08-09-2014 04:05 AM
Occasional Contributor III

Do you like archaeology? What makes it interesting for you?

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3 Replies
New Contributor III

I love archaeology.   I am fascinated by the neolithic stone sites like Stonehenge, Gobekli Tepe and the Ness of Brodgar.

Do you use GIS in archaeology?

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New Contributor

I am a GIS Specialist that works with Archaeologists. I have a degree in anthropology and masters in GIS, but started out wanting to be an archaeologist. I love archaeology because it tells us why we (as humans) do what we do. Why we have religion, why we eat certain foods, why we speak a certain way, why we live in certain types of communities, and have certain beliefs. Archaeology and anthropology can cover all aspects of human behavior, and when you mix that with the GIS concepts of spatial relationships you can further develop your own worldview by constructing mental maps of the past. With archaeology and GIS you can answer questions about how humans interact with their environment and why our ancestors did the things they did. One of the frustrating parts of archaeology is that we will never have a definite answer of why people in the ancient past did the things they did. All we have are interpretations based on our own worldviews and perceptions and analysis/comparisons with our culture and other cultures. Each interpretation is prefaced with "possibly" or "probably" or "most likely". There is no "definite" answers in prehistoric archaeology. You can look at ancient rock art and see stars and snakes and anthropomorphic features, but we will never know what those symbols actually represented to the artist. We can call it hunting magic or relate it to more modern stories passed down through ethnography but unless you have the artist in front of you telling you what it means to them, you will never know what that art actually represents. But that is the beauty of archaeology. Because it forces you to open your mind to possibilities, open your mind to other worldviews, and become more accepting of cultures that are different from your own. And overall, it can create the impression in your mind that we are all in the same boat here as humans. We are all related, all connected, we just do different things because of the different environments we live in. And that's why GIS is an awesome tool to use in the field of archaeology because it lets you analyze ancient environments on a level beyond what was possible before. Okay, done writing my book.

New Contributor III

I like archeology because it helps to confirm written historical records and accounts.  This I love as a Christian, so therefore Biblical Archaeology is my favorite especially Judeo Christian.  It's cool to look at the map of Israel and look at the distance between Nazareth and Bethlehem and how long it took Mary and Joseph to travel it versus someone today.  Also the historical places they would have passed along the way that would have related to their culture.  It is amazing how far archeologists have to dig to find something from the past.  It is amazing that a venture into space and space photography reveal things about the landscape of the earth that help archaeologists.  It is amazing how the present and the future technology reveal the past.  It is amazing that the depth of the earth and sea can be measured to a certain extent. 

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