Blog Post One: Archaeological Institute of America

One of the four major sub-fields of anthropology is that of archaeology, which I explored further by looking at the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA). This large non-profit attempts to understand past cultures through material record. Their primary goal is to support all kinds of archaeological research, but they also take it a step further by making sure the information is understandable and accessible to the everyday public. AIA attempts to foster an appreciation of diverse cultures and a shared humanity while advocating the preservation of the world’s vast archaeological legacy.

The AIA has a significant source of public educational programs, allowing individuals to get involved in more ways than just donating. There are many different archaeological fieldwork opportunities on six different continents. Each opportunity is unique in itself as some focus on paleopathology, and others more focused on excavation and preservation.

Archaeology Institute of America focuses heavily on site preservation and brags to “safeguard the world’s archaeological heritage through direct preservation, education, outreach…and the spread of best practices.” The Site Preservation Program through AIA grants up to $25,000 to innovative projects, which preserve archaeological sites, and currently supports projects on five continents. Current projects include protecting some of the few surviving ancient Mayan murals in Brazil and a Mayan structure in Belize. The study of both of these preserved sites has allowed anthropologists to get a closer and more insightful look at how Ancient Mayan culture used timber, communicated, and constructed years ago.

The study of archaeology holds great importance in the scientific, cultural and environmental world. Archaeology allows scientists to study the human past, allowing them to extend their knowledge of human history beyond the existence of written records. Even though written records only go back a few thousands of years (a blimp in time, really) archaeological advances have allowed the study of an innumerable amount of cultures, traditions and peoples.

One of the main themes of anthropology is culture, a set of behaviors and ideas, which humans acquire as members of society. Culture is used to adapt and transform the world. Because of anthropology, history has been written and rewritten a countless number of times. Continuously scientist’s worldview have been completely changed after the findings of certain artifacts or primates. As our articles said, the study of anthropology is a recently very new one when looking at the vast amount of time in which the earth has existed. In addition, it takes an incredible amount of time to perceive noticeable differences in evolving and human behaviors. Archaeology works as a helpful tool to allow those who study anthropology to glance back in time, over multiple time frames and compare to that of now.

Archaeology merges both history and anthropology together, allowing humans of the present to look directly at the humans of the past. Seeing practices, customs, traditions, building-styles, hunting preferences and others allows for scientists to obtain better insight for events of the past. Archaeology is highly related to anthropology, as anthropology is the study of humankind. Anthropology describes the workings of societies around the world, heavily tied into humankind. Overall, Archaeology is a field of tremendous worth, which has allowed humans of today to better understand humans of yesterday.


3 thoughts on “Blog Post One: Archaeological Institute of America

  1. Hi
    I really love your post about the archaeology in Archaeological Institute of America(AIA). It is good to know the website is a non-profit website that helping archaeology all over the world. In the archaeology, The archaeological record consists of artifacts, architecture, bio-facts or eco-facts, and cultural landscapes. The archaeology is huge world for people to study, the more significant source of public educational programs, the more things the individuals can learned. I think the world is lack the educational of archaeology, the AIA is excellent website that tell us safeguard the world. There is an old saying in Chinese, “looking through the history, that we could be a better human”. The AIA really bring us the history and anthropology tighter that we can allow us to all human look deep inside the past.

  2. I think when most people think of archaeology their first thought is boring. I can honestly say that was me before looking into how we actually benefit from it as a culture and nation. I love that the AIA makes the information understandable and accessible to the everyday public. I believe what the AIA Site Preservation Program is well needed, without it historical sites like Ancient Mayan would’t b able to be studied and used to to a better insight of the culture, what exactly they did and how they communicated. Everything isn’t written in history books or posted on the internet, so what better way to truly learn than to get up close and personal. Extending your knowledge of human history beyond the existence of written records. It is very important to learn and know about your past to succeed in your future, an old saying I live by.

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