemical dating methods mentioned above can be used to date inorganic remains and offer a much greater chronological depth. Archaeologists working in more recent time periods can also use documents or other written evidence to date sites.

Once excavated, artifacts are sorted, classified, and analyzed in an archaeological laboratory. This analysis allows the archaeologist to create order out of a mass of data; to summarize many individual artifacts by identifying their shared characteristics; and to define the variability present within an archaeological assemblage. There are many debates about the best way to classify artifacts. They are mostly analyzed in terms of formal, stylistic, and technological attributes. Philosophically, there is a question as to whether or not the categories of artifacts that archaeologists devise reflect the emic order (items analyzed in terms of their role as structural units in a system) created by the people who produced the artifacts or if they are etic (items analyzed without consideration of their role in a system), artificial categories imposed by the archaeologist. Most archaeologists, however, recognize that the best classification systems are a combination of the two.

The suite of techniques that we associate with modern day, professional archaeology did not, of course, emerge fully fledged but developed over the course of more than a century. While many societies over the centuries displayed an interest in the material remains of the past and there are even instances of past societies excavating to uncover those remains, it was not until the nineteenth century that archaeology truly became a scientific discipline. Archaeologys roots lie in two disparate contexts: the development of classical studies from the 1500s onward and subsequent discoveries in various parts of the world; and the gradual recognition of the true age of the earth in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

CLASSICAL BEGINNINGS

The fifteenth-century Renaissance in western Europe prompted interest in the Greek and Roman civilizations, particularly as their art and architecture were still highly visible. The buried Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum were rediscovered in the 1700s and were excavated for art and antiquities. The foundation for art history and subsequently much of classical archaeology was laid in 1764 by the publication of Johann J. Winckelmanns History of Ancient Art (1764), in which he contextualized the arts production and set out the first systematic chronology for classical remains. Early excavation of these classical sites was by no means methodical. Smaller artifacts and unimportant structures were destroyed during the search for highly desirable works of art. It was these classical studies that provided a model for the development of Egyptology and Assyriology, which themselves evolved within a larger context of European imperial expansion.

Egyptology developed as a direct result of Napoleon Bonapartes (1769-1821) invasion of Egypt in 1798. Accompanying the French army on this expedition was a Commission of Arts and Sciences that published multiple volumes of Description de lEgypte from 1809 onward. The invasion also led to the accidental discovery of the Rosetta Stone, which featured the same passage written in hieroglyphs, Demotic (a cursive form of hieroglyphs), and Greek, thus enabling Jean François Champollion to finally decipher the hieroglyphic script in 1822. At this time there was widespread looting by both locals and foreigners in search of treasure for sale or collection, including not only easily transportable artifacts but also the wholesale removal of large monuments, such as Giovanni Belzonis 1816 removal of the seven and a quarter ton granite head and torso of Ramesses II from Thebes to Alexandria. Belzoni, and others like him, worked as agents for the European elite and were involved in the discovery and excavation of many sites in Egypt. At this time there was little interest on the part of Egypts rulers in preserving or investigating their past through the preservation of the remains of that past. They thus sanctioned the activities of many of the European agents at work in the country. It was not until Frenchman Auguste Mariette was appointed as the director-general of the Antiquities Service in 1858 that the sanctioned plunder and export of Egyptian antiquities ended.

There was widespread interest in the Egyptian past and many expeditions were funded, but the systematic excavation and recording of Egypts archaeological past only began with William Matthew Flinders Petrie (1853-1942) in the 1880s. Petrie emphasized the careful recording of all artifactual material recovered in the excavations as well as the full publication thereof. Further, he developed the first typological sequence dating (based on ceramic jars recovered from graves) to be used in Egypt. His work laid the foundation for other archaeologists such as Howard Carter (1874-1939) who, funded by his patron Lord Carnarvon, discovered and carefully excavated the sealed tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922. As all other tombs discovered in the Valley of Kings had been looted, this find remains one of the most spectacular Egyptian discoveries.

As European governments began to take a political interest in places like Egypt and the Near and Middle East, historical and archaeological scholars followed suit. These areas were of especial interest to the European public because of their link to places mentioned in the Bible. Unlike in Egypt, however, there were few impressive structures that had survived the ravages of time in Asia Minor, Syria, Palestine, Mesopotamia, or Persia. Rather, explorers in the region reported the existence of large mounds that local tradition held to be biblical locations such as Babylon and Nineveh.

The first systematic work on mounds in Mesopotamia was carried out by the French consul in Mosul, Paul Emile Botta, who had previous experience in Egypt. The French government funded his excavations and paid for the transport of finds to Paris. Further research was also carried out by Henry Layard, an Englishman who is best known for his work at Nimrud. Wholesale excavation and exportation of finds was only halted after World War I (1914-1918) when much of the Near East was placed under French or British control. Museums were established, as were departments of antiquity and stratigraphic (layered) excavation, and the recording of all finds became the new standard. This standard was exemplified in Leonard Woolleys excavations at the site of Ur in the 1920s.

While these major discoveries were being made in Egypt and the Near East, the traces of civilizations of equal complexity were being discovered in the Americas. Monumental ruins were not common in North America, but large earthen mounds were often remarked upon. The question of who built these moundsthe ancestors of Native Americans or a lost race of moundbuildersswiftly became one of the most contentious issues in American archaeology and remained so until the end of the nineteenth century. In 1781 Thomas Jefferson became the first person known to have used the principle of stratigraphy to interpret archaeological remains during his excavation of a mound on his Monticello estate. Meanwhile in South America, Antonio del Rio discovered the Mayan ruins of Palenque in 1786. It was not until 1896, however, that a stratigraphic excavation was conducted on that continent when Max Uhle started working at Pachacamac in Peru. Peru also yielded the well-preserved Inca site of Macchu Picchu, which was located by Hiram Bingham in 1911.

ROOTS OF PREHISTORIC ARCHAEOLOGY

While discoveries were continuing apace in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, intellectual trends in Europe were laying the groundwork for an archaeology of Europes prehistory. These trends eventually led to the emergence of archaeology as an academic discipline rather than merely the occupation of adventurers and collectors, and they include the development of typological sequences, the use of stratigraphy, and the acceptance of the principles of uniformitarianism, all of which center around the key issue of chronology.

