I'm not an archaeologist... but I did do two years of volunteer work for the archaeology department at a state park back home... mostly did a whole lot of screening, but I did get to do a little digging twice...........
I was an archaeology student and went on a few digs. Few jobs and next to no money in it though (in the UK at least). A couple of my friends are still doing it; one is off to Cyprus soon to work on her Masters research.
History. Literature. The two subjects I walked out with highest possible grades from the exams that finished my secondary studies. (Some of you may have noticed I'm rather well versed.)
And I had a chance to participate on one major dig too. We had lot of professionals, people using surveyor's tools. Trucks. Equipment. Two weeks... and I had a chance to hit my shovel in hard gravel once and once again.
Then I got to mix cement and asphalt too. It became one pretty and straight piece of road, even though I say for myself.
Oh yeah, and warehouses. Now I don't think any people here has spent so many hours working in them than I have.
I've done some poking around, but nothing major or official.
Of course all of my finds go the museum.
Greg, a member on this board, is going to the U. of Chicago for Arch. He drops in every now and again to say hello. Maybe you'll catch him here.
Haha, you guys. I'm majoring in mathematics and computer science, possibly concentrating in economics. My favorite classes are actually history and literature though, and I get good grades, but you gotta go with what you're good at (for me, math).
I am not an archaeologist, but I'm well read in the study of ancient civilizations and cultures of the world.
Archaeology is a difficult, often times painstakingly tedious, and sometimes unrewarding science. I tip my hat to those who have the patience and determination to pursue it. The rewards can be great. Without Archaeologists we would not have the knowledge of ancient civilizations and cultures that we do.
I myself am much more interested in ancient civilizations and cultures than in the nuts and bolts of archaeology itself, i.e. grids, and digging processes, screening, layering.....etc.
I'll leave that to the experts, and then I'll buy their books and read them. That's where the $$ is in archaeology....getting published.
Of course, there is Art History and Architechture History that are specialties of their own, but the main science that looks how the societies were built, what kind of symbols they used and how they acted truly is Culture Anthropolgy.
You said that "Cultural Anthropology focuses mainly on the traditions and cultural activities of a society". Now that's normal anthropology for you.
CA separates from anthropology itself by that the latter strictly deals with the behavior on different societies. Culture Anthropology really is about the thing how art, writings, music and such reflect the things going on in the society. Another close science to this is symbology, but that deals on minor details as Culture Anthropology focuses on "larger" scales.
I guess the best way to draw a line between CA and archaeology is that an archaeologist tries to tell us about history by finding and analyzing the pieces of the past that are hidden, while a culture anthropologist does the same thing, but his source base are the objects that have already been revealed.
'I guess the best way to draw a line between CA and archaeology is that an archaeologist tries to tell us about history by finding and analyzing the pieces of the past that are hidden, while a culture anthropologist does the same thing, but his source base are the objects that have already been revealed.'
Well,yes and no.Archaeology is simply the study of the past through material remains.Whether those objects are already revealed or have yet to be have no bearing on their application.
Culture is a little harder to define,although your definition was pretty good.Some define culture as any sort of adaptive process that's NOT biological(i.e,writing,technology,language).
As you may have noticed, I used a lot of figure of speech there.
Anyway, what people tend to mix is that anthropology and culture anthropology are two different sciences. CA is not just some subdirectory of actual anthropology, but something to study as its own.
Anthropologists simply try to understand the reasons of behavior in the society, while culture anthropologists look for links between arts and their relations to structures of society.
What I actually tried to separate here was the difference between the type of work archaeologist and culture anthropologists do. We could say that archaeologist's work bases on material side of the world, while CA tries to explain the past through ideas.
It's kinda like Plato and Aristhoteles arguing, for those who get the reference.
I see what you're saying....CA is more about interpretation,while archaeology is not always trying to do that.Even then,there are disagreements about just how those objects(even socieites themselves)should be interpreted.
The job of the archaeologist simply isn't to study and interpret the past through material remains, it's to reconstruct the past using a variety of techniques, from finding material remains via excavation, analyzing linguistic data, as well as relying on data provided by the cultural anthropologist. To fill in the blanks, if you will. But what's important to recognise from that is that all the subdivisions of the blanket field of anthropology both work together, as well as function independently.
Even cultural anthropologists deep in their ethnographic work may need some archaeological data from time to time. But yes, they have very different focuses. A cultural anthropologist is very much like a sociologist, with one key difference: cultural anthropologists usually study preindustrial societies or past cultures, whereas sociologists don't. But there are many cases where the cultural anthropologist sometimes goes into a modern city for ethnographic work.