Talk:Archaeology/Archive 2

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Something that is wrong[edit]

I present this scentence as an example. "Kennewick Man is an example of archaeology interacting with modern culture". My question is How? What is the point of this scentence if there is no explanation of HOW Kennewick man is an example etc. ? It is pointless otherwise.

Unfortunatley, the article is full of these types of errors.

Flavio Biondo[edit]

Flavio Biondo is an Italian historian and author who has been called "The First Archaeologist". He wrote three influential books that systematically described the topography and ruins of Rome in the early 15th century. The first time anything like that had been done anywhere. My interest is history, and not archaeology, I was hopeing someone could help me if or where he belongs in this article and in what capacity. Did not see a "history of archaeology" section. I don't want to call him "the first" if it is hype, but I have seen it used in other sources, and don't know enough about the field to know how accurate a claim it is. Stbalbach 06:22, 30 Nov 2004 (UTC)

A reference on the page History of archaeology would be great! Personally, if you can give a reference to an academic who called him the first archaeologist then I'd use it, otherwise I'd put "one of the first". Thanks. --G Rutter 08:54, 30 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Thanks, I missed that page, I'll try over there.Stbalbach 23:26, 30 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Suggest 34 possible wiki links and 1 possible backlink for Archaeology.[edit]

An automated Wikipedia link suggester has some possible wiki link suggestions for the Archaeology article:

  • Can link 14th century: ...outs of medieval villages abandoned after the crises of the 14th century and the equally lost layouts of 17th-century parterre garde...
  • Can link folk religion: ...ion - the development of [[agriculture]], cult practices of folk religion, the rise of the first [[city|cities]] - must come from arc... (link to section)
  • Can link writing systems: ...]'', which concerns itself with societies that did not have writing systems. However, the term is generally valid only in [[Europe]] an... (link to section)
  • Can link bodies of water: ...pwreck]]s as well as settlements that have been engulfed by bodies of water.... (link to section)
  • Can link sixteenth century: ...ology]] is the study of material culture in Europe from the sixteenth century onwards.... (link to section)
  • Can link public land: ...her statutes, this mandates that no construction project on public land or involving public funds may damage an unstudied archaeolo... (link to section)
  • Can link archaeological site: ...blic land or involving public funds may damage an unstudied archaeological site. ... (link to section)
  • Can link Western civilisation: ...of the archaeological record by the ever-sprawling works of Western civilisation, but it leaves something to be desired. CRM is conducted by... (link to section)
  • Can link the early days: ...rgely the same methods. Survey was not widely practiced in the early days of archaeology. Cultural historians and prior researchers w... (link to section)
  • Can link stone structures: ...ld]] caused by [[iron]] artefacts, [[kiln]]s, some types of stone structures, and even ditches and middens. Devices that measure the [[e... (link to section)
  • Can link cultural history: ...chaeology|cultural, or culture history]]'''. The product of cultural history was to group sites into distinct "cultures", to determine t... (link to section)
  • Can link diffusionism: material had been excavated and studied to suggest that diffusionism was not the only mechanism through which change occurred. I... (link to section)
  • Can link inter-war: ...hange occurred. Influenced by the political upheaval of the inter-war period Childe then argued that [[revolution]]s had wrought ... (link to section)
  • Can link social organisation: ...nomadically. This would have led to considerable changes in social organisation, which Childe argued led to a second [[Urban Revolution]] t... (link to section)
  • Can link exact sciences: ...cessual archaeology]]'''). Processualists borrowed from the exact sciences the idea of [[hypothesis]] testing and the [[scientific met... (link to section)
  • Can link ethnic groups: ...g clear, largely through the evidence of anthropology, that ethnic groups and their development were not always entirely congruent wi... (link to section)
  • Can link personal experience: that every archaeologist is in fact biased by his or her personal experience and background, and thus truly scientific archaeological wo... (link to section)
  • Can link resource management: ...cognised in such fields as visitor interpretation, cultural resource management and ethics in archaeology as well as fieldwork. It has also... (link to section)
  • Can link social change: ...male, elders vs. juniors, workers vs. owners) in generating social change. Some contemporary cultural groups have tried, with varying... (link to section)
  • Can link post-modernism: ...enced by neo-Darwinian evolutionary thought, phenomenology, post-modernism, agency theory, and cognitive science.... (link to section)
  • Can link public interest: ...e doing their work for is often discussed. Without a strong public interest in the subject, often sparked by significant finds and cele... (link to section)
  • Can link building site: ... indemnity insurance issues involved in working on a modern building site to tight deadlines. Certain charities and local government ... (link to section)
  • Can link local government: ...ern building site to tight deadlines. Certain charities and local government bodies sometimes offer places on research projects either a... (link to section)
  • Can link local group: ...ld without having to pay for the privilege should contact a local group.... (link to section)
  • Can link non-fiction authors: ...rk (discussed above), as well as some actual activity. Many non-fiction authors have ignored the scientific methods of [[processual archaeo... (link to section)
  • Can link buried treasure: ...g=== Looting of archaeological sites by people in search of buried treasure is an ancient problem. For instance, many of the tombs of t... (link to section)
  • Can link Third World: ... The popular consciousness may associate looting with poor Third World countries. Many are former homes to many well-known ancient... (link to section)
  • Can link well-founded: ...ican Indians tend to mistrust archaeology. This mistrust is well-founded. For years, American archaeologists have been digging up In... (link to section) Incorrect link
  • Can link native peoples: ...haeologists have begun to actively enlist the assistance of native peoples likely to be descended from those under study.... (link to section)