Up until the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, it was widely accepted, based on biblical chronology, that the earth was no older than six thousand years. Several discoveries of stone tools in association with the bones of extinct animals by individuals such as John Frere in 1797 and Jacques Boucher de Crèvecoeur de Perthes in 1837 demonstrated, however, that the earth and human existence on it was much older than had previously been believed. Two theories had been advanced to explain these and other geological and paleontological finds. Catastrophism, advocated by scientists such as Georges Cuvier, was the notion that the earth had been periodically destroyed numerous times in the past, after which a new creation would occur. Uniformitarianism, put forward by geologist Charles Lyell in his Principles of Geology, Being an Attempt to Explain the Former Changes of the Earth Surface by Reference to Causes Now in Operation ([1830-1833] 1969), was the theory that the earth had been formed over a long period of time by a series of geological processes that are still observable in the contemporary world. It was this latter theory, in addition to the increasing fossil evidence, that contributed to the theory of biological evolution and the publication of Charles Darwins Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life ([1859] 1998). Lyells work also gifted archaeology with the concept of stratigraphy, and thus the law of superposition, which states that stratigraphic layers are arranged chronologically, with the oldest layers at the bottom and the younger layers at the top, unless disturbed by later processes. This is the foundation for all interpretations of stratified archaeological deposits.

Even before the age of the earth had become widely accepted, chronological sequences for archaeological material, independent of written records, were being developed. One of the first was that of Danish scholar, Christian Thomsen (1788-1865), who was given the task of cataloguing and preparing for exhibition a collection of antiquities in 1816. He used the Three Age System, subdividing the prehistoric period into stone, bronze, and iron. While the idea was not new, Thomsen was the first to apply it to a large artifactual assemblage. He solved the problem of knowing which finds should be placed in which age by using closed finds, artifacts that had been buried together in hoards and graves. By delineating which types and styles of artifacts were found or not found together he was able to work out a stylistic typology with chronological significance. This kind of stylistic ordering is known as seriation and is an important relative dating technique. Stratigraphic excavations of Danish burial mounds conducted by Jens Worsaae, a student of Thomsen, supported this sequence. The notion of technological progress, coupled with the ideas of biological evolution, gave rise to the unilineal cultural evolution of E. B. Tylor and L. H. Morgan and was expounded in John Lubbocks archaeological text Pre-historic Times, as Illustrated by Ancient Remains, and the Manners and Customs of Modern Savages ([1865] 1971).

There were further major developments in archaeological methodology at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries. Oscar Montelius refined Thomsens seriational method of dating using a typological approach, while between 1880 and 1900, Augustus Henry Lane-Fox Pitt Rivers, a retired British general, conducted several excavations of barrows on his estate and developed the standards for excavation, recording, and publication associated with modern-day archaeology. These included the recording of all finds including those not directly related to the research questions being asked, as well as the recognition of the chronological value of even unimportant finds (potsherds, for example) if their context was correctly recorded. Later, it was a student of Pitt Rivers, R. E. M. Wheeler, who developed the grid method of excavation and, in the 1940s, went on to revolutionize the archaeology of the Indian subcontinent with his work at Mohenjodaro and other sites.

THE CULTURE-HISTORICAL APPROACH

The unilineal evolution of the nineteenth century was replaced in the early twentieth century by an interest in historical questions. This shift from an evolutionary perspective to culture-history resulted in an increased emphasis on descriptions of past cultures. In Europe there was a desire to discover how particular peoples developed in the past in order to promote national unity. In the United States, where archaeology was regarded as part of anthropology, there was an increased emphasis on data collection as the foundation for the development and testing of theory and explanations, in addition to chronologies.

Culture history, as a theoretical approach, has a normative view of culture. Basically it holds that cultures are composed of shared norms and values and that their members share a particular worldview. Artifacts are therefore seen as expressions of the shared norms and values of any given culture. This approach emphasized data collection, which allowed for the construction of site and regional chronologies. The results of these endeavors were often represented in a time-space grid. In the cultural historical view, change is most often attributed to the action of outside forces, most commonly migration and diffusion, or environmental change.

In the United States this approach was pioneered and applied par excellence by Alfred V. Kidder, who was also the first archaeologist to use the stratigraphic method on a large scale in the Southwest. The first scholar to systematically apply it to archaeological data in Europe was Gustav Kossina in his book Origin of the Germans (1911). Kossina argued that cultural boundaries (as reflected in material culture) were also indicative of ethnic boundaries. His work was extremely nationalistic and was later used by the Nazis in the Socialist education system. By tracing the migrations of the Indo-European people and demonstrating the supposed racial purity of the German people, he argued that the Germans were the true heirs of the Indo-Europeans and, by extension, were the true heirs of Europe. Archaeology was thus also used to establish historical rights to territory. Kossinas work had little impact outside of Germany and while British archaeologists recognized the importance of repeated invasions and migrations, they did not rigorously apply the culture concept until the appearance of V. Gordon Childes The Dawn of European Civilization ([1925] 1958), after which the archaeological culture became central to European archaeology.

COLONIAL ARCHAEOLOGY

By the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century, archaeological fieldwork was also increasingly conducted in colonial contexts. While much of this archaeology was essentially cultural-historical in approach and method, the situation in the colonial arena was complicated by the sociopolitical relations that existed between colonized and colonizer. Bruce Trigger in his 1984 work offers a definition of colonialist archaeology as comprising that archaeology which developed either in countries whose native population was wholly replaced or overwhelmed by European settlement or in ones where Europeans remained politically and economically dominant for a considerable period of time (p. 360), specifically, an archaeology as practiced by a colonising population that had no historical ties with the peoples whose past they were studying. Tied up as it is in land and heritage issues as well as its commentary on the supposed political or social sophistication of the cultures being studied, archaeology in these places had an increasingly political dimension.

This was especially the case in the southern African context. At sites such as Great Zimbabwe, it was denied that the ancestors of local people could have been the builders and inhabitants of what was clearly an advanced civilization. As with the myth of the moundbuilders in the United States, this made it easier to claim a civilizing mission and to take ownership of the land. Great Zimbabwe represents possibly one of the most famous examples of the misuse of the past to suit political purposes in the present. The racist theories of Zimbabwes past have not been easily laid to rest. Claims that it was the place of King Solomons mines or was built (variously) by the Queen of Sheba, the Sabaea Arabs, or the Phoenicians were still being disseminated well into the 1970s.

