The Beautiful Thing About Archaeology

Archaeology, its importance is often not seen. Most people go through their life without ever realizing how closely archaeology has effected it. Archaeology has single handedly shaped history lessons taught from the start of grade school. Not many people realize that there is so much more to archaeology than what they see on T.V.. You can go through life believing that all archaeologist do is raid tombs, but you would be deeply mistaken. All the public ever sees is what Hollywood shows them. What we need to teach people is that archaeology is far more exciting than simply raiding a tomb, you can go to an archaeological site and learn so much information about an ancient civilization. Take the Aztec for example. Because of archaeology we have learned so much about the civilization, from their rituals, all the way down to the minute details, like what their homes used to look like, and why they designed their pottery in the way they did. We can also learn about the culture as a whole and how society interacted and treated one another. From there we can then learn how that civilization came to power, and unfortunately, how that civilization ended. Through archaeology we can also discover how one civilization interacted with another civilization, and we can compare how one civilization on one side of the planet drastically differed from another, even though they were active during the same exact time. By studying these civilizations we not only learn more about our ancestors, we also learn more about ourselves. We can learn how our species interacts with outsiders and strangers, and how we will react to massive changes in our environment, and how we will cope with stress in the face of a catastrophe. Not only can archaeology be amazing, it can also be scary. The scariest part about archaeology is the more we learn, the more we realize how little we actually know. As we make grand new discoveries about our past we learn that there are things out there that we have yet to discover that we couldn’t even imagine. After years and years of researching and excavating we are constantly learning something new about our past that we had no idea even existed beforehand. There are excavation sites out there that we had previously believed to be fully excavated, and then, by a simple accident, we learn that is not true, and in fact there is so much more left to learn. Archaeology tends to operate in the background, yet if we can teach more people about it so that they can come to an understanding, we can show people that archaeology is not some boring thing, but in fact, is an eye opening and wonderful part of humanity.

One thought on “The Beautiful Thing About Archaeology

  1. Your discussion of the importance of archaeology brings to light many good points. Today, many people feel archaeology is just about dinosaurs and digging for treasure. In reality, it is not at all. Archaeology is a complex science that over the years has brought to light much of what we know about the past in terms of human culture and change. Coming into this class, I didn’t know exactly what to expect. I knew many of these sites from pictures and classes in grade school but I didn’t know their impact on our understanding of history and human life. This class has allowed me to realize the true impact of archaeology and how this field of study has impacted my views of the past both directly and indirectly.

    As you also discussed, archaeology has had a major impact on our understanding of human social interactions and how cultures have arose and fallen. Archeology allows us to understand how human react to changes and other people. Not only has this allowed us to better understand the past but also apply these principles and discovery to today’s world. We can learn from these past events and civilizations to better understand how we function today. The Franklin expedition is an excellent example of this. The archaeological research that has gone on to understand the fate of the expedition has led to a more in depth knowledge of the decision making these explorers had in this time of extreme stress. Their decisions in this case, were not sufficient to save their lives. We can apply this to our lives today to improve our critical thinking and stress related decisions. Archaeology has had a broad impact on our understanding of history, psychology, sociology and a variety of other fields and I hope it is given sufficient credit in the future.

Comments are closed.