A Brief History Lesson on Archeology

A Brief History Lesson on ArcheologyArcheology is a term derived from Greek word archaiologia, which itself is formed from arkhaios ‘ancient’ and the suffix –logia ‘-logy’. As a field of study, archeology was developed out of what was known as antiquarianism, which was a multi-disciplinary field of study. Those who studied antiquarianism focused on manuscripts and artifacts of ancient origin in addition to historical sites. This old field of study sought to uncover the past by relying only on empirical evidence, which is then developed even more to provide the grounds for archeology. The beginning of the formation of archeology as a science can be traced back to European Enlightenment Era between the 17th and 18th centuries. In the late Middle Age, the rediscovery of classical culture and interest buildup in the remains of Greco-Roman civilization started to develop in Europe. In the early 15th century, an Italian Renaissance humanist-historian named Flavio Biondo designed a guide system to the topography and ruins of ancient Rome, an act which makes him known as one of the founder of archeology. The 16th century’s antiquarians such as William Camden and John Leland would soon follow suit by doing surveys of the English countryside. Both drew, described, and interpreted any monuments they stumbled upon.

Stonehenge is not only famous for its magnificence and mystery. It is also known as one of the first place where an archeological excavation was conducted. One of the pioneers in archeology was John Aubrey who surveyed and recorded a lot of megalithic monuments in England. The ancient towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum were also among the first to be excavated. Both towns were buried under piles of ash due to the Eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Excavations of Pompeii commenced in 1748 while Herculaneum saw the project coming in 1738.

Excavations of both ancient towns had a big impact that was felt throughout Europe. The agen sbobet projects uncovered the whole cities buried under the ground while at the same time unearthed tons of utensils and ancient frescos. Not to mention, the projects also discovered a lot of human shapes, further giving people insights into what really happened on that fateful day when the entire towns met their end rather abruptly. Still, these early excavation projects were largely haphazard due to the absence of modern archeological techniques. Important concepts such as context and stratification were neglected. Only after the systemization and standardization of archeological techniques will excavation projects held properly.

Leave a Reply