PROCESSUAL ARCHAEOLOGY

By the 1940s some North American scholars were becoming dissatisfied with the shortcomings of culture history, which was severely hampered by a lack of absolute dating techniques that would allow the refinement of chronologies. Walter Taylor called for a conjunctive approach to the past in A Study of Archaeology ([1948] 1983), advocating that artifacts should be looked at in their broader social contexts. His book did not spark a revolution, but in the 1960s a series of articles written by a young Lewis Binford (1962, 1967) did. Influenced by the 1950s neo-evolutionary anthropology of Julian Steward and Leslie White, Binford and his fellow New Archaeologists criticized the normative view of culture as inadequate in that it did not address how people interacted with their environments or how material culture was used as an adaptive tool in that environment. They emphasized the relationship of archaeology to anthropology and stressed the need to go beyond description to explanation. Culture history was seen as too particularistic and its practitioners as not being explicit enough about their research objectives, methods, and expectations.

The school of thought and methodologies for research espoused by the New Archaeology have come to be more generally known as processualism. Processualism, as an approach to archaeology, is heavily influenced by scientific positivism. It is based on a belief in objective science and aimed to test archaeological propositions against data in order to answer anthropological questions and to deliver broad generalizationslaw-like statementsabout human behavior. While the most famous processualists are undoubtedly American scholars such as Lewis Binford and Kent Flannery, many of the ideas espoused by them were also taken up by British archaeologists including Colin Renfrew. While Renfrew did not wholeheartedly embrace all aspects of processualism such as the search for law-like generalizations, its systemic approach to the study of culture and the new methodologies proved attractive.

The New Archaeology was characterized by a battery of new methods, techniques, and aids fostered by advances in scientific dating methods. The most important of these was the development of radiocarbon dating, which made internal development more likely than migration and diffusion as an explanation of change. It also meant that archaeologists were finally free to focus on broader questions of cultural and social significance rather than on the development of regional chronologies. Other scientific advances included the use of computers and, in the study of the environment, pollen diagrams and soil geomorphology. The application of these to archaeology necessitated increasing specialization on the part of archaeologists; and increased funding from bodies such as the National Science Foundation led to the scientification of archaeology, especially in the United States.

Fieldwork also became more rigorous and standardized. This was partly a response to the expansion of cultural resource management, which meant an increased need for systematic control and monitoring. Most proces-sual archaeology has strong environmental overtones and thus new field and research methods were developed to accommodate those questions. Regional approachesthe analysis of sites in their settlement systems and environmentswere developed, as well as new survey, sampling, and screening techniques to recover the most environmental evidence possible.

The New Archaeology changed the way in which archaeological research projects were administered and carried out. Advocates of this school adopted a formalized methodology that had hypothesis testing as its central emphasis. Archaeologists were expected to clearly and explicitly state the conditions and expectations of their hypotheses. Models employed by processual archaeologists include systems models, cultural ecological models, and multilinear cultural evolution models. One of the best-known case studies is Kent Flannerys use of systems theory to explain the increasing reliance on maize agriculture in Mesoamerica, which he detailed in 1968.

One of the most important aspects of processualism was the desire for an objective evaluation of ideas and research designs. To achieve this Binford developed Middle Range, or bridging, theory. This solved one of the primary problems facing archaeologists, that of inference, the linking of the (observable) present with the (unobservable) past. In order to understand what happened in the past, a way had to be found to link the dynamics of human action in the past with the static material traces of those activities in the present. Binford felt that archaeologists should observe the processes that give rise to the patterns and their variations, discernible in the archaeological record. This interest of Binfords in actualistic studies led to an increased focus on experimental- and ethno-archaeology.

The greatest contribution of processualism was methodological, in the sense that issues of sampling, inference, and research design were paramount. These were of course closely linked to the increased use of scientific techniques in archaeological fieldwork and analysis. The second contribution is seen as the shift away from description to explanation, particularly the notion of culture as adaptive and the interconnectedness of social and ecological variables. It also moved archaeology forward in the consideration of long-term processes. While processualism was seen as advancing research in some areas, it was also seen as retarding research into others. While significant advances were made in the study of prehistoric economies, topics such as the role of the individual decision-making, conflict and negotiation between different social groups, and prehistoric ideology were neglected while certain actors/interest groups were excluded from analysis. Many of these arise directly from the processual focus on entire systems and the overriding view that the environment plays the most important role in bringing about change.

POST-PROCESSUALISM

In the light of these limitations, by the late 1970s and early 1980s some archaeologists were arguing that while processual archaeology aimed to explain the past, it could not understand it. In Reading the Past (1986) Ian Hodder argued that material culture and past events had to be understood with reference to peoples attitudes and beliefs, not just their adaptation to an external environment and, further, that archaeological remains could be read as a text. Similarly, Michael Shanks and Christopher Tilley critiqued the scientific focus of processual archaeology in Re-constructing Archaeology (1987), arguing that archaeologists have to be critical of the context in which archaeological interpretations of the past are produced and that multiple interpretations of the past are valid. This critical approach has also been adopted by feminist archaeologists, such as Margaret Conkey and Janet Spector (1984), who have highlighted in Archaeology and the Study of Gender the androcentric bias in representations of the past and the practice of archaeology.

While post-processual and cognitive archaeology is an umbrella term incorporating many different theoretical approaches, it is characterized by its cognitiveas opposed to normative or adaptiveview of culture. Thus culture is seen as being actively constructed and reworked by individuals in order to fit the context of their own lives. The various approaches included within post-processual-ism can be divided into three different categories. The first deals with approaches that have at their base a concern with structure, such as structuralism, cognitive approaches, and Marxism. Second is contextual archaeology, which views material culture as a text that can be read. The third incorporates a variety of approaches that seek to offer alternative perspectives on the world and the way in which archaeological results are communicated, such as phenomenology, feminism, and postmodernism. Post-processual approaches have been especially embraced by historical archaeologists, who also have written documents to draw on. James Deetz, for example, used structuralism in his seminal study In Small Things Forgotten (1977) to explore the changing worldview of North American immigrants while Mark Leone has adopted a critical approach in his study of ideology in Annapolis.

Undoubtedly the post-processual critique has made contributions to the discipline. It has moved archaeology away from modeling the environment as the prime mover in past human societies and has added greatly to our ability to understand the past. The political nature of the study of the past and the sociopolitical context of the researcher have also been problematized. More attention is now paid to the way in which archaeologists interact with contemporary groups that have a stakehold in the past and how that past is represented. It remains, however, a largely Anglo-American phenomenon and has hardly affected archaeology on the European continent.

AN EVOLVING SCIENCE

Since the 1980s archaeology has been characterized by a wide diversity of approaches that draw on a range of theory from other social sciences including anthropology, sociology, geography, history, and political science. Like their counterparts, archaeologists make use of practice theory, agency theory, political economy, cultural ecology, world systems theory, and so on. Many times these viewpoints are combined or applied in interesting new ways to the archaeological record.

