Industrial archaeology (IA) is the discipline which analysed materials and objects associated with the industrial past. These objects, usually known as industrial heritage, include building, sites, infrastructures, machinery, documents and items used for the production, transportation or consumption of a product.
The discipline has started growing its importance from the 1950s in Great Britain which has many historic industrial sites and artefacts. In the 1960s and 1970s, cultural heritage monuments have begun being important so as industrial archaeology grew drastically as a distinct form of archaeology in the United Kingdom, United States and other parts of the worlds. As well as this, during these years industrial archaeology organisations were established including the Society for Industrial Archaeology in the US and the Association for Industrial Archaeology in Great Britain.
Industrial Archaeology covers different topics which range from the early iron works to large modern factories. The discipline is usually divided in four categories which are: extractive IA (which includes mining, quarrying and lumbering), manufacturing IA (which includes mills and factories and their machinery), public utilities IA (which considers water, gas, electricity and sewer) and transport IA (which considered canals, road, railways and bridges).
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