Distinguishing Anthropology & Archaeology

Anthropology vs Archaeology

Anthropology and archaeology are two fields of study with certain differences. Anthropology is a well-known field of study and is part of social sciences. It encompasses the study of humans, including their ancient past. Archaeology, on the other hand, focuses on the study of artifacts discovered below the earth’s surface, which are related to ancient humans. These artifacts provide information about the culture, lifestyle, and history of ancient men. While both subjects study humans in general, archaeology is a part of anthropology that is similar to sociology of ancient humans. Despite their close relationship and similarities, there are some differences between anthropology and archaeology that will be discussed in this article.

What is Anthropology?

Anthropology is the study of humans. It covers many aspects or parts of anthropology, such as geographical distribution of early humans, how they lived in different climates and regions of Earth, which is known as geographical anthropology. The study of differences in physical features of early humans and their classification into different races based on skin color, head shape, height, and other distinguishing features is called racial anthropology.

The third division of anthropology focuses on the culture of early humans, their social life, interaction with others and nature, as well as their intelligence as shown in artifacts of their time. This study, known as cultural anthropology, includes languages, customs, and traditions of social life. Cultural anthropology is closely related to archaeology, as archaeologists try to learn about ancient humans based on the analysis of artifacts discovered from beneath the earth’s surface where ancient civilizations lived. The tools and artifacts that are found are arranged chronologically and analyzed to shed light on the humans of that time and their life, including how they lived, interacted, and managed with nature.

What is Archaeology?

Archaeology is the study of prehistoric humans based on the analysis of material discovered beneath the earth. In North America, archaeology is considered a sub-field of anthropology, but outside this region, archaeology is viewed as a separate field of study that focuses on prehistoric humans through the analysis of their tools and other artifacts discovered during excavations. Whether archaeology is accepted as a field of study within anthropology or considered a separate field of study, both are studies of early, ancient humans. Such study is partly conjecture and partly revealed through the analysis of tools found during archaeological expeditions. Archaeological research is always chronological, as it is necessary to classify the artifacts found based on their ages. This is considered the starting point for archaeological research.

Key Takeaways

  • Anthropology is the study of humans, encompassing all aspects of human life, not just in the present but also from the ancient past.
  • Archaeology is the study of artifacts discovered below the earth’s surface, which are related to ancient humans, providing information about their culture, lifestyle, and history.
  • Archaeology is a part of anthropology that is similar to sociology of ancient humans.
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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