Archaeology

I am not an archaeology major, nor do I know much about archaeology in general. I took this class as an elective, but with some interest. When I think of the word “archaeology,” I think of digging and uncovering old bones. I used to collect rocks and that is about the extent of where I thought I could relate to archaeology. I know there is a lot of different opinions about what archaeology is, but I am excited to learn more about the truth of archaeology and because we are human, we should know about the things that make us who we are today.

After experiencing a little truth about what archaeology really is, I got excited. I like the connection between anthropology and archaeology. I previously took an anthropology class that connected other cultures to our own and it gave advice on how to navigate our country from an outside perspective. I really enjoyed the class, so when I heard about the correlation between anthropology and archaeology, I was more intrigued.

I have never really been the type of person to really care about things from the past. I was one of those ignorant people that would say “well why do we need to know about the past, it already happened.” Over time I have realized that it is important to know the past, it is what shaped the present and what will enhance the future. I am still one of those people who are busy trying to uncover our own culture and do not really have much time to explore other countries, but I think this class is going to help broaden my knowledge of other countries and the historical events that have helped make our world the way it is.

I think people, well now I know, people have this idea that archaeology is just a boring study of old dusty bones and ugly rocks. I mean just the name archaeology sounds a little boring and slightly dated. I don’t think this is necessarily wrong, but I think the fascinating part of archaeology comes in learning that it is truly a science. The exciting part is uncovering the mysteries that lie beneath the surface, literally.

Taking the scientific aspect of archaeology and the many cultural variances described by anthropology; I believe that archaeology is truly unique in that there is so much to learn, further beyond what anyone could ever know. I am officially curious and intrigued to learn about what this class has in store for me.

 

4 thoughts on “Archaeology

  1. I feel as though I used to be the same way. I used to think about the past as something to leave behind, and I could never quite understand why some people found it so important to study. My only interest in the past was a good story here or there, the rest were just useless details. With this course being my second in the Anthropology department, I’ve come to realize that history may be more important than I thought. I’ve learned we can use that information to determine exactly how cultures lived, died out, and interacted with others. This information can be useful for examining our own culture as well, making sure we learn from the mistakes of those before us, and also using their strengths as learning opportunities. Studying these past cultures is a valuable resource for us, and that’s something I’m just starting to catch on to.

    This will likely be my last class in the Anthropology department, however what I’ve learned has given me a much greater appreciation for history. The history of the world has shaped our modern day world and the cultures within it, and in order to study today’s cultures, it helps to know where they came from. The current people of Cairo undoubtedly share very few characteristics with the people of ancient Egypt, however studying the ancient world could give us insight as to how modern day Egypt was shaped.

    The study of Archaeology and Anthropology are far more interesting than I’ve ever given them credit for. There is so much useful information shoved into the past, and it will be exciting to learn as much as I can in these coming weeks.

  2. I understand the appreciation for Archaeology coming from a non Anthropology major. I my self am a History major who is taking anthropology as a required social science course. I think that History and Archaeology go hand in hand. We use the science to discover and write history. Finding objects, graves, and even lost cities help to uncover out past as well as understand human life on this planet.

    I think that Archaeology is lot more than uncovering old bones and showing them off in collections. We use these object to teach our selves and others about the past and learn so much more than we already knew before.

    What I love about History is that it is a collection of stories. But we can not build those stories without the physical aspects that Archaeology brings to it. How are we to know that Ancient Egyptians practiced the religion that they did with out all of the artifacts they left behind for us to discover.

  3. I am also a non-anthropology major, though I have a great interest in history and science which led me to take this class. I knew coming in that anthropology and archaeology are not careers where one lives an adventurous life like Indiana Jones nor a dry, boring career where ninety percent is taking care of antique things. This class only reaffirmed my belief. There are so many questions of the past and to answer them we need archaeologists.

    I strongly believe that the past is essential to our lives. Its through the past that we learn for our mistakes and our achievements. In addition, I just have a nature curiosity of the lives of our ancestors. How they lived, what they believed in, and how they managed to make such great achievements without the technology we have today. Everything that they did has led up to become how we are today. Through our ancestors we can understand our mannerisms, our beliefs, etc etc.

    Without a doubt archaeology and anthropology has so much to teach us. Some people are so quick to judge that the past and the people of the past have nothing to teach us. They may believe that they were technologically, academically, and socially inferior to how we are today. In fact, without their discoveries and innovations in architecture, science, mathematics, and much more we would not have anything to build on. It is through them that society, and technology have become so advanced today. Everyone has to them to thank for everything we have.

  4. As an engineering major, this is my first and, perhaps, my last archaeology related class. I did not have any expectations coming into this class; therefore, I am interested in learning any new details relevent to archaeology. Since a child, I have always had a weak spot for history. With this knowledge, I have continuely placed anthropology with history, never with archaeology. As stated earlier, when one envisions archaeology, an individual may visualize diggers and ancient artifacts. I have yet to ring my head around the knowledge that Archaeology encompasses so much more than ancient relics. I found it amusing that, earlier, you stated that the word “Archaeology” looks and even sounds old. In the mean time, I still agree with European countries in that Archaeology is not applicable to Anthropolgy. Perhaps Dr. Watrall will dissuade me by the end of the semester.

    Nevertheless, I have a great respect for Archaeologist. With having two relatives working as Archaeologist, I sometimes believe they have the most exciting career. One of my aunts uncovered fascinating ancient coins in the middle east. I am positive her discovery included, not only, the coins but an entire story related to their past. Perhaps the reason I have such an affinity for history is due to my interest in stories. In high school, my AP World History teacher told us that history is one really long story, which individuals are still trying to peace together. Since I have not taken a history or anthropology course here at MSU, I do not know how to relate these two topics. However, I believe that without Archaeology and Anthropology there would not be as many stories to captivate the imagination of the human species, such as the Pyramids of Giza. Now, I am excited to uncovered other ancient mysteries of our world.

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