Saya Man Luo
University of Toronto
Archaeology lecture #1
October 25 , 2012
Topic 1: what is archaeology?
Archaeology = the study of material remains (physical objects) and their spatial
relationships to interpret past human behaviour.
Relationship of archaeology with other disciplines :
- Archaeology is highly interdisciplinary
Archaeology and anthropology
Anthropology = the study of humankind
- A holistic disciple – seeks to bring together all aspects of human biology and
- Archaeology adds a historic dimension, and comparative case studies
- 4 sub-disciplines in this course (ANT100) – all are linked:
Archaeology and History
- Both study the past
- History is based on written documents; archaeology on material culture
- History is limited to at most 5,000 years; less than 100 in some regions
- History – limited primarily to literate societies
- Written records tend to focus on the rich and powerful
– Archaeology with the aid of historical records.
– Often documents to not give the complete picture, and only archaeology can