W1 Reflection Post

Prompt 1
The first time I heard the word “archaeology”, I was thinking that it is all related to artifacts in the past. So, archaeologists will keep trying to figure out all cultural evidence and human activities in the past. In order to do that, they have to dig up the ground and look for any objects that can be used to analyze any human activities in the past. I know that these can be done anywhere and not only limited to specific sites like Egyptian pyramids or Ziggurats. Those places are just a couple of the most well-known historical sites.

Prompt 2
The modern archaeologists approach is different from the early historical roots because the ultimate goal itself is different. The early history of archaeological project was intended toward general research only while the more recent project is toward preservation. Modern archeologists want to provide the greatest protection and conservation of cultural resources. Thus, every time they have done with excavation in specific sites, they will backfill, re-contour and re-vegetated to left as much as it was originally and minimize any evidence of activity. This way, they just have to collect data and analyze it without disrupt anything in the sites. It also preserves finite record of the past for future generations.
Modern archaeologists are also trying to sustain the environment to avoid erosion or any other threat, which can possibly destroy the cultural information embedded in it. This is very critical in terms of prevention act because if erosion happens at some point in the future, we will lose all cultural evidences and histories. We will not be able to link or examine any changes that have occurred in human cultures overtime anymore. It even removes the site from consideration when archaeologist insist to put the history together.
Scientific methods is also used and combined by modern archaeologists in analyzing artifacts and historical sites. Like mentioned in the video that carbon dating is being used to help understanding with chronology, which then combined with previous structural data and design to help them grow new ideas and interpretations. Moreover, collaborations is also important, between people who know the sites (local people or tribes participations), professionals, and archaeologists to support the project because every inputs would be helpful to identify objects around the sites.
In my opinion, this film is similar with any other archaeology related film I have ever seen. Therefore, I am not surprised when I saw it because it looks like what I have expected, except for one point once the film mentioned about inviting tourist to see the ongoing project. I was quite amazed actually when I knew that during archaeological project is running, they are free to invite tourist to see what they have been doing. At first, I thought that archaeological project is always being done in private only. However, I think this is a great way to introduce and educate everyone that it is very important to protect the existing cultural resources. So, it will reduces looters that could destroy archaeological records.

3 thoughts on “W1 Reflection Post

  1. I agree that the methods of preservation that archeologists use today was not only not commonly implemented in older archeology, but some of these techniques were unheard of. This is completely due to their focus of archeology. They were not interested in maintaining the history of peoples or taking into account the contributions of societies today that have a connection to the site, but acted more for gain or profit, or simply were less educated on the proper way to handle ancient materials. I didn’t mention this in my post, but I definitely agree with you when you talk about archeologists educated the public and happily sharing their findings and work in order to spread the word about past civilizations. This is a characteristic definitely of modern day archeology, and I think it’s wonderful. Thanks!

  2. I also thought of Egyptian pyramids while thinking about archaeology. I feel like society and media emphasizes so much on the huge visible sites with all of the valuable artifacts that many people start to believe that is all that archaeology is. Also, it is so great that modern day archaeologists also focus on preserving the sites. Before watching this film, I had never thought about how erosion could potentially destroy these sites and all of the information that the sites contain. I am, however, surprised that this film was similar to other films depicting archaeology that you have seen because the movies I watch are very unrealistic. You had some very interesting insights in your post!

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