Archaeology is the study of the primitive era of humankind. It is the study of the human cultures through various methods that include field study i.e. surveillance and excavation and laboratory analysis of the materials recovered from the past. The materials may include documents, landscapes, fossils, bifocals, and artifacts. The goal of these studies just as Minneapolis movers goals, differ depending on the focus of the study. Sometimes, the study is done to determine the age of a particular artifact, site or a part of a site. At other times, it aims at studying the history of human culture, its evolution and the ecology of the prehistoric societies. Archaeologist use different methods and techniques to study the history of the earth. Here, we shall discuss the common methods and techniques.
Methods of Archaeology
Survey – This is the most common way to begin an archaeological project. An archaeologist will systematically locate a region where he would carry out the survey. The survey method was not used before, Earlier; researchers would excavate the plainly visible features at monumental sites. However, modern day researchers use different survey methods like surface survey, aerial survey, geophysical survey and regional survey. Under surface survey, the land is first surveyed based on the settlement patterns and structures of the ancient civilization. The researchers try to gather information about primitive cultures and use mini-excavation methods. Some of the mini-excavation techniques include augers, corers and shovel test pits. Aerial survey is conducted by using cameras attached to airplanes and balloons. Techniques like infrared wavelengths, radar technology and thermographs are also used for aerial survey. There are several textbooks on archaeology that help in understanding the survey methods, in detail.
Excavation – Excavation often leads to ethical issues since it may lead to destruction of the site. In order to reduce the damage, researchers use sampling methods before excavating a site. However, this is the only method of physically acquiring primitive remains.
Analysis – Laboratory analysis is the next step after the artifacts or remains have been collected through survey or excavation. It is the most time consuming and it may take years before a report on the archaeological evidence is published by researchers. However, an analysis of the remains gives a great insight into the past.
Virtual Archaeology – This method was invented in 1995 wherein computer graphics and 3D models began to get used for further study. Normal photographs may be used to build 3D models and create a virtual world of the past. Computer stimulation was used to recreate the environment for a better understanding.
Apart from these methods of studying evidence, it is important to identify the dates. Researchers may use different techniques to determine the age of the archaeological evidence. The following two techniques are commonly used.
Relative Dating – This technique will not provide an exact date; it will only give an idea about whether the evidence is older than the other evidence or younger.
Absolute Dating – This technique provides the exact dates of the evidence well into the 20th century. There are several handbooks on this subject. If you are an enthusiast and love history, reading a book on archaeology will make a lot of difference.
In a nutshell, Archaeology is the study of human cultures through various means that include field study i.e. surveillance and excavation and laboratory analysis of the materials recovered from the past.