An Overview of Archaeological sub Disciplines

Put very simply, Archeology is one of four sub-disciplines of Anthropology, which is the study of people and their biology and culture through the ages:

* ARCHEOLOGY: The analysis of human growth through the recovery and documentation of first degree sources which are artifacts, biofacts, ecofacts, and structures.

* CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY: This focuses on the behavior, symbolism and the material dimensions of various cultures.

* LINGUISTIC ANTHROPOLOGY: How language is used in society. Anthropological linguistics will concentrate more on the way that language interacts with culture.

* BIOLOGICAL OR PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY: Includes the study of human evolution and osteology.

The field of archeology is focused on asking questions about the various sources or artifacts that are recovered through excavation. These questions are aimed at gaining answers about how humans evolved and lived in our past. To assist the archaeologist in answering these questions a number of sub-disciplines or methods of study come into focus, a few being:

Prehistoric Archeology Before the time of written text.

Historical Archeology Assisted by the interpretation of documents or a written language.

Classical Archeology Greek or Roman origin.

Biblical Archeology – Focused originally on validating historical events and people mentioned in the bible. Now covers the whole of the ancient Near East.

Maritime Archeology This concentrates on anything that is found beneath the water, including ancient cities or shipwrecks, or which has a nautical connection.

Industrial Archeology – Examines the influences of the Industrial revolution and other structures from more modern times.

Egyptologists, Mayanists, Assyriologists – This focuses on the study of specific cultures or on a particular time period.

Battlefield Archeology The study of warfare using archaeological means.

Archaeozoology – The study of animal remains found in human settlements.

Aerial Archeology – Studying sites from air photos, especially by identifying cropmarks, old boundary marks burial mounds etc.

Experimental Archeology -The re-enactment of past processes, to test theories of efficiency about ancient manufacturing methods.

Computational Archeology – The use of computers, particularly mapping is invaluable.

Forensic Archeology – The use of archaeological techniques to assist criminal investigations.

Throughout the development of archeology there has been an increasing professionalism that begun in the 19th century that encouraged a learned and thorough examination of the past through the collection of physical artifacts. With this intense subjection to detail, this selection of sub-disciplines show a number of techniques that have become finely developed and expert in obtaining as much data from the subject as possible.