Archaeology is the study of past cultures through the discovery and examination of remaining artifacts and remains of things used by people. Archaeology is one of the main fields of anthropology since it offers the only method for studying lost and forgotten cultures.
Archaeological study can uncover information about the beliefs, social structure, economic organization and environmental effects of past societies. Modern archaeologists have enhanced the accuracy of their work with scientific techniques of carbon dating of artifacts and the use of DNA analysis.
"Archaeology is concerned with the full range of past human experience - how people organized themselves into social groups and exploited their surroundings: what they ate, made and believed; how they communicated and why their societies changed" - Renfrew and Bahn
"The trend of all knowledge at the present is to specialize, but archaeology has in it all the qualities that call for the wide view of the human race, of its growth from the savage to the civilized, which is seen in all stages of social and religious development." - Margaret Murray.
"Archaeology is the study
of humanity itself, and unless that attitude towards the subject is kept in mind
archaeology will be overwhelmed by impossible theories or a welter of flint chips." -
"Archaeology is the search
for fact, not truth. If it's truth you're looking for, Dr. Tyree's philosophy class is
right down the hall." Indiana Jones, in Raiders of the Lost Ark