Difference between Archaeology and Anthropology

Key Difference: Archaeology is the branch of science devoted to the investigation, discovery and understanding of material remains left behind by humans. Anthropology is the study of all aspects of human beings, including their development and bond to other animals, especially primates.

Archaeology has made a small number of contributions to the general field of anthropology with regard to explaining cultural similarities and differences. They both arose from a common project that is a desire to understand human, social and cultural diversity.

Archaeology is the branch of science devoted to the investigation, discovery and understanding of material remains left behind by humans. They analyze skeletal remains and artifacts, such as tools, pottery, cave paintings, and ruins of buildings. The term is derived from the Greek word archaiologia, where archaio means “ancient” and logos means “science” and “study”.

It provides an insight into the ancient times by analyzing the material remains belonging to that time. It aims to preserve the history for present and future learning. Archaeology is not only both a humanistic discipline and a science, it is also a passion. Its main purpose is to understand humanity better, but achieving many other "minor" purposes, even if initially unforeseen, can also be reached. In retrospect, archaeology can be considered a sub-discipline of anthropology. In simple terms, archaeology ends where history begins.

Anthropology is the study of all aspects of human beings, including their development and bond to other animals, especially primates. An anthropologist deals with the field of all mankind, how their mind and body developed  from primitive cultures and early forms. Anthropologist is constructed from roots that everyone is familiar with, i.e., the Greek word anthrōpos, where anthros means ‘mankind’, and logos means ‘science’ and ‘study’.

Anthropology is a science that deals with the study of humanity focusing on the culture, behavior and biology, as well as the effect of changing time on them. Anthropology enables the study of people from all over the world as they live now, as they lived in the pre-historic and historic past, and as they may live in the future. They describe and analyze the evolutionary history related to them. Apart from this, it considers various attributes, like how people behave, how they adapt to various environments, how people communicate and socialize with each other, etc. In a nutshell, anthropologist deals with humanity in its total varied forms.

Comparison between Archaeology and Anthropology:

 

Archaeology

Anthropology

Description

Archaeology deals with the study of the human past through its material remains. Archaeology can be considered a sub-discipline of anthropology.

Archeology deals with the study of ancient times. It provides an insight into the ancient times by analyzing the remained materials belonging to that time.

Pronunciation

ahr-kee-ol-uh-jee

an-thruh-pol-uh-jee

Fields

  • Archaeometry - Artifact analysis, remote sensing, and radiocarbon dating techniques are used in this field.
  • Underwater Archeology - underwater evidence are associated with it.
  • Classical – study of more civilized societies.
  • Environmental – the principles of the subject are applied to the study of environment.
  • Pseudo – a non-scientific approach is used.
  • Ethno – focuses on creating connection between the past and the present.
  • Historical – pertaining to the ancient historical sites.
  • Biological – focused on the study of humans and non-human primates in various dimensions.
  • Sociocultural – consists of cultural and social anthropology
  • Archaeological – Study of the ancient times through remained materials.
  • Linguistic – focuses on understanding the process of human communications that can be either verbal or non-verbal.

Origin of the word

Greek archaiologia – "ancient" and logia "word" or "study."

Greek anthrōpos "man" (understood to mean humankind or humanity), and -logia, "word" or "study."

Renowned personalities

  • Leslie Alcock - His major excavations include Dinas Powys hill fort in Wales and Cadbury Castle in Somerset.
  • Anthony Aveni - known for his contributions to the field of archaeoastronomy.
  • Famous Anthropologists include John Adair - famous for his work on visual anthropology
  • Keith Basso - known for his study of the Western Apaches.

Image Courtesy: allaboutgod.com, anthro.fullerton.edu

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