Archaeology is a constantly evolving discipline. New fields of study are always being created. Since the 1950s sub-disciplines such as landscape, historical (post-medieval), and industrial archaeology have grown rapidly. Further archaeological discoveries and fine-grained analysis continue to make important contributions to ongoing research that include, inter alia : the study of human origins; the origins of agriculture; human migrations; human use (and abuse) of the environment; the rise and fall of civilizations; the processes and impact of colonialism; as well as the lives of people who are generally overlooked in major historical narratives, such as slaves. Yet there are still many parts of the world which, due to environmental, political, or economic factors, have very sparse archaeological coverage, for example sub-Saharan Africa, especially when compared with Egypt. Many times archaeologists in these countries do not have adequate resources with which to pursue research.

Archaeologists are also actively involved in cultural resource management and the conservation of archaeological sites. Sites are threatened by the ever-increasing development that results from expanding urbanization and industrialization. Many sites are destroyed without ever being recorded. Even well known monuments are under threat from wars, pollution, and vandalism. The worldwide antiquities market, which fueled wholesale looting during the early development of archaeology, remains in existence. Archaeology is also a highly politicized discipline, and the balancing of archaeological research objectives with those of other stakeholders, including conservation authorities and local communities, remains an ongoing challenge.

SEE ALSO Agricultural Industry; Anthropology; Anthropology, Biological; Burial Grounds; Cultural Landscape; Cultural Resource Management; Culture; Feminism; Geography; Leakey, Richard; Material Culture; Migration; Postmodernism; Schliemann, Heinrich; Structuralism; World-System

BIBLIOGRAPHY

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Conkey, Margaret, and Janet Spector. 1984. Archaeology and the Study of Gender. Advances in Archaeological Method and Theory 7: 138. New York: Academic Press.

Darwin, Charles. [1859] 1998. The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or, The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life. New York: Modern Library.

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Natalie Swanepoel

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Archaeology

ARCHAEOLOGY

ARCHAEOLOGY is the scientific reconstruction and understanding of prehistoric and historic human behavior from the evidence of material remains. Although the theories archaeologists employ for framing their questions of the past have changed dramatically in the short one hundred years of its existence as an academic discipline, archaeology's primary goals—reconstructing and interpreting past human behavior and culture—have remained essentially unchanged. In the United States, archaeology has traditionally been viewed as one of the four classic subdisciplines of anthropology, along with cultural anthropology, physical anthropology, and linguistics.

While archaeology is also historical in certain aspects, it differs from the study of written and oral history—although it uses both—in two fundamental ways. First, the materials archaeologists generally find in the ground do not indicate directly what to think about them or about the ancient cultures that produced them. Therefore, archaeologists have to make sense of the material remains of the past through analogy to historic cultures, experimentation, inference, behavioral modeling, and good detective work. Second, archaeology is a humanistic discipline as well as a science. As humanists, archaeologists are concerned with how societies function, the evolution of cultural complexity, ethnicity, ideology, power, and a host of other universal questions about human behavior and organization. As scientists, archaeologists develop and construct pictures of the past from limited evidence, just as physicists develop and construct a coherent view of how the natural world works from a limited set of observations. This combination of humanism and science


is one of archaeology's many fascinations and strengths as a discipline: it reflects the ingenuity of the modern scientist through its use of technology and rigorous methodology as well as the processes of the modern historian through its focus on reconstructing the past and giving it relevance to the present and future.

American archaeology as a discipline is divided into two types: prehistoric and historic. Prehistoric archaeology is concerned with testing anthropological theories of human behavior and cultural evolution against the archaeological record of societies that left no known written records. Historic archaeology uses archaeological data both to test hypotheses about the operation of historically known societies and to fill in the historical gaps concerning the more mundane, but crucially important, aspects of the day-to-day functioning of those societies.

The History of Archaeology in the United States

The first systematic, well-planned archaeological investigation in the United States was organized by Thomas Jefferson in 1784. Because Jefferson had decided to carefully excavate one of the prehistoric earthen mounds on his property in Virginia in the hope of finding out who built it, he is often considered to be the "father of American archaeology." The fact that he excavated was important, since few individuals in his day undertook such a step. His work was also so carefully done that he was able to observe how soil, refuse, and artifacts had built up over time, and he was thus able to link the known present to the unknown past. And, most important, his excavation was carried out not to find objects but to resolve an archaeological question: Were the Native Americans present in Virginia descendants of those who built the mounds? (Jefferson demonstrated that they were.)

While Jefferson's research was little known until the late nineteenth century, the "mound builder question" did continue to engage the interest of Americans. As a result, several organizations, such as the American Philosophical Society, the American Antiquarian Society, and the Smithsonian Institution, started to try to unravel the mystery. Findings were, however, sporadic and inconclusive. As a result, in 1884, Congress finally dedicated funds to solving the problem through a series of surveys and data collection to be carried out by Cyrus Thomas of the Bureau of American Ethnology (BAE), the first federally appointed archaeologist. The answer was determined within ten years: all of the mounds present in the United States were the products of the ancestors of current Native peoples. The bureau continued to explore the prehistory of the United States over the course of its eighty-seven year existence, culminating in the multivolume Handbook of North American Indians in the late 1970s. The BAE was incorporated into the Anthropology Department at the Smithsonian Institution in 1965.

The resolution of the question of who built the mounds led to a growing public recognition of the need for cooperation between government agencies, academic


institutions, and individual researchers to answer questions about America's past. This circumstance was one factor that helped lead to the formation of archaeology as a discipline. In addition, by 1906 the federal government saw the need to protect archaeological sites and artifacts and began creating national monuments and parks as well as passing legislation such as the Antiquities Act.

That archaeology was largely incorporated within anthropology by 1900 was a result of the work of Franz Boas, considered to be the founder of anthropology in the United States. Boas realized at the beginning of the twentieth century that no ethnographic study of the quickly vanishing New World peoples could be complete without a thorough understanding of their present culture, their past culture, their biology, and their language. This realization led to the formation of anthropology as a professional discipline with the creation of the American Anthropological Association in 1902 and to the rapid founding of departments of anthropology at universities like Columbia, Harvard, Yale, Chicago, Michigan, and California at Berkeley. The foundations of academic archaeology in the United States were laid well before Boas, however, with the creation of the Archaeological Institute of America in 1879, which mainly concerned itself with Old World archaeology. Anthropological archaeology focusing on America's past was not formalized as a discipline until the founding of the Society for American Archaeology in 1934.