Done or not appropriate. Not sure about the ones in the bibliography sections below. What do people think? --G Rutter 12:07, 1 Dec 2004 (UTC)

  • Can link Alternative History: Hall of Maat]'' : Weighing evidence for Alternative History, pseudohistory, and pseudoarchaeology.... (link to section)
  • Can link web directory: ... the Internet] - Anthropology Resources on the Internet : a web directory with over 3000 links grouped in specialised topics.... (link to section)
  • Can link Mountain View: ...Discovering Our Past: A Brief Introduction to Archaeology'' Mountain View: Mayfield Publishing Company. ISBN 076741196X. This has als... (link to section)
  • Can link trade paperback: Rowman and Littlefield Pub Inc], December, 2001, trade paperback, 256 pages, ISBN 0759100950... (link to section)
  • Can link Cambridge University Press: ...ce. 1990. "A History of Archaeological Thought". Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521338182... (link to section)

Additionally, there are some other articles which may be able to linked to this one (also known as "backlinks"):

  • In Hulk (ship), can backlink ARCHAEOLOGY: ...alled and surpassed the cog. Selections from: HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY OF THE SHIP - LECTURE NOTES... Not appropriate I think --G Rutter 12:07, 1 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Notes: The article text has not been changed in any way; Some of these suggestions may be wrong, some may be right.
Feedback: I like it, I hate it, Please don't link toLinkBot 11:25, 1 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I'm not at all sold on well-founded relation and The Early Days. I also think Stone structures and resource management need more work before they're worth linking from here. adamsan 15:43, 1 Dec 2004 (UTC)


I've started a very rough Archaeology Wikiproject. If you're interested in joining up and guiding it in these early days then please come along and start editing. I'd certainly like to get Template:Archaeology_tasks fleshed out. adamsan 13:55, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I'm happy to help. I'll visit the template and see what's up. Rattus 21:25, 11 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Version 1.0 validation[edit]

I see that archaeology is listed as one of the hundred-odd articles that the Wikipedia:Version_1.0_Editorial_Team have selected as targets for Wiki 1.0 validation. Culture is the only article they have edited so far and they are looking for Harvard-style references, style guide conventions, images, npov, decently-written text etc. It won't be easy but the more sub-editing we can do ourselves then less they will have to do and the chances of any howlers being accidentally created are also lower.

Can anyone suggest some possible images to accompany the article, preferably not too anywhere-centric? adamsan 14:46, 26 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I would suggest that a photo of archaeologists working, or of a particular technique in action, would be far more valuable than pictures of any particular sites. I've certainly taken photos while on digs, but they are not that great. However, I'm sure there are plenty of others that we could get permission to use. Is this the kind of thing you were thinking of? Deb 16:56, 26 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Yeah, that sounds good to me. I take a rubbish photo myself but I'm sure we can source a few that that cover some of the topics in the article without being too biased towards any particular period or region. This may also be a prime opportunity to discuss exactly what we want this article to cover in general and whether the structure is working for any level of reader. adamsan 17:12, 26 Dec 2004 (UTC)


I notice stuff being added to the "Further reading" section, and I wondered if we should take it out and make it a separate article, giving lots of room for expansion? Deb 10:51, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Looking at the Manual of Style, I can't see any rule against doing this. We could have different sections for fieldwork, theory, crm etc. adamsan 17:43, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)


