Importance of archaeological sources – 2


  1. Eco facts are those remains that are left as a result as result nature. For example: pollen grains and animal remains found at a site. The pollen suggests the environmental conditions of the era to which it belongs. While animal bones help to understand the faunal remains. It also helps to understand what all animal existed, what we hunted for food and what were domesticated by humans.
  2. Literature is the beginning of historical era. History is limited to the literature, but archaeology uses the same literature to pin point the exact place to which the literature refers. For example: A. Cunningham uses the travelogues of Yuan Chwang and Fa Hein to find the Buddhist site Taxilla.
  3. There are various other sources like coins that comes under numismatics, and epigraphy. etc.
  4. Archaeological sources include ALL physical evidence of past cultures. So at one end you might have large monumental construction, such as Stone Henge or Castles, at the other end you have soil micromorphology, which can tell you about ancient ecosystems, or micro scanning of rocks and tools which can reveal marks invisible to the naked eye, or indeed paleao DNA analysis.
  5. Then you have everything in between, as people interact with their environment they will shape materials into tools, they will also inadvertently leave markers in the environment, which could include wear patterns on frequently used paths, or ash deposits from fires, the bones of creatures hunted and consumed, or the ard marks of ancient ploughing techniques.
  6. Just imagine the ways in which you interact with the physical world and every conceivable physical trace you might leave, it is all potential archaeology. The variety of techniques that now detect unseen data are increasingly exciting. So we can now sample soil from specific areas of graves in order to analyse the trace chemicals left by internal organs. We can analyse the surface of ancient Greek marbles to detect traces of the bright paint pigments that once covered them.
  7. The vast majority of data will come from the everyday objects that our ancestor produced and used, from pottery to iron tools, to ovens, to mill stones or spinning weights, to flint tools, to the discarded shells of nuts preserved in anaerobic soils, to mortars or daubs used in structures. The list would be vast.
  8. There are probably sources that we have not even yet discovered and that further research will reveal. On a slightly more theoretical note, we may use diverse sources to help interpret this data, including anthropological, philosophical, psychological, and the post-modernists would even include the experience of the archaeologist who are excavating.