Anthropological archaeology as a distinct discipline has gone through many phases in its efforts to understand the past. At first, scholars were mainly interested in finding rare and unique artifacts. Then, archaeologists focused on describing as much as possible about the past by recording the smallest details of many types of artifacts and architecture. Once accurate dating techniques became widely available, archaeologists began to ask more and more complex questions about the past.

The archaeologist who provided the first dating breakthrough was Alfred V. Kidder. Through his painstaking excavation work at Pecos Pueblo in New Mexico from 1918 to 1928, he was able to demonstrate that archaeologists could better understand chronology by carefully paying attention to two factors: how soil, refuse, and artifacts built up over time at a site, and how artifacts change through time at a site. Especially important was his discovery of the series of changes that the pottery in the northern Southwest had undergone. Once this series of changes was understood, a researcher could generally date a site in the region from the pottery found at it. Kidder's research set the standard for the discipline and is still widely used today.

The problems with exact dating were solved with the advent of dendrochronology (tree-ring dating) in the 1920s by Andrew E. Douglass and radiocarbon dating in the 1940s by Willard F. Libby. Tree-ring dating allowed researchers in the Southwest to obtain the exact dates when certain prehistoric structures were built, while radiocarbon analysis allowed exact dating in a wider variety of contexts and over much greater periods of time. The dating revolution enabled archaeologists to construct highly detailed descriptive temporal sequences for most of the known prehistoric cultures of America. It also opened the door to even bigger questions: When did the first Americans arrive? (The answer turned out to be much earlier than any one had imagined.) When did certain cultures start to develop? When did Native Americans start practicing agriculture? Despite these technical dating advances, the focus of archaeology was still on description rather than explanation.

Nevertheless, the dating revolution signaled the beginning of archaeology as a truly multidisciplinary enterprise, for the new dating techniques were developed by chemists and astronomers, not archaeologists. At present, because researchers have become increasingly interested in how past peoples interacted with and were affected by their surroundings, many archaeological projects now also include biologists, geographers, geologists, and environmental scientists.

The Great Depression helped forge archaeology as a discipline because it generated some of the most massive archaeological projects the United States has ever seen. These projects, carried out by the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Works Projects Administration, and the Tennessee Valley Authority, were intended to keep extremely large numbers of people employed. Such projects required skilled archaeologists with incredible leadership and managerial abilities to run them. Many of the most influential archaeologists of the twentieth century, including James A. Ford, Roger E. Taylor, and Alex D. Krieger, got their start on these projects. Such massive undertakings also signaled the beginning of large-scale government funding of archaeology, which continues to this day.

It was not until the 1960s that many archaeologists finally became frustrated with the discipline's focus on minute description over concrete explanation. No one was talking about why cultures developed in certain ways or why cultural change took place at all. The infusion of fresh anthropological and scientific thinking into archaeology by a new generation of researchers, such as Lewis Binford, Michael Schiffer, and others, catapulted archaeology into a new era, one that was centered on trying to discover the universal processes behind cultural complexity and change. Despite the postmodern, nonscientific leanings of some current researchers, American archaeology remains largely focused on these goals.

Archaeology and the Public

Archaeology, by discovering history firsthand through the welter of objects left behind from past human activity, has raised the consciousness of the American public with respect to this country's cultural heritage. Furthermore, the media in all its forms spends a great deal of time showcasing the discoveries of archaeologists, especially the controversial and exciting ones.

Since the 1970s, archaeologists have been embroiled in public debates about who owns the past and has the right to protect it and interpret it. Native Americans have protested that their histories were being written by other people, that their heritage was being sold in auction houses or put on display in museums, and that their ancestral sites were being destroyed. Ultimately, the historic preservation movement, along with the legal protection of unmarked graves, brought much of America's archaeological heritage under the auspices of the federal and state governments and helped address some Native American concerns. By the 1990s, it was increasingly common for tribes to have their own preservation officers and for archaeologists to plan investigations that addressed both archaeological and indigenous questions and needs.

Archaeology is still struggling with how best to meet the needs of the general public while maintaining its responsibility to preserve the past for the future.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Fagan, Brian M., ed. The Oxford Companion to Archaeology. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

Meltzer, David J., Don D. Fowler, and Jeremy A. Sabloff, eds. American Archaeology, Past and Future: A Celebration of the Society for American Archaeology, 1935–1985. Washington, D.C: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1986.

Renfrew, Colin, and Paul Bahn. Archaeology: Theories, Methods, and Practice. New York: Thames and Hudson, 2000.

Sturtevant, William C., ed. Handbook of North American Indians. vols. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1978–1996.

Thomas, David Hurst. Exploring Ancient Native America: An Archaeological Guide. New York: Macmillan, 1994.

Trigger, Bruce G. A History of Archaeological Thought. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1989.

Willey, Gordon R., and Jeremy A. Sabloff. A History of American Archaeology. San Francisco: W. H. Freeman, 1980.

Devin AlanWhite

See alsoAnthropology and Ethnology ; Archaeology and Prehistory of North America ; Indian Mounds ; Radiocarbon Dating .

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Archaeology

Archaeology

Archaeology is the scientific recovery and study of artifacts (objects made by humans) of past cultures. By examining artifacts and how and where they were found, archaeologists try to reconstruct the daily lives of the people of those cultures. Archaeological artifacts can include anything from ancient Greek pottery vessels found at the bottom of the sea to disposable plastic bottles found at modern dump sites. Thus, studies in archaeology can extend from the beginning of human prehistory to the most recent of modern times.

Disciplines

Since the mid-twentieth century, as new laboratory technologies have become available, the number of disciplines or fields of study that are linked to archaeology have expanded. However, the individual field archaeologist tends to focus his or her research on a specific culture or era in time.

Prehistoric archaeology. Prehistoric archaeologists seek to discover and write about the culture of ancient people who left behind no written history. Prehistory has no definite time period, having lasted for different times in different parts of the world. European prehistory ended with the appearance of primitive written languages around 2500 b.c. American prehistory, on the other hand, came to a close only 500 years ago when European explorers visited the New World and began keeping written reports of the people they had met.

Historic archaeology. Historic archaeologists seek a detailed understanding of cultures that have existed between the end of prehistory and the recent past. Their studies of a particular culture are much more complex. They are able to examine artifacts as well as review written documents pertaining to the time and place of that culture. A relatively new subdiscipline of historic archaeology is urban archaeology. It attempts to understand our current culture and cultural trends by examining material found at modern dump sites.

