Difference Between Anthropoloy & Archaeology – Karabi Art
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Difference Between Anthropoloy & Archaeology

Difference Between Anthropoloy & Archaeology

There is some confusion in a layperson’s mind when the discussion is about anthropology and archaeology. There of course are some common points between the two, but there are stark differences too.


Anthropology is essentially the study of man. It is comparatively a broader subject than archaeology and has numerous aspects to it. For example the geographical spread of early man, the ways in which he adapted to varying climatic conditions and the different regions of earth come together to comprise geographical anthropology. An intensive study of human beings on the physical parameters of early man and its categorization into a number of races based on aspects like skin color, head shape, height, and many more such distinguishing features are the subject matter of study under the field of racial anthropology.


Another important sub field of anthropology is focused on the culture of the early man, social life, interaction within community & with nature and the level of intellect as was exhibited by the artefacts and articles of their everyday use. The languages they spoke, rituals and social practices are some of the prime areas of research in cultural anthropology. Cultural anthropology as a field of study is quite close to archaeology. The intent of an archaeologist is to reveal as much information about the past cultures as they can with the evidence of ancient material culture dug out of from under the deposits of soil in the regions which were once the site of these ancient civilizations. All kinds of implements and articles that are retrieved from these sites are then organized chronologically and then studied to reveal the traits of man in those ages and their lifestyle, their interactions and relationship within the community and with nature that surrounded them.


Archaeology may be described as a study of prehistoric man through a deep analysis of any kind of material dug out from under the earth. In North America archaeology is considered as a sub-field of anthropology, but everywhere else archaeology is an independent field. Whether we decide to consider archaeology as a sub discipline of anthropology or as an independent discipline by itself, we have to bear in mind that both the fields focus on studying the early, ancient man. Such studies are partially a work of conjecture and partially unearthed through an extensive study of the articles found in archaeological digs. One of the most important aspects of archaeology is that it is always in a chronological order where the classification of all the articles found in the excavation are done based on their ages. This chronology becomes the basis or starting point for the research to begin.


To sum it all up we may say that anthropology is the study of humans including each and every aspect of their lives in the present and the ancient past. Archaeology however is a study of the articles related to humans from the past that have been unearthed in excavations. Archaeology focuses on reconstructing as much information as possible about the culture, the way they lived, and the history of the ancient men.

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