Considered both a science and a branch of humanities, archaeology is the study of human history through the recovery and analysis of material culture. Just like any science, there are many myths and misconceptions surrounding the science of archaeology, but fortunately you’ve got us to set straight your perceptions. Here are 5 popular misconceptions about archaeology.
Archaeology is the Study of Rocks or Dinosaurs
For many of us, the only interaction we’ve had with archaeology is through television and movies, so you’d be forgiving for believing that it’s the study of rocks, dinosaurs, old stuff, or something along those lines! However, archaeology is not in fact the study of rocks – geologists do this – or dinosaurs – palaeontologists do this – but rather the study of ancient human activity through the evidence left behind. It’s difficult to live in an area for many years and leave no trace, and archaeologists study this evidence to learn more about the civilisations which came before us.
Archaeology is a Not-Stop Thrill Ride
The (fictional) journeys of Indiana Jones may have seemed like a non-stop thrill ride, but the truth is that archaeology isn’t always fun and exciting. While you may come across an interesting site which speaks volumes about the people who once occupied the land, the truth is that archaeology requires patience, hard work, and often times tasks which are not very exciting, but nevertheless imperative to the process. If you’re looking for non-stop action, you should try Australian online pokies instead!
Egypt is the Best Place for Archaeological Finds
Egypt is certainly one of the most fascinating places in the world for archaeological research and the study of this ancient civilisation is highly rewarding, but there are many archaeologists who will never set foot in Egypt. There are in fact many sites all around the world which are just as fascinating and complex as that of Egypt, they are just typically not as widely publicized. With thousands of ancient civilisations having graced this incredible planet of ours, they are all worthy of exploration.
Archaeologists Only Uncover Humans Remains
While in the past archaeology was indeed focused on large-scale excavation sites, today the approach of archaeology is far more nuanced. Yes, once upon a time, archaeologists were uncovering human remains, but that was not their only focus. Rather than focusing on the people of ancient times, archaeologists are just as interested in how these people lived and the social hierarchies which made up these civilisations.
Archaeology is All about Finding Buried Treasure
As a child watching movies the idea of uncovering buried treasure long thought to be lost was the absolute dream, but this is not the goal of today’s archaeologists. The previous focus may have been on the discovery of fabled sites such as finding El Dorado, the mythical City of Gold, but today archaeologists are far more interested in understanding the people who created the places uncovered and gaining a better understanding of the past events which have shaped the world as we know it today.