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There are a lot of people that think that anthropology and archaeology are interchangeable terms, but it is a lot like saying square and rectangle are interchangeable. Just as squares are a subset of rectangles, archaeology is a subset of anthropology. Anthropology is the study of humans and human behavior and archaeology takes it one step further to specifically focus on historical artifacts that are used to make inferences about life in the past. Most people immediately associate this with dinosaurs exclusively, but that is an even further subset. You will find that there are many different specializations in archaeology, most of which have absolutely nothing to do with dinosaurs or prehistoric life.
For the most part, the reason that prehistoric life becomes the focus instead of other parts of history is that literacy plays a big role. When future students look back in time at human behavior and take a peek at our present time, their branch of science will not likely fall under the branch of archaeology because there are other resources available to study us, such as our social media profiles and other recorded media. One day, our thousands of selfies are going to one day be the research material for someone’s college thesis on narcissism in the computer age.
In the present, private archaeology tutors are a varied mix that covers both illiterate and literate populations. It might seem unnecessary or incomplete to make inferences about people based on artifacts when you have written texts to work from, but part of the problem is that there is a significant amount of bias and some things are incomplete. The same way that Facebook profiles will not provide a full picture of a person’s life neither does any single source. For example, if you were to go into my childhood bedroom and find my locker filled with Beanie Babies, you might make the assumption that I was into collecting or that I was into stuffed animals. If you watched the video of me explaining the names of all of them, you might think that these were my best friends growing up. Both assumptions are false. You would never get the full story, which is that I started collecting once I learned that you could potentially sell them in the future. You would never know about the Beanie Babies bubble that burst long before I had a chance to sell the collection. So they have sat ever since.
Lots of archaeologists love their jobs because there is a highly practical element. Most, if not all, universities that teach archaeology promise time in the field, which is where you learn the most about being an archaeologist. Going out into the field, you are able to find your own objects, study trends, and see if this is really the career path that works for you. You might find that you like the study, but do not like working with artifacts, which might make you turn back and focus on anthropology in more general terms.
Lots of people like archaeology because of the breadth of topics that you can cover. You are making inferences on all different types of life, so there are lots of specific fields. Feminist archaeology or gender archeology study how gender roles play out using the artifacts of the past. Archaeology has typically been a field that transposes classic gender roles, with women in the laboratories and men in the field, fomented by the cool guy image of archaeology put forth by Spielberg and Lucas in Indiana Jones. Female scientists realized that men were overlaying Western gender norms onto past societies that confirmed their biased hypotheses rather than making valid assumptions. Another form of archaeology called historical archeology focuses on literate societies. They try to confirm or debunk written texts based on the artifacts that they find. There are many different subsets of archaeology, which is why we offer a variety of tutors when you search for archaeology tutors near me.
One of the things about archaeology is that not all people that make archaeological claims are doing so with proper scientific backing. This practice, commonly referred to as pseudoarchaeology, involves using similar artifacts to those you would find in the real science and using exaggerated evidence, fantastical conclusions, or even evidence that has been fabricated. For example, there are some that believe that we have been aided throughout history by extraterrestrial forces that have given us technology over the years. Judging by the ingenuity of the Squatty Potty, which tells you that we have been going to the bathroom wrong all this time, only an alien could have come to that conclusion. Others hold a similar belief that there are certain societies that have had advanced technology throughout history, the main one being Atlantis. Some religions also have some pseudoscientific claims about artifacts, such as the British Israelites that have concluded that they are the true direct descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes of ancient Israel. Some might even say that the Golden Plates read by Joseph Smith could be a pseudoscientific claim.
When looking for the right private archaeology tutoring you need to know that the person you are learning from is not making things up as they go along. In a field that includes a lot of inferences, you never know whether the conclusions drawn are actually true. The trained archaeologists discover new things all the time, but the reason that you do not hear about every little thing is that they take their time to draw conclusions. You might need to collect more sources of data if you are going to draw conclusions, especially if you are working on something from a pre-literate society, where there are no other sources to confirm with.
In finding the right help, you want someone with the mindset of measure twice, cut once. This is typically said by builders, but it is applicable in many fields, as it is always good to check your work before you make a change that you can’t take back. In making discoveries and claiming things about the past, one mistake could mean your reputation as a trustworthy, intelligent member of the community, so you must be extremely careful about what you are putting out.
In finding the right archaeology tutoring near me, you want someone that has a strong background in science and interpreting evidence. It is not the person that makes the most claims that you should follow, but the person that makes the best claims.
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