Words to Know

Artifact: In archaeology, any human-made item that relates to the culture under study.

Classical archaeology: Archaeological research that deals with ancient history, ancient architecture, or any of the now-extinct civilizations, such as Greek, Egyptian, Roman, Aztec, or Mayan.

Historic archaeology: Archaeological studies focusing on the eras of recorded history.

Prehistoric archaeology: Archaeological studies focusing on eras before the appearance of written languages.

Classical archaeology. Classical archaeologists focus on the monumental art, architecture, and history of all ancient civilizations, including those of Greece, Egypt, and China. The roots of classical archaeology can be traced to the European fascination with Biblical studies and ancient scholarship. The classical archaeologist is perhaps the most popular public stereotype. The Indiana Jones movie character, for example, is based on the fantastic exploits of a classical archaeologist.

Field methods

Before the twentieth century, most archaeology consisted of randomly collecting artifacts that could be found lying on the surface of sites or in caves. Because most early archaeological expeditions were financed

by private individuals and wealthy collectors, broken artifacts were often left behind. Only intact and highly crafted items were thought to have any value. Consequently, very little was learned about the cultures that made those artifacts.

Modern archaeologists are much more thorough in their research. They first survey or inspect the surface of an archaeological site to determine whether it might hold artifacts or other useful information about a culture. They then begin an organized excavation or digging operation to determine where the majority of artifacts are located at a site. Traditional tools used in excavation are picks, shovels, trowels, and hand-held shaker screens.

To place artifacts in time periods, archaeologists use a variety of dating techniques. A basic field technique is to observe the stratigraphy, or the arrangement or layers of rock and soil, while digging at a site. Soil and artifacts are deposited and layered one above the other like the layers of an onion. Artifacts found at deeper layers are much older than those found near the top. Beginning in the late 1940s, archaeologists began to use radiocarbon or C-14 dating, a highly accurate dating technique. A small sample of organic (living) material found at a site, such as wood or bone, is analyzed in a laboratory to determine the time period in which it existed.

Current controversy

In the United States in the late twentieth century, controversy arose over the archaeological excavation of ancient Native American grave sites. For archaeologists, graves have provided a very important source of knowledge about past cultures. Although the people of prehistoric North American cultures left no written history, they buried their dead surrounded with material goods of their time.

Present-day Native Americans, however, believe ancestral graves should not be disturbed. If they are, then any remains and artifacts should be buried with ceremony. In response to Native American concerns, the U.S. government passed the Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act in 1990. This federal law penalizes anyone selling or trading illegally obtained Native American human remains and cultural items. It also requires all museums and universities that receive federal funding to repatriate or give back their Native American collections to tribes who claim cultural or religious ownership over those materials.

Archaeologists have countered that, in many cases, it is almost impossible to link ancient materials with modern Native American cultures. They also argue that museum materials are part of the heritage of the entire nation. Giving these materials back will prevent any further studies from being conducted in the future.

[See also Dating techniques; Nautical archaeology ]

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Archaeology

ARCHAEOLOGY

ARCHAEOLOGY. The modern discipline of interpreting the human past by means of material remains is built upon five centuries of antiquarian and scholarly pursuits. Study of the physical remains of the Greco-Roman past complemented the ardent search for classical texts during the Italian Renaissance, since artifacts and monuments provide a visible, tangible, authoritative (and sometimes alternative) past. Early humanists such as Petrarch and Boccaccio studied coins and inscriptions along with their philological inquiries, and Vitruvius's (first century b.c.e.) treatise on architecture stimulated surveys of architectural remains and the topography of Rome by architects such as Leon Battista Alberti (14041471), Andrea Palladio (15081580), and Pirro Ligorio (15101583). Cyriacus of Ancona (1391c. 1452) recorded ancient inscriptions and buildings during extensive travels in Italy, Greece, Egypt, and the Levant. In Rome, spectacular chance finds of sculpture like the Laocoön (in 1506) and paintings like those in Nero's Domus Aurea (Golden House, 6568 c.e.) profoundly affected artists, including Michelangelo and Raphael, and augmented papal collections. A lucrative market in antiquities encouraged random digging that sometimes yielded new information, but excavation for the sake of answering historical questions was slow to develop.

During the eighteenth century the grand tour led to Rome as a primary destination, and the enhanced awareness of antiquities and classical topography stimulated further collecting and shaped fashionable tastes. The typical tour was extended to Naples after the discovery of Herculaneum (1709; excavations began 1738) and Pompeii (1748), investigated initially by destructive tunneling in the search for treasures until more systematic efforts began in 1750 under the direction of Karl Weber (17121764). Architects visited the temples of Paestum (Giovanni Battista Piranesi) and Sicily and Greece (James Stuart and Nicholas Revett), recording them as antiquities and as models for contemporary practice, while Johann Joachim Winckelmann's publications shifted antiquarianism toward the discipline of art history. The collections of antiquities that bestowed status on wealthy families eventually became central to national collections in the public museums founded in the nineteenth century.

Antiquarians in England (William Camden, John Aubrey, William Stukeley), France (the Comte de Caylus), and Germany and Scandinavia (Olaus Magnus, Ole Worm) focused on regional histories that could be recovered through close observation, walking surveys, and even some deliberate excavation of henges, megaliths, tumuli, barrows, and urn fields. They sought to merge the distinctive local histories attested by such findings with both the Roman past, using appropriate texts, and biblical antecedents, but biblical chronology constrained their efforts. Nonetheless their meticulous drawings and records and their use of hypotheses based on fieldwork set new standards, and they initiated archaeological investigations of cultures predating the Greco-Roman era.

The documentation of Egyptian antiquities during Napoleon's invasion of Egypt (1798) opened the new field of Egyptology and led to further exploration of the Near East. Soon thereafter developments in stratigraphic geology, paleontology, and especially the theory of evolution led to a more scientific and rigorous archaeology. The antiquarians, however, had successfully applied philological methods to the interpretation of inscriptions and physical remains, and their illustrated publications of Greek and Roman antiquities deeply influenced contemporary art and architecture, interior decoration, and consumer items. Their studies contributed a broader understanding of cultural history, creating taxonomies and typologies still in use and important records of material now lost.