Although I have signally failed to keep up the Archaeology Wikiproject that hasn't stopped me starting the Archaeology Wikiportal with pictures and everything!. Feel free to come along and add stuff. adamsan 22:53, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Addition to subdiscipline?[edit]

I was recently asked how one could become a "forensic archaeologist" and couldn't quite understand the concept. The term "forensic" (something to do with the court system, law, current criminal investigations) and "archaeology" (something to do with the past) didn't seem to jive well. Well, I did a bit of search and apparently UCL offers a masters course in "forensic archaeological science" and I even found a definition on one of the websites. Apparently it's supposed to be "archaeology using method and theory borrowed from the forensic sciences (I guess kind of like palaeopathology... but I can't see why it would have to be specifically forsensic science), OR using archaeological method and theory to aid in forensic research of a current, on-going criminal investigation". The latter tends to make a little more sense, because I can see how archaeological techniques (excavation, recording and interpretation of stratigraphic information, etc.) could be of help at a crime scene, especially if the dead bodies are buried (which, I guess, they often are). Any way, I was wondering if forensic archaeology should be added to the list of subdisciplines and exactly how to define it if it should.rawhead

A friend of mine did the UCL Forensics MA, stabbed and buried a load of dead sheep for her thesis. The police use forensic archs in murder investigations, as yes the work involves excavating shallow graves and keeping a thorough record of the work as well as borrowing a lot from pathology in terms of bone analysis and studying trauma. The UN hired a load to go and dig up the mass graves in Bosnia and some have gone out to excavate Saddam's mass graves in Iraq. It is gruesome stuff and most archaeologists prefer their bones not have flesh still on them but it is easily the best-paying area of the field if you can stomach it. I'm sure we can thrash out a definition on the article page. adamsan 12:57, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)

If forensic archaeology was to be called a subdiscipline, it would be a subdiscipline of archaeology. The subdisciplines discussed in the article, however, are the four subdisciplines of anthropology (archaeology, cultural anthropology, biological anthropology and linguistic anthropology). Labelling forensic archaeology as a subdiscipline of archaeology would not be exactly correct, though. It's more a combination of archaeology and biological anthropology.Tpstigers 02:59, 18 October 2005 (UTC)

Where does information on this belong on Wikipedia?[edit]

Medieval works found at LNG site I don't know how to classify the find. Adraeus 21:28, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I'd suggest waiting until there is more information published that confirms the date and the type of metal being produced. As to the question of classification of the site, 'Medieval smithy' is used quite a bit. Rattus 22:40, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Shortening entry[edit]

I'd like to start tightening up and shortening (slightly) this entry. For starters, would anybody have any objections if the Academic sub-disciplines section was removed (leaving a couple sentences in its place) and shifted to another page (e.g. Archaeological sub-disciplines)? Any other suggestions? Rattus 14:00, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I'd say hive off Archaeological Theory, History of Archaeology and Cultural Resources Mgmt too. adamsan 14:58, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, should probably have checked here first- I finally got around to moving Archaeological theory to its own page which I've been meaning to do for ages. History of archaeology and Cultural resources management already have their own pages, although the CRM section on this page could probably be shortened. I agree with moving Archaeological sub-disciplines to its own entry. Personally, I find the "Relations with the public" section a bit strange- any suggestions, or is this just me?! --G Rutter 16:05, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Whoops, I am behind the times. Yes Relations with the public is a bit odd; I've never seen another wikipedia page about a major discipline with such a heading. Maybe some could be absorbed by CRM? I long to sort out the introduction too. adamsan 18:00, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

