Archaeology

HISTORY OF ARCHAEOLOGY

  • Origin of archaeological study, ethics, pioneers in the field.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION

  • Scientific methods; excavation and field survey; analysis of finding; traditional field and laboratory methods vs. new technology in all areas of the field including dating methods, virtual archaeology.
  • Importance of archaeology in the study of humanity; theories of the discipline.

CULTURAL AREAS AND ANALYSIS

  • Comparison of the physical cultures of Europe, the Mediterranean, Africa, the Middle East, Russia and Central Europe, Asia, the Pacific region, the Americas.

INTERPRETATION OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL FINDINGS, SITE RECONSTRUCTION

  • Physical remains of ancient and historic cultures; interrelationship of cultures on a worldwide basis; development, methods and benefits of experimental archaeology.

MODERN ARCHAEOLOGY

  • Emphasis on historic archaeological sites with emphasis on preservation and restoration of sites important to local and/or national or international heritage.

ETHNOARCHAEOLOGY

  • Organization of cultures in the present and past; customs of societies from hunter- gatherers to modern technologically-based cultures; cultural behavior and changes through time.

EXPERIMENTAL ARCHAEOLOGY

  • Focus on experimental methods to learn techniques of manufacture and use of artifacts and structures to learn more about past societies.

ARCHAEOMETRY

  • Use of scientific methods for dating, artifact analysis, application of environmental approaches to interpret artifacts and sites.

LOOTING AND PSEUDO-ARCHEOLOGY

  • Detection of artifacts obtained illegally by looting archaeological sites for the purpose of selling objects found; measures to protect archaeological sites; attempts to locate and prevent selling of minerals (blood diamonds) obtained through violence.

ARTIFACT TYPES

  • Artifacts from burials, habitation sites, religious offerings, battlefields, and hoards that provide cultural information unavailable elsewhere in prehistoric or historic sites. Information obtained from such  artifacts includes political organization of a group, individual’s political status, what is valuable to a culture, religious  practices, how the people made a living, food preparation, political conflict.

ARCHAEOLOGY AND EVOLUTION

  • Evolution of humans, and cultures; cultural history.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL ETHICS

  • Respectful handling of human remains; local traditions and cultures; world, national and regional claims; illegal trade.