Time is the most precious thing here on earth. Its value is ten million times more than gold’s. You can never keep time in a glass. You cannot buy it and have it for yourself. You cannot turn it back and undo the things that have already happened. You cannot experience the same events that people in the past experienced. You cannot exactly know what the feelings and thoughts are of those people who lived years before you. All you can do is have a glimpse of how they live through the things they have left behind and archaeology allows you to do this. What is archaeology? It is a science that studies artifacts and objects that have been created and used by humans who lived before. It is generally divided into three types based on time periods. To give you an idea of what it is all about, here are the types of archaeology.
1. Prehistoric Archaeology
Prehistoric pertains to the period wherein writing has not yet been developed. Most people call it the Stone Age for almost every object the people of this time used in their everyday lives are made of stone. There are also no records of events or happenings during this period. Archaeologists therefore find it hard to explain the prehistoric artifacts that they have gathered because they have no books to refer to. They have to search for the answers themselves and make some conclusions and theories based on the information they can obtain using only the object they discovered.
2. Protohistoric Archaeology
People have already designed systems of writing during the protohistoric period. It is sometimes referred to as the Metal Age for during this time, iron, copper, and bronze are the common materials that objects are made from. This is also when civilizations have started to arise and places have slowly begun to become urbanized. Many artifacts of this time though still cannot be explained because of lack of references even when systems of writing have already existed.
3. Historical Archaeology
Evidences gathered at this period are easy enough to explain because there are adequate resources and tools to help archaeologists. There are already accounts or records of past events to base the discoveries on. Civilizations have become more diverse and lifestyles have become more complex. Art, trade, and industrialization are some of the aspects of life which have flourished, leaving many artifacts behind. However, it must be noted that even with the vast number of references, a number of these are incorrect so archaeologists still have to gather more evidences to prove their discoveries.
What is archaeology? It is the field of study that bridges the gap between the past and the present for you to thoroughly understand the culture and lifestyle of people who lived long way ahead of you in this planet.