The "Relations with the public" section seems fine to me. All the material therein is significant. As for the title, I have considered "Archaeology for the layman" (inappropriately gender specific term), "Public face of archaeology" (too racy), "Amateur archaeology" (too narrow) and others. I cannot come up with anything satisfactory. This reflects the prevailing problems with public involvement with arcaheology, I guess. --Theo (Talk) 19:39, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I agree. I cannot think of any other profession that could call as one of its own a fictional character as famous and as inaccurate as Indiana Jones. Also, for a variety of reasons many of the objects of archeological study have considerable commercial value — which is often in direct conflict with archeology values. Reasons enough for a section on archeology and the public. Slrubenstein | Talk 19:49, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
How about Modern issues in Archaeology? It sounds more encompassing that Archaeology and the public to me and less suggestive of a gulf between amateur and paid archaeologists. Also, could elements of field survey and excavation could be shifted to their subpages? adamsan 20:49, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
From 'Modern' I infer 'before Postmodern'. 'Issues in archaeology' would encompass the processualism/post-procuessualism debate and other theoretical discussions as well as the public-professional interface (please forgive the succinct but pompous jargon) that this section embraces. How about 'Current issues with <a better phrase than 'the public-professional interface'>'? --Theo (Talk) 22:05, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The term Public Archaeology is used a lot in the US and UK to refer to many of these topics (including indigenous peoples' concerns, heritage management, public involvement, and archaeology and popular culture --- there is a journal entitled the same where these issues are debated). Would Public Archaeology thus be a reasonable heading for these issues? And re. moving some things into new articles --- I'll have a look later today/evening, and see what I can do...--Rattus 23:55, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I understood Public Archaeology to mean the involvement of non-professional archaeologists in the discipline through outreach and suchlike. Does it encompass pseudoscience and the ethics of human remains handling? If it does, it is ideal. --Theo (Talk) 00:01, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Certainly the latter, but only possibly the former. However, my guess is that the even if they haven't already, the editors of Public Archaeology would entertain a submision on (e.g.) 'Pseudoarchaeology and Pyramidiots'--Rattus 01:55, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
OK, I'm convinced. Let's do it. --Theo (Talk) 01:09, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC) 'Tis done. --Theo (Talk) 01:11, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
the Subdisciplines need more than a wikilink. Each needs a sentence or two describing what it is, to keep this main article complete. --Wetman 20:17, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Metal detectors[edit]

Edir:"Metal detectors can be used to locate metal artifacts." The use of metal detectors to locate metal artifacts is not archaeology, but treasure-hunting. The previous text is better; however, some text on the actual use of metal detectors in professional archaeology would be welcome. --Wetman 16:47, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)

The use of metal detectors to find and retrieve metal artefacts without recording their context may well be treasure hunting. But that is not what the text says. Changing " Metal detectors can be used to locate metal artifacts." to " Metal detectors sense the presence of ancient metal artifacts." implies that archaeology is only concerned with the "ancient". It is also a more passive form than that which it replaces (but that is secondary). Uses that fall outside the identification of "ancient metal artefacts" include musketball distribution analysis on English Civil War battlefields, service cable location during evaluation, and metal distribution analysis prior to excavation of nineteenth century ship wreck. --Theo (Talk) 18:12, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Theo is correct. One thing we must be very vigilant about in this article is not to give the impression that archeologists only study the past. The only thing of substance effected by Wetman's change is to add the word "ancient" which is wrong — inaccurate and misleading. Using metal detectors to find artefacts is not necessarily "treasure-hunting," nor is it necessarily archeology. What matters is the purpose. If the purpose is to accumulate items that have a market value today, that is treasure hunting; if the purpose is to gain insight into other ways of life, that is archeology. Metal detectors are tools, nothing more. It all depends on how they are used. Wetman is right that it would be good to provide some actual examples of archeologists using metal detectors, or have a citation to an archeology textbook.Slrubenstein | Talk 18:39, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Spot on. Deb 19:37, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)

announcing policy proposal[edit]

This is just to inform people that I want Wikipedia to accept a general policy that BC and AD represent a Christian Point of View and should be used only when they are appropriate, that is, in the context of expressing or providing an account of a Christian point of view. In other contexts, I argue that they violate our NPOV policy and we should use BCE and CE instead. See Wikipedia:Neutral point of view/BCE-CE Debate for the detailed proposal. Slrubenstein | Talk 22:55, 15 May 2005 (UTC)

The Stone Age[edit]

The Stone Age article is the current Collaboration of the Week. The contributors need help with their additions and frankly I don't really know where to begin without discouraging them. Anyone interested in providing some gentle guidance should drop in if they have a moment. Or is it better to wait till they've finished and then blitz it? adamsan 19:15, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Crazy new culture in Central Europe[edit]

Has anyone any more information on these cats? The article doesn't go into much detail, like provide a name and much of the text seems to be copied from Neolithic 101 but if the dating is correct we are going to need an article on 'em. adamsan 19:49, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Somebody penned Monumental temples in prehistoric Central Europe with a link to an Independent article, and I've added some info to Neolithic. It is exciting, but I think it would be prudent to wait until there was more info, including plans and how the dating was established, before much more is said about a new 'civilisation'. Rattus 21:50, 14 Jun 2005 UTC
see Talk:circular ditches. dab () 4 July 2005 19:11 (UTC)

NPOV and Other Changes[edit]

I changed the first sentence of the last paragraph in the CRM section. "Cultural resources management has doubtless mitigated the destruction of the archaeological record by the ever-sprawling works of the Western world, but it leaves something to be desired" is not NPOV. (Admittedly, what I replaced it with was somewhat weaselly.) I also changed the last sentence of the first paragraph in the looting section, because "rob" is not an especially NPOV word. (Also, if the local peoples in question don't care about the artifacts, it's arguably not robbing in the first place.)

