History vs. Archaeology

Difference Between History and Archaeology

We are always fascinated by history as it helps us in understanding civilization and its evolution. Its study is considered to be useful in solving the problems of the presents. The causes of many of the problems of today lies with the past. So, the history is necessary for us to read. History and archeology are the deeply connected fields of study. Both history and archaeology reveal the past. Both of them appear the same but there is difference between the two fields of study.

History

A historian interprets the past. Generally the historian does an objective study of the past. He does not involve his own subjective views while interpreting past happenings. He usually records the past with the help of facts and narratives. He is not biased while doing so. History as a subject of study originated when the writing itself was invented and they start keeping the records of the important happenings. Those events which happened before the beginning of History are called prehistoric events. Those events are only speculated and not verified with the facts. History deals with the authentic information of the past.

Archeology

Archeology deals with digging up artifacts with a view to unearth the information about the past. It analyses the data and collects the happenings of the past from them. Thus Archaeology is related to History. The facts of history are more authentic than the findings of Archaeology because history is written on the basis of the records written by people of the past. On the other hand, no such type of evidence is present in archaeology. The artifacts in archaeologists pick up the loose ends based on their own experience.

Difference between History and Archaeology

Fossils and artifacts about ancient civilizations are dug up by archaeologists. These civilizations do not find mention in the History books. History is a recollection while archaeology is a search. This is the biggest difference between the two though they are related to the past. Archeology can be termed as History because it tries to us

Though both attempt to unravel the past for us. Archeology is also history in the sense that archeologists try to make conclusion about what happened in the past. The guess is based on upon artifacts they have dug up. History is all about facts and information. History is based on the information which already there. An historian rewrites it in a different style.

 

Category: VS  |  Tags:

  • paul

    This explanation is horrible. “The facts of history are more authentic than the findings of Archaeology
    because history is written on the basis of the records written by
    people of the past. On the other hand, no such type of evidence is
    present in archaeology. The artifacts in archaeologists pick up the
    loose ends based on their own experience.” – This is complete bunk.Histories are often clouded by, if not completely made up by the biases of the person writing the history. Archaeology is looking at past behavior based on the material remains ( or artifacts) of past peoples or cultures. A study based on factual data. Many times in the past the written histories have been proven wrong by a study of the material remains of an event or site.

  • JP

    History is not always as reliable as you think, just as our media today. You don’t always believe what the media says, it is often biased, telling the public only parts they feel to be relevant or appropriate. For instance, in 1607 when Jamestown was settled and we had documentation from John Smith and some of the other educated people we hear their point of view. What about the settlers that were not educated, what about the Indians. We do not hear their voice to know to know the whole truth. There would have also been influence from leaders as what to write so the public would be persuaded into thinking this would be a great place to live. In actuality,in the beginning there were very undesirable living conditions, illness, battles and death were the truth of what Jamestown was early on. Therefore history is a somewhat biased and archaeology is scientific with some opinion. When history written by John Smith was combined with archaeological evidence many things were learned. Yet if one or the other would have been used alone we wouldn’t have this knowledge today. Historians and archaeologists should work together. William Kelso wrote a great book on the archaeology and history of Jamestown called “The Buried Truth”. He also made a documentary of this titled “Jamestown Rediscovery” and “Pocahontas Revealed”. These show how vital it is use all sources to get the whole story and not swept away by only written word alone or artifacts alone.