Archaeology is the study of the human activity through the recovery of materials which are related to different cultures. Usually, the elements analysed are artefacts, architectures, biofacts and cultural landscapes. Archaeology can be related both to social science and humanities. As well as this, in North America, the discipline is a sub-area of anthropology.
The discipline concentrates on the human prehistory and history, from the development of the first stone tool until recent years. Archaeology has different purposes which range from understanding the cultural history to reconstruct past lifestyles and explain changes that have happened in societies over the time.
The subject involves different techniques such as surveying, excavation and data analysis to learn as much as possible about the past.
Considering a wide context, the archaeological research refers to multiple disciplines such as anthropology, history, art history, ethnology, classics, geology, linguistics, semiology, physics, information science, chemistry, statistics, paleoecology, palaeontology, paleobiology and paleobotanist.
The discipline has become relevant in Europe during the 19th century and since then it is a practised discipline worldwide. Since its origins, the discipline has developed different branches including historical archaeology, maritime archaeology, forensic archaeology, urban archaeology, osteology, environmental archaeology, and Phoeniciology.
Historical archaeology focuses on artefacts from a historical perspective and analyses objects such as household items, musical instruments and medical equipment.
Maritime archaeology concentrates on the human interaction with water and examines items such as vessels, ships, and underwater landscapes.
Forensic archaeology is the study of crime scenes which helps police and legal professionals to solve crimes.
Urban archaeology consists of analysing maps and city plans before the beginning of a construction process. This examination is important to make sure that the construction of buildings will not affect the site and its preservation.
Osteology is the branch of archaeology which focuses on the study of bones of animal and humans to determine their age, gender, the cause of death, development and growth.
Finally, Phoeniciology focuses on the ancient Phoenicia, a geographical area which includes Cyprus, Malta, Sicily, Corsica, Israel and Spain.
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