I flagged the descendent peoples section as NPOV because. . . well, I think it is. Statments such as "American archaeologists have paid them little heed," "this mistrust is well-founded," "carting away any artefacts and human remains," and "adding insult to injury" display a POV in favor of the local peoples making the complaints.

The first line in the "importance and applicability" section also bothers me a bit -- that's a pretty hefty claim, and strikes me as slightly POV; some more detail and/or an attribution would be a good idea. Also, the line about archaeology being described as "a craft that uses the sciences to illuminate the humanities" should probably be attributed to someone.

Finally, I think the article could possibly use some general NPOV cleaning up; there are a lot of authoritative "this has been beneficial" statements, for instance, which could easily be tweaked into something like "the vast majority of archaeologists have found this to be benefical."

Inkburrow 6 July 2005 01:46 (UTC)
I've had a bash at NPOVing this one though someone more familiar with NAGPRA should take a look. adamsan 22:26, 18 July 2005 (UTC)

Some of the controversies are deeper than those indicated. Kennewick Man, in particular, has an added complexity that is significant: The Native people claim him as an ancestor because the body was recovered from whey they lived, but the current standard opinion in Archaeology is that the body long predates the arrival of the current occupants, and so Kennewick Man is from a different population, possibly one supplanted by these current residents. This makes it particularly difficult to resolve, as the terms of the debate are debatable -- should the local Native peoples be asked for their opinion about what to do with an ancestor when the body is not (to the best of current scientific evidence) actually of an ancestor? Kcrca 12:48, 22 July 2005 (UTC)

Suggested Major Edits[edit]

First Paragraph[edit]

Can we remove this sentence? "Archaeologists study artifacts, which are anything showing signs of human use or modification." Some archaeologists do not study 'artifacts' (e.g. archaeobotanists), and calling 'anything' with signs of modification an artifact is pushing it, but mostly I don't like it because its redundant given the sentence that precedes it.

In the initial Wikipedia definition of “Archaeology” the use of the term “landscapes” should either be removed or embellished on (i.e. waterscapes). The term “landscapes” suggests an exclusive affiliation to terrestrial environments and neglects other possible environmental settings, such as underwater. I realize that there is a listing for “Underwater Archaeology”, but the current definition being attempted is for “Archaeology” not “Terrestrial Archaeology”. Archaeology may someday, and to some extend already does, work within such realms as sound, air, interplanetary and molecular environments. This definition should be a more generic all-encompassing form of the meaning of the word and not limited to the terrestrial environment. El LPJ 05:23, 25 April 2007 (UTC)


This section isn't particularly helpful because the first paragraph doesn't discuss goals and the second refers to 'three theories' of research, but doesn't expand on it. I suggest a rewrite to something along the lines of:

The goals of archaeology are extremely varied, although all are generally concerned with the description and interpretation of human behaviour and culture history through the interpretation of material remains (i.e., artifacts, ecofacts and other material traces of past human activities). There are three broad schools of archaeological theory, explained in more detail below, each of which advocates a different set of goals for archaeological practice:

Despite having differences of opinion in what the goals of archaeology are or should be, all archaeologists are concerned with: the preservation of the archaeological record, its protection from looting or other destruction and, in cases where preservation is not possible or desirable (e.g., because of development or specific research questions requiring excavation to answer), then recovery of remains through controlled recovery (e.g., excavation or survey).

Can we thrash this out further here? Rattus 02:35, 01 Sept 2005 (UTC)

This is pompous, jargon-filled, and thoroughly incomprehensible to non-archaeologists. If your goal is seem mysterious and keep our secret code-words to ourselves, then you've succeeded. On the other hand, if you want to explain archaeology in terms that anyone can understand, you need to try again.Tpstigers 03:10, 18 October 2005 (UTC)

The project is supposed to be detailed. some degree of pressure must be placed on the reader to familarize themselves with terminology and meanings. A quote from the wiki template "This article is part of WikiProject Archaeology, an attempt to build a comprehensive and detailed guide to archaeology on Wikipedia." other technical and science articles are far more hardcore Boris 00:10, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

