Types of dating methods in archaeology

Archaeology is the study of people in the past based on their material remains.

This means that most archaeologists look at the ruins and rubbish which people discarded, or the objects and people which they deliberately buried.

types of dating methods in archaeology-86

Archaeological evidence is particularly valuable in studying the lives of ordinary people, whilst documents tend to deal with the upper echelons of society.

Both types of study may be appropriate in some cases, but to interpret archaeological remains solely on the basis of written evidence is not good practice.

Neither is it acceptable to use selected archaeological evidence simply to illustrate history.

Archaeology, as studied today, is about the mundane and the everyday, although sometimes spectacular finds are made and it is these which capture the media's attention.

Within the subject, it is not the objects which are important, but the information which they provide.

Most people think that archaeology is about history, but archaeologists are not historians.The basic difference lies in the type of evidence which the two disciplines use to interpret the past.Archaeologists use artefacts and stratigraphic evidence, whilst historians use documents.Both methods are equally valid and both have their advantages and disadvantages.Objects and holes in the ground can be difficult to relate to people's lives.Documents can be equally difficult to interpret as they cannot necessarily be taken at face value - the writers often lie, or exaggerate, or miss things out because they seem 'obvious'.

Tags: , ,