Lecture 3 - Sept 22nd
Lecture Title: Classical Archaeology and Archaeologists
Archaeology - what is it?
-Derived from the Greek words "arche" & "logoi" meaning "to study ancient things"
-Ivor Noel Hume: "Archaeology is the handmaiden to history"
-Others believe archaeology is the link between geology and history
-Anthropologists believe that Archaeology is Anthropology or it is nothing.
-Archaeologist themselves believe that it is a discipline on it's own, but in order to
do it you must borrow from other disciplines.
->Archaeologists always believe that what they are doing is the most important
thing ever seen by mankind
->They are trying to better society by examining the known past through physical
The Crime Scene
Historians: Interview everyone's who was there. They will never get the complete
picture of what happened, because every person will see something different
Anthropologists:Will look at the cultural aspects of the murder victim. Will create a
cultural "matrix" (likes to focus on evidence that is related to behavioural,
Archaeologists: Will look and collect the physical evidence that is there to see
(murder weapon for instance)
- All three are seeking to answer the some question, but will go about finding the
answer in different ways
- Archaeology draws upon other disciplines to gather information
Definition Of Archaelogy
- Archaeology- looks to find the material remains of cultural human activity. It is a
1. Recovery of the remains and placing the object into "context" (spatial and
temporal [geographical and vertical]
2. Interpretation- The results must be compared to all other known data.
- Archaeology is destructive (especially when archaeology was essentially mining-
- Early archaeology isn't really archaeology' because nothing was recorded
- ***Archeology is spatial
In archeology, there are many ways in which the past can be reconstructed:
- One way is through the study of Tell's.
- A tell is an accumulation of cultural deposits over time. This is very similar to
stratigraphy. - Stratigaphy - vertical context of deposits.
> By looking at the different strata present at an excavation site, the different
levels can provide a lot of information about the people who might have lived in the
area and explained, through artifacts found, about their culture. The higher an
artifact is found in a soil sample, the more recent a civilization once was. Ex) Tell at
Madaba, Jordan (slide 16)
Origins of Classical Archaeology
- Involves working in historical, geographical context
- Is considered to be Roman and Greece archaeology
- This started with Thucydides (460-395 BCE), author of The History of the
- often called "father of scientific history
- First to use the term archaeology
- Used archaeological logic' to determine that the graves he uncovered' were those
of foreign descent (Carians), because of the weapons they were buried with, and
drew the conclusion that Athens drove them out, therefore the island of Delos
always was in the control of Greece
- This is significant because if we did not use logic in Archaeology, alot of important
details would be missing and history would be even more fragmented (Sparta would
not be seen as an ancient superpower for instance)
Birth of Classical Archaeology
- Occurred on October 22, 1738 when Roque Joaquin Acubierre excavated
- Oct 23rd he practiced archaeology because he recorded where objects and
artefacts were found and produced a catalogue of his finds- 9 volumes.
- Karl Weber,his assistant, took over for him and mapped out the most important
find ofHerculaneum: The Villa of the Papyri (a library)
- Archaeological data is measured against all other textual data- this creates more
questions than answers
Two types of Dates:
1. Relative Dating- a coin is found with a pop can and has the date 2005 with it, the
can cannot be older than 2005; approximating. Its a known date
2. Absolute Dating- An artifact is dated to a range of years (I carbon dated the body
and it's 10000 years old) Can be found by something associated with the coin (found
with the absolute) to approximate a known date.
- True science is repeatable, therefore you can argue that archaeology is not a true
Vesuvius Eruption 79 CE
- eruption that covered Herculaneum and Pompeii
- Pliny the Younger witnessed the eruption
Plinian Eruption- ashfall looked like an umbrella pine Important Dates And Discoveries
J. Wincklemann 1750 Herculaneum sculpture class.
Lord Elgin 1800 Athens Parthenon marbles
G. Fiorelli 1860 Pompeii struct. Excavation
H. Schliemann 1870 Troy/Mycenae excavation
E. Curtius 1875 Olympia excavation
A. Evans 1899 Knossos excavation
G. Boni 1899 Roman Forum excavation
Amr. Class. St. 1930's Athens Agora excavation
J. Beazley 1930-50 Athenian Pottery pottery class.
C. Blegen 1939 Pylos excavations
M. Ventris 1952 Linear B decoded
Amr. Acad. Rome 1950's Cosa excavation
J.W. Perkins 1950-70 Etruria survey
W. MacDonald 1960's Messenia excavation and survey
C. Renfrew 1970's Melos excavation and survey
M. Jameson 1970's Argolid survey
A. Carandini 1976-81 Settefinstre excavation and survey
- Factors To Consider: Expensive, Destructive
There are 5 Search Methodologies:
In each method must consider:
1. What's being asked