Field methods[edit]

I know field methods are dealt in detail elsewhere but can we add a few words on excavation as opposed to survey representing the entirity of field work? Boris 00:05, 24 October 2006 (UTC)


would you like to publish this article? -- Zondor 22:29, 27 November 2005 (UTC)

Alternate spelling[edit]

Just out of curiosity, is "archeology" used somewhere outside the US? I've never seen it used except on sites such as Wikipedia for an "alternate spelling" note, and a Google search for "archeology" has 8 out of the first 10 search results using "archaeology" instead. Jibbajabba 16:32, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

The "e" for is the US form - but even that seems to be not that widespread. "ae" is the British and starngle more international form. Normally the US form seems to be prominent. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page) 18:35, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
The U.S. government generally uses the a-less form. The Wisconsin Archeologist does too. 03:56, 26 March 2006 (UTC)


Perhaps GIS in archaeology could be merged into Archaeology under Field methods? If that makes that section too long; a subarticle on field methods would appropriate. I'm not knowledgeable enough on the topic to do it myself. I'll hold off on the merge tags for now. Peyna 20:10, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Archaeology & Archology meanings[edit]

These are (everywhere I have looked) either mis-spellings for each other - OR two different words with different meanings, in their derivations and current proper usage. Try looking at this listing of sciences and their descriptions. Sciences and description. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page) 18:35, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

Alternative Spelling of Archæology[edit]

I keep adding an alternative spelling (though to be honest it is the ORIGINAL English spelling) of the word archæology with the ligature "æ". The user Kevinalewis keeps removing my addition to the Wikipedia page insisting that the spelling means something other than archaeology. It means the same thing, except a ligature is being used because the word originates from Old English. Refer to Wiktionary: Archaeology to view the spelling listed as a variant. Also the spelling is accepted and regarded as correct by the Oxford English Dictonary, which is known as the most comprehensive and scholarly dictionary of the English language. The spelling is not archaic, it is simply not commonly used, however if the Greek spelling is going to be shown, then the original English spelling should as well. To return to the original arguement, a ligature simply denotes a sound intermediate between those of a and e (it does not change the meaning of a word as Kevinalewis is claiming). Refer to Æ to teach yourself more about ligatures and spelling, and as you will notice the image in the page proudly uses the word "archæology" as its main example. placed by --Speakslowly 18:56, 11 March 2006 (UTC)User:Speakslowly

Hi, Please sign your postings and place them in the chronological position in the talk pages. Thanks. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page) 09:56, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
Also I do know what ligatures are, so we can drop that. On wider reading it does appear that the word is being used (by exception) as a synonym for "Archaeology". That of itself does not make Wikictionary the arbiter it is as flawed a source as this is. OED is another matter, unfortunately I don't have direct access to that (or space for it for that matter). What does appear to be the case in the dictionaries and sources I "have" consulted that it does have an alternative meaning which is not brought out in your entry here. I will leave the entry as is at present but I believe we need to adjust it to reflect it's rarity or at very least draw attention to it's variant meaning, see my web reference above. Sorry to be a pain but if we are to be seen as reliable we "must" be scrupulous in what we allow to stand in wikipedia. It is not meant to be aggresive or in anyway finally deny that you know something I don't. We are all here to make this as authoritative as we can. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page) 09:56, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
Excuse me for not understanding the structure of a talk page. However you keep insisting that Archology means something else, but I have never mentioned Archology. I am insisting that Archæology with the ligature means the same thing. I understand that in Wikipedia we strive for factual information, and I am not pursuing a different spelling for a joke. I will continue to say that Archæology with the ligature means the same thing as Archaeology, and it has no other meaning. Archology with an o is something completely different which is something I have never brought up since that is what YOUR argument is about. --Speakslowly 18:56, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Ah ha, It appears we are getting somewhere (and I am not going mad!) When you write "æ" in the main article to achieve "Archæology" what I see on my browser on two different machines is "Archology". That must be where the confusion is comming from. Perhaps you could have a bit of a look at this as not everyone will be using the same browsers or even fonts. Interestly the "æ" appears correct here - did you generate it differently. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page) 08:45, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

I figured something weird was going on like that. And no I've been generating the æ the same manner each time. You hold down the ALT key and using the numbers on the right side of the keyboard you type in 0230. So I'm assuming the hatchet is being buried and we can continue with other things involving archæology, as opposed to fights about spelling. --Speakslowly 20:22, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Hatchet was never out - I was thinking that one of us had lost it, but sanity is restored. Interesting that some people are actually using the work I thought was the issue, "Archology" to mean "Archaeology" even though that "does" mean something different. Sorry to have been a pain. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page) 10:34, 13 March 2006 (UTC)
The section "Usage" reads like a diatribe. Yes, the more common spelling in the U. S. of the word "archaeology" is the the ae, but the alternative spelling is also definitely widely used, e.g., by the U. S. government agencies working in archaeology.


