Archaeology
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24-04-2013, 10:13 PM
Archaeology
Just wanting a little bit of advice on something...

Archaeology. I've been considering what courses I'm going to apply for at university, and archaeology has somehow gotten into my mind of late. However, I don't have a huge amount of skill in technical science (more of a layman who reads popular science books) and though I've read archaeology can be taken as either a humanity or a science, if I was to take archaeology (probably with history or something as a joint course) would I be able to do it, having little skill in academic science? Or does even taking it as a humanity require academic scientific skill?

Thoughts?

"Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence."

-Christoper Hitchens, "Letters to a Young Contrarian."
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25-04-2013, 06:06 AM
RE: Archaeology
Nobody will know if you can do it,until you try.

In most colleges,Archaeology is part of the Anthropology department....but,Anthropology no longer considers itself to be science.Ohmy
http://www.unl.edu/rhames/AAA/AAA-LRP.pdf
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25-04-2013, 08:01 AM
RE: Archaeology
Depends on the class and the instructor. Some will be more introductory while some may focus on more technical and scientific aspects of the field. Talk to the professor.

“Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”
—Thomas Henry Huxley
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25-04-2013, 08:16 AM (This post was last modified: 27-04-2013 11:14 AM by ghostexorcist.)
RE: Archaeology
(24-04-2013 10:13 PM)TheAmazingAustralopithecus Wrote:  Just wanting a little bit of advice on something...

Archaeology. I've been considering what courses I'm going to apply for at university, and archaeology has somehow gotten into my mind of late. However, I don't have a huge amount of skill in technical science (more of a layman who reads popular science books) and though I've read archaeology can be taken as either a humanity or a science, if I was to take archaeology (probably with history or something as a joint course) would I be able to do it, having little skill in academic science? Or does even taking it as a humanity require academic scientific skill?

Thoughts?

I'm currently taking an introductory course on archaeology. We haven't done anything super sciency. It really depends on what your focus is going to be. If you deal with pottery, you will have to learn how to do thermoluminescence testing, which involves burning samples and measuring the discharge of energy. If you deal with architecture, habitation sites in caves, or fossils, you will have to learn how to do Strontium, Carbon 14, or any of the other radiometric dating techniques. These are just a few of the many different kinds of dating techniques. All of these you will most likely learn to do in a graduate program. You will have plenty of time to learn higher math and take biology and chemistry labs, which will give you a foundation in the scientific method, during your bachelors.

The bachelors program in anthropology is about exposing you to the four sub-fields of archaeology, linguistics, biology, and cultural. You have to take introductory courses on each of these, but you can ultimately chose which area you want to focus on. For instance, I'm currently focusing on biological anthropology (i.e., primates and human evolution). But I also have a great interest in cultural stuff. I plan to do some sort of hybrid mix of the two in grad school if possible.

(25-04-2013 06:06 AM)Juv Wrote:  Nobody will know if you can do it,until you try.

In most colleges,Archaeology is part of the Anthropology department....but,Anthropology no longer considers itself to be science.Ohmy
http://www.unl.edu/rhames/AAA/AAA-LRP.pdf

My archaeology professor was talking just the other day about the American Archaeological Association voting to remove science from their plans. He believes it was possibly politically motivated. This article mentions factions within the archaeological community. It doesn't matter, though, because their "statement of purpose" still includes the word science. Most importantly, many archaeologists still consider themselves scientists, my professor being one of them.
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