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Historical Archaeology

Updated on February 2, 2012

What is Historical Archaeology?

Historical archaeology (or "archeology" as the U.S. government and the state of Texas spell it) covers the period of European contact with the New World and after. Historical archaeologists are trained in using the written documents as well as doing excavations of buried sites, and often use these documents to fill in the gaps of information that archaeology cannot fill.

Many documents talk about prominent people and events, but do not refer to the day to day tasks. Archaeology allows us to understand what people did every day, what they ate, and how they lived. The documents, especially maps, show us the context of the times that the people lived in.

There are many, many historical archaeology excavations, reports, and websites available on the WorldWide Web. This Hub will give you a sampling of what is out there, as well as what websites and books you can go to for further information.

Branches of Historical Archaeology

Historical archaeology has a number of other branches. Underwater archaeology is one such branch, and industrial archaeology is another.

Underwater archaeology covers work on submerged resources, shipwrecks, sites covered by water (such as behind a dam), and the conservation of waterlogged artifacts.

Industrial archaeology looks at industrial sites, such as mills, factories, and manufacturing areas.

This hub will cover information on these areas as well.

Videos from Historic Archaeology Excavations


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      Archaeological Anthropology 6 years ago

      Archaeological anthropology attempts to reconstruct the cultural forms of the past and to trace their growth and development in time.