Before becoming an Anthropology major I really didn’t have a precise definition of archaeology. However, when I see archaeologist on T.V. I always see them dig up items. I also thought archaeologist dig up dinosaurs for a living too. Therefore my conclusion was that an archaeologist is people who travel to Egypt to dig up old items and dinosaur bones. Now taken a couple of anthropology courses where they give us a quick glance of what archaeologist do I have a better understanding and know they are not people who go to Egypt and dig up random items and dinosaurs. Now watching lecture 1.1, I have a more accurate definition and know what it is and is not. They do not go to just Egypt they can travel the world. They also do not dig up dinosaurs and what they recover is very significant to our history
The Colorado River Archaeologist way of excavating sites are unique and pure. They don’t want to damage the spirit behind the site. They have a precise way of doing things because they have more respect for the items and truly understand the meaning and significance behind the culture left behind or at least try to. Past archaeologist is the total opposite in my opinion. They have the same concept of finding and revealing past cultures but their end goal is different. The modern archaeologist sees a historical perspective of it and doesn’t just want to gain knowledge for themselves but for all human kind. They want to change the viewpoint of people who visit national sites like the Grand Canyon and see it for its true beauty than just rocks that are stack on top of each other in cool ways. For me personally I did not know the Grand Canyon was home for Native Americans in the past and I know I’m not the only one. Therefore it’s the archaeologist job to inform us about wonderful things like this so we can protect and appreciate our surroundings more.
When you hear about archaeologist or see them on T.V. people always depict them as stealers, hoarders, adventurous etc. In movies, they end up selling the items or keeping them for their selves. However, I did notice they do know knowledge behind the items or where they coming from. For example, in the movie, The Mummy, they were a family of archaeologist but all the movie series were centered in Egypt which is not always the case for an archaeologist. However, they did know a lot of information about the items they were seeking for like where they were located and in some cases what special powers they behold. They also had a house full of items they collected and at times they either sold or traded items too. However, they were very careless with the site of the artifacts. They would end up damaging the whole site and other artifacts just for one certain item they were looking for. Watching the clip about the modern archaeologist I know they would never damage a site just for one item. They won’t even go near a site if they don’t have to. They main rule for them is to only excavate a site when there’s a chance that it will be destroyed anyways. Like in the Grand Canyon they start noticing that the erosion of the canyon and the Colorado River was destroying some of the artifacts and sites. Therefore they made sure that didn’t happen again.