See also Ancient World ; Architecture ; Classicism ; Grand Tour ; Neoclassicism ; Palladio, Andrea, and Palladianism ; Piranesi, Giovanni Battista ; Pompeii and Herculaneum ; Rome, Architecture in ; Winckelmann, Johann Joachim.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Barkan, Leonard. Unearthing the Past: Archaeology and Aesthetics in the Making of Renaissance Culture. New Haven, 1999.

Fagan, Brian M., ed. The Oxford Companion to Archaeology. New York, 1996.

Haskell, Francis, and Nicholas Penny. Taste and the Antique: The Lure of Classical Sculpture, 15001900. New Haven, 1981.

Salmon, Frank. Building on Ruins: The Rediscovery of Rome and English Architecture. Aldershot, U.K., and Burlington, Vt., 2000.

Schnapp, Alain. The Discovery of the Past: The Origins of Archaeology. London, 1996.

Trigger, Bruce G. A History of Archaeological Thought. Cambridge, U.K., and New York, 1989.

Watkin, David. Athenian Stuart: Pioneer of the Greek Revival. London and Boston, 1982.

Weiss, Roberto. The Renaissance Discovery of Classical Antiquity. 2nd ed. Oxford and New York, 1988.

Margaret M. Miles

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archaeology

archaeology as a discipline attempts to reconstruct the origin, prehistory, and history of the human race using material remains such as artefacts, settlements, earthworks, burials, and skeletal remains. It also uses evidence for human impact on the natural environment such as pollen, soil erosion, and animal and plant remains. Though it had its origins in history and art history in the last century, it has developed its own theoretical and methodological base, drawing on anthropology and geography for models, on biology for environmental reconstruction, geology for excavation techniques, and the natural sciences for analytical and dating methods. It thus encompasses in a unique way the arts, social sciences, and natural sciences.

Its relationship with history started as merely a means of illustrating or verifying information derived from written sources. However, increasingly archaeology has been able to fill in gaps, for areas and periods where written sources are rare or lacking, for aspects of society not covered in the texts, or even providing alternative or contradictory hypotheses to those based on historical evidence. However, like written sources, there are inbuilt biases, due to the processes of deposition and survival of archaeological data, the selection of field methods and excavation techniques, and the skills of observation and academic viewpoint of the excavator (‘archaeologists only find what they are looking for’).

In the 19th cent. archaeology rapidly established itself as the only means of studying pre-literate societies, and the great civilizations such as those of Egypt and Mesopotamia where written archives could be recovered. For societies where historical sources already existed, archaeology was marginal, and concerned primarily with antiquarianism or art history, the discovery of objects primarily for their intrinsic artistic quality, such as the sculpture and painted pottery of classical Greece, or the uncovering of plans of temples, churches, and castles.

With the shift in interest to social and economic questions, such as the nature of early farms, villages, and settlement patterns, archaeology came into its own, not only to illustrate the physical nature of, for instance, buildings described in the written documents, but also to answer questions on which the written sources were silent. In the period between the wars the lead was taken by southern Scandinavia. In northern Germany there were excavations such as those of the Viking trading port of Hedeby, or of the raised villages or terps of the Frisian coast. In Denmark the leading archaeologist was Gudmund Hatt who concentrated on settlements of the Germanic and Viking Iron Ages, reflecting the interests of the politically important Danish farming communities in their origins and environmental setting.

In Britain it was not until the 1950s that social and economic paradigms made their mark on archaeology, with excavations such as those by Brian Hope-Taylor of the Northumbrian palace complex at Yeavering, or Maurice Beresford and John Hurst who initiated the study of the origin and demise of the deserted medieval village of Wharram Percy in North Yorkshire. In both cases the excavators consciously introduced the Scandinavian techniques of ‘open area excavation’, the stripping of large surfaces which are then systematically cleaned and recorded layer by layer. While respecting the stratigraphical sequence, this technique allows a better understanding of the ephemeral stone and timber buildings which are the norm in peasant societies. In the 1960s it was gradually adopted by prehistorians and finally Roman archaeologists, as their interests shifted from narrow culture-historical and historical interpretations to more socio-economic problems.

The new methods had a major impact on urban archaeology, as the town became envisaged more as an organic whole. Massive open area excavations of complex stratified sites in cities such as Winchester and York in the 1960s produced huge quantities of data and finds, forcing an increased specialization of archaeology in the 1970s. In many cases permanent teams, or ‘units’, were established to monitor urban renewal and excavate threatened sites, though only now has computerization allowed adequate recording techniques to be developed. This work has revolutionized our knowledge of urban development, and new scientific techniques such as dendrochronological dating are providing detail of a precision which can rival that of the written sources. See also industrial archaeology.

John Collis

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biblical archaeology

biblical archaeology, term applied to the archaeology of the biblical lands, especially those of the ancient Middle East. While the thousands of written texts found in the languages of the ancient Middle East illuminate the Bible itself, the artifacts uncovered by archaeologists help re-create the cultural setting of its time.

Biblical archaeology developed in earnest in the early part of the 19th cent. when the British biblical scholar Edward Robinson traveled across Palestine and opened the way for study of the area. The founding (1865) of the Palestine Exploration Fund in Great Britain further encouraged research; by 1900 biblical archaeological societies had been formed in Germany, France, and the United States. The system developed by Flinders Petrie at Tel-el-Hesy (see Eglon2) to date pottery is of the greatest importance for the archaeology of Palestine, where spectacular monuments and written material are rarely found. Other important excavations in Palestine were undertaken at Jericho by John Garstang and others, as well as at Megiddo, Samaria, Gibeah1,Beth-shan, Lachish, Ezion-geber, and Hazor1. Outside Palestine the important archaeological discoveries in the old lands of Egypt, Sumer (see also Ur), Babylonia (see also Gilgamesh and Hammurabi), Assyria, Byblos, Nuzi, Ugarit, and Jordan (see also Moabite stone) did much to increase knowledge of the Bible.

The Palestine Dept. of Antiquities, founded 1918, encouraged research until the turbulent years preceding the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948; since that time some of the most important archaeological work in Palestine has been conducted by Israeli archaeologists, e.g., the excavation of the ancient tel (an artificial mound formed by the debris of settlements of ancient cities) of Joppa in 1948 and 1955 and the work at Arad from 1962 to 1967. Herod the Great's impressive building projects at Caesarea are being extensively investigated. Outside the borders of Israel, a large cache of clay tablets came to light in 1975 at Ebla (Tell Mardikh in Syria)—the center of a large Caananite empire that flourished c.26th–23th cent. BC

After two centuries of biblical archaeology, it is possible to read the Bible in a new light. It has become clear that ancient Palestine was an integral part of the whole cultural area of the ancient Middle East. Archaeology confirms the existence of fertility cults in Canaan and supports the theory that there was not a sudden era of conquest by Hebrew tribes in the premonarchical period. Excavations have also failed to find evidence that would support many of the biblical descriptions of the monarchial period.