The spelling of artifact with an i is the standard spelling in U. S. archaeology. As I understand Wik procedures, if a subject is international, the spelling is set by the first user of the term in an article. If this is correct, then let us abide by that - some-body with a faster computer than mine could check out the history of the use of the word in this article. Kdammers 08:26, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

The spelling of artefact with an E is standard in non-American archaeology. I do not particularly wish to start an 'America v. The rest of the world' debate, but I have never read a book about archaeology which spelt it with an i. Thought this comment would be relevant in this case. fluoronaut 09:07, 30 April 2006 (UTC)
I am an archaeologist first trained in the U. S. and have never seen a book of archaeology or a professional article in the U. S. where it is NOT spelled with an 'i.' But my point was simply that the spelling in this article should abide by Wik norms. If that menas first come first rules and the first person to whrite the word in this article wrote it the British way, then it should be spelled with a 'e'; whereas if it got changed along the way, it should be reverted. Kdammers 09:17, 30 April 2006 (UTC) I have finally been able to view the earliest text. While it is horrible, it does contain 'artifact' with an 'i.' Thus, if I am correct in understanding Wik norms, let's change it. (I'm not interested in a battle either.) BTW, this Hong Kong site uses the 'i' version:
Hi - I have just had a look at the history, and the first mention of an artifact/artefact is this one:

18:29, 19 January 2003 Deb (just a start on the history of the discipline) It's spelt with an E. However, if anyone wants to double check, I am happy to be wrong. fluoronaut 09:47, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

I agree (When I looked earlier, one of the first two entries seemed to have it with an 'i,' but I guess I som-how was not on the archaeology page proper.). Kdammers 11:06, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

Aartifacts - material remains[edit]

The current edit (about artifacts in the opening paragraph) is not good. As it now reads, it seems to say that artifacts=human bones etc. Kdammers 00:34, 28 August 2006 (UTC)


Everytime I read this, the more I dislike it. Although it might be a widespread colloquial term for what in the UK is often termed 'digger', I just don't see its relevance here. Plus, its full of non-verifiable pers. opinions, like the claim that its seen as bad form to use it if you haven't been one yourself. Says who? Unless anyone strongly objects, I suggest creating a new page called Shovelbum, and replacing this paragraph with a brief sentence (and link) that notes that this term exists among some archaeologists in the US. Rattus 15:25, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Can not say I am a big fan of this term myself and find myself agreeing with you. However I am willing to let it go on the grounds the wiki is likely to be more US centric in its readership Boris 00:16, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

I think references to 'shovelbums' should be removed. It is a colloquial expression that affects the encyclopedic tone of the article. I would also be opposed to any use of the british term 'digger'.Man from the Ministry (talk) 16:39, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

GA Re-Review and In-line citations[edit]

Members of the Wikipedia:WikiProject Good articles are in the process of doing a re-review of current Good Article listings to ensure compliance with the standards of the Good Article Criteria. (Discussion of the changes and re-review can be found here). A significant change to the GA criteria is the mandatory use of some sort of in-line citation (In accordance to WP:CITE) to be used in order for an article to pass the verification and reference criteria. Currently this article does not include many in-line citations. It is recommended that the article's editors take a look at the inclusion of in-line citations as well as how the article stacks up against the rest of the Good Article criteria. GA reviewers will give you at least a week's time from the date of this notice to work on the in-line citations before doing a full re-review and deciding if the article still merits being considered a Good Article or would need to be de-listed. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us on the Good Article project talk page or you may contact me personally. On behalf of the Good Articles Project, I want to thank you for all the time and effort that you have put into working on this article and improving the overall quality of the Wikipedia project. --- The Bethling(Talk) 22:43, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

K Man[edit]

" Kennewick Man is an example of archaeology interacting with modern culture. " As Kcrca (above) notes, the K man issue is quite complex. The text's bald statement in the paragraph it's in makes it sound more like the remains are recent. Let's take out this sentence. Kdammers 23:13, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

Archaeology & Anthropology[edit]