Archaeology cannot confirm theological truths or articles of faith. However, the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947 and in the subsequent decade and the finds at sites in the vicinity of Qumran have revolutionized the understanding of Judaism in the New Testament era. The discovery of several manuscripts of the Greek New Testament of the 2d and 3d cent. AD, the finding of the Nag Hammadi corpus of Gnostic scriptures in 1946, and the steady publication of Egyptian papyri in the 20th cent. have enlarged perceptions respectively of the accuracy of the New Testament text, the diversity and vibrancy of early Christianity, and the kind of Greek in which the New Testament was written.

See A. Negev, ed., Archaeological Encyclopedia of the Holy Land (1972); H. D. Lance, The Old Testament and the Archaeologist (1981); P. Matthiae, Ebla: An Empire Rediscovered (1981); W. G. Dever, Recent Archaeological Discoveries and Biblical Research (1990); A. Mazar, Archaeology of the Land of the Bible 10,000–586 descr='[BCE]' (1990); F. M. Cross, The Ancient Library of Qumran (1995).

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Archaeology

Archaeology

Forensic archaeologists use archaeological techniques to help solve or study crimes. The term forensic relates to the law, often describing material appropriate for presentation in court. Archaeology is the scientific study of the past through the analysis of materials (artifacts) and remains within their context, or surrounding area. Using a blend of many sciences, forensic archaeologists examine human skeletal remains and other materials to gather physical evidence . Not all sites examined by forensic archaeologists are linked to a crime or a court case.

A forensic archaeologist who is examining a site attempts to gather evidence about the events that took place at that site. They may seek answers to questions such as: who is buried here? Did the person die here or somewhere else? How many people were here? What materials did they leave behind? How old is this site? Is it related to another historical or criminal event? What other activities happened here?

Investigating both recent and historical events, the work of forensic archaeologists aids both law enforcement and historians. When studying historical sites, forensic archaeologists use many of the same investigative techniques as they do when examining present-day crime scenes. Forensic archaeologists have located sites of mass murder in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. They have investigated historical sites associated with the Holocaust. Law enforcement employed forensic archaeologists to investigate the World Trade Center site of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York.

Forensic archaeologists employ in the field many of the same techniques that forensic anthropologists use in the lab. Often, forensic archaeologists work to recover information from the smallest of materials, such as a single hair, tooth, clothing fiber, or bone fragment. Modern medical and scientific investigative technologies aid their research. A forensic archaeologist may use CAT scans or x rays to examine ancient remains, such as mummies , without destroying them. DNA analysis is used to determine if or how remains found in close proximity are related to each other. They study human skeletal remains and teeth for clues about age, sex, health, trauma, and date and manner of death. For example, a forensic archaeologist may examine damage to a skull to determine that the victim died from a trauma to the head. They may even be able to tell what kind of weapon, from an ancient projectile point to a modern gun, inflicted the injury.

Forensic archaeologists also carefully scrutinize the area that surrounds remains. The relationship between remains and the environment in which they are found is known as context. They may use complex remote sensing technologies to look below ground and locate burials or other sites. Alternatively, a forensic archaeologist may use classical archaeological techniques such as using probes to feel for loose dirt, observing patterns of discolored surface soil, or surveying an area for abnormal surface features, like shallow depressions or small mounds.

see also Ancient cases and mysteries; Anthropology; Careers in forensic science; Crime scene investigation.

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archaeology

ar·chae·ol·o·gy / ˌärkēˈäləjē/ (also ar·che·ol·o·gy) • n. the study of human history and prehistory through the excavation of sites and the analysis of artifacts and other physical remains. DERIVATIVES: ar·chae·o·log·ic / -əˈläjik/ adj. ar·chae·o·log·i·cal / -əˈläjikəl/ adj. ar·chae·o·log·i·cal·ly adv. ar·chae·ol·o·gist / -jist/ n.

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"archaeology." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 19, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/archaeology-0

"archaeology." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved October 19, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/archaeology-0

archaeology

archaeology Scientific study of former human life and activities through material remains such as artefacts and buildings. An archaeologist excavates and retrieves remains from the ground or seabed; recording and interpreting the circumstances in which objects were found, such as their level in the soil and association with other objects. This information can then be used to build a picture of the culture that produced the objects.

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"archaeology." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"archaeology." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 19, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/archaeology

"archaeology." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved October 19, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/archaeology

archaeology

archaeology XVII. — modL. archæologia — Gr. arkhaiologíā, f. arkhaîos ancient; see -LOGY.

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"archaeology." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"archaeology." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved October 19, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/archaeology-1

archaeology

archaeology •haji • algae • Angie •argy-bargy, Panaji •edgy, sedgy, solfeggi, veggie, wedgie •cagey, stagy •mangy, rangy •Fiji, gee-gee, squeegee •Murrumbidgee, ridgy, squidgy •dingy, fringy, mingy, stingy, whingy •cabbagy • prodigy • effigy • villagey •porridgy • strategy • cottagey •dodgy, podgy, splodgy, stodgy •pedagogy •Georgie, orgy •ogee • Fuji •bhaji, budgie, pudgy, sludgy, smudgy •bulgy •bungee, grungy, gungy, scungy, spongy •allergy, analogy, genealogy, hypallage, metallurgy, mineralogy, tetralogy •elegy •antilogy, trilogy •aetiology (US etiology), amphibology, anthology, anthropology, apology, archaeology (US archeology), astrology, biology, campanology, cardiology, chronology, climatology, cosmology, craniology, criminology, dermatology, ecology, embryology, entomology, epidemiology, etymology, geology, gynaecology (US gynecology), haematology (US hematology), hagiology, horology, hydrology, iconology, ideology, immunology, iridology, kidology, meteorology, methodology, musicology, mythology, necrology, neurology, numerology, oncology, ontology, ophthalmology, ornithology, parasitology, pathology, pharmacology, phraseology, phrenology, physiology, psychology, radiology, reflexology, scatology, Scientology, seismology, semiology, sociology, symbology, tautology, technology, terminology, theology, topology, toxicology, urology, zoology • eulogy • energy • synergy • apogee • liturgy • lethargy •burgee, clergy •zymurgy • dramaturgy

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"archaeology." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved October 19, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/archaeology