I know in the U.S. that archaeology and anthropology are related. However, in the UK at least, archaeology is also considered separate from anthropology as they have different subject matter (i.e. material remains of past peoples in the present vs. current human populations). This difference has given rise to what is called ethnoarchaeology - "the ethnographic study of peoples for archaeological reasons, usually focusing on the material remains of a society, rather than its culture". Nonetheless, ethnology and anthropology are still used to supplement archaeological interpretation, although there are reservations over their applicability to the past. Any thoughts about including this? Also, there is also overlap in the studies of forensics and archaeological science (explaining material pattening and wear, osteology etc.) that may be worth mentioning? --hAl 16:30, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Ethnoarcheology is also an important field in US anthropology. And while it is true that in most UK universities (and some US) archeology is distinct from anthropology, there are UK universities that combine them. Cambridge has a faculty of archeology and anthropology, bringing them together. Bristol has a department of anthropology and archeology. University of Wales, Lampeter. So some UK departments are moving toward the American model. Slrubenstein | Talk 16:38, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Artefact vs. artifact[edit]

While I don't personally care which we use, according to the rules we should be using artefact instead of artifact as the former predates the latter in the history of this article. However, there may be good reason for changing to 'artifact': British English speakers may be more used to the 'e' version, but will certainly be aware of the 'i' version; but American English speakers probably automatically think 'artefact' (sic) is spelt wrongly (bless)—hence the frequent changes by do-gooders. To save the frequent rv that will inevitably happen with this, what do people think about a global change to 'artifact'? Rattus 21:45, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

  • Hi. Please see the discussion above for the resolution to this issue last April. Thanks fluoronaut 09:20, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

Delisted GA[edit]

This article was delisted from the Good Articles list due to lack of references for the size of the article. The lead also nees to be expanded to comply with WP:LEAD. Tarret 21:09, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

Restoration of some earlier material[edit]

I did some wiki-excavation of this article, because we are reviewing all articles in Version 0.5 that have seen their assessment go down (in this case GA to B). I notice that between the June 10 version and the current one the entire section on excavation was lost, and a subheading was changed. I see a fair bit of blanking occurred, so I'm guessing this was a result of vandalism. I'm adding this lost material back in, and recommending that we then use the most recent version of the article. I'm only passing through, but I wanted to ask those who maintain the article:

  • Please check that my reverts are appropriate. If the material was subsumed into other parts of the article, please revert me.
  • Please check the above "diff" to see if there any other things that jump out as being lost. It's a shame to see something that a person spent hours writing should get lost in this way. Thanks! Walkerma 05:21, 20 November 2006 (UTC)


This needed a rethink. I would have preferred to delete it outright, but resisted for now. There are three reasons why it needed editing and moving into Pseudoarchaeology. First, it self validates itself (hence my insertion of "claims to be" to emphasize this). Second, the study of 'unusual archaeological objects' does not define a sub-discipline --- it is just archaeology; whereas the use of wacko theories is pseudoarchaeology. So 'cryptoarchaeology' is either normal archaeology (e.g., the study of Stonehenge, or the Black Pyramids or whatever, using agreed upon standards of archaeological epistemology; or it is fringe non-academic pseudo-science that panders to popular fantasy). Three, from what I can tell, there are no cryptoarchaeologists apart from those with avocational interests. I'm happy to be corrected on this, but unless someone can provide the name and credentials of a 'cryptoarchaeologist' and a reference to this 'sub-discipline' in a mainstream academic journal, this has no place anywhere than under Pseudoarchaeology. Rattus 18:20, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

External links[edit]

Many of these are not at all useful in terms of defining archaeology, and some contravene policy (i.e., they are there only to promote an external website rather than provide substantive informational content). Regional journals, pet projects, field school advertising, university advertising, etc. should be removed --- although portals do seem to be useful and could stay in. Policy is only for one link to a web site (e.g., Shovelbums is in there once, not twice now). Unless anybody strongly objects, I suggest removing these as a first filter:

Rattus 19:24, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for reviewing the links. I was just overwhelmed by them all, and not being well-versed in archaeology, didn't feel qualified to evaluate them. I would say it'd be safe to remove them now, considering that you've listed them here for reference, making it easy to undo in the future. Dancter 19:52, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

French translation[edit]

Can anybody translate the article "archéologie préventive" from the French Wikipedia? The question is very important for the future of archeology, but seems to have been mainly reflected in France till now. --Hubertgui 15:12, 21 August 2007 (UTC)