Etymological Definition and Functional Definition of Archaeology

Human Skull
Etymological  definition  of  archaeology,  archaeology  come  from  two  Greek  words  which are  ‘archaeos’  which  means  ancient,  and  ‘Logos’  which  means  word,  discussion  or reasons. That means archaeo- + -ology is the “scientific study of ancient peoples and past civilizations".  By  definition  is  the  science  by  which  the  remains  of  ancient  man  can  be methodically  and  systematically  studied  to  obtain  as  complete  a  picture  as  possible  of ancient  culture  and  society  and  there  by  to  reconstruct  past  ways  of  life.  (Joukowsky, 1977:2).
The following are the ten definitions of Archaeology from different books, which are defined below;
The first definition, Archaeology is a scientific study of ancient human behaviour based on the surviving materials remains of the past. (Fagan, 1999:13).
The second definition, Archaeology is partly the discovery of the treasures of the past, partly the meticulobus work of the scientific analyst, partly the exercise of the creative imagination. (Colin, 2008:2).
The third definition, Archaeology is the study of the old things of the fast, more then just reading about the through archaeology encompasses the techniques and approach used to study the past and ways of interpreting past events. (Staeck, 2002:2).
The fourth definition, Archaeology is a special form of anthropology that uses material remains to study extinct human societies. (Fagan, 2000:398).
Another definition from the same book, archaeology is the ancient human behaviour based on surviving materials remains of the past. (Fagan, 2000:13).
The fifth definition, Archaeology is the past tense of cultural anthropology where as cultural anthropologist will often base their conclussion on the experience of actually living within contemporary communities, archaeologists study past societies primary through their material remains – the building tools and other artifacts that constitute what is known as the material culture left from the former societies, Archaelogy is concerned with the full range of past human experience how people organized themselves into social group and exploited their surroundings; what they ate, made and believed; how they communicated and why their societies changed. (Refrew&Bahn, 1994:11).
The sixth definition, Archaeology is the study of past humans and societies primarily through their material remains. The building tools and other artifacts that constituted what is material culture left over from former societies. (Renfew&Bahn, 2012:12).
The seventh definition, Archaeology is the study of the past through its material remains. (Mathew, 2009:2).
The eighth definition, Archaeology is the study of human past through its material remains. To study the past, archaeologist have developed a series of methods by which they discover, recover, preserve, describe and analyze these remains, reffered to as the archaeological record. (Ashmore&Sharer, 2009:10).
Another definition from the same book, archaeology is the study of human past through materials remains with the aim of ordering and describing the events of the past and explaining their meaning. (Ashmore&Sharer, 2009:10).
The ninth definition, Archaeology is the role discipline in the social science concerned, with reconstructing and understanding human behaviour on the basis of remains left by our pre historical and historic forebears. (Fagan, 1996:42).
The tenth definition, Archaeology is the study and preservation of the materials remains of past societies and their environment, that now days also includes modern material culture. (Cunliffe, Gosden & Joyce, 2009:4).
The functional definition of archaeology;
Archaeology is the study of human culture using cultural phenomena. Cultural phenomena means cultural materials or cultural remains.
To sum up, archaeology can be defined by using two perspective, etymological definition and functional definition. Also archaeology explain human culture based on evidence. The main factor to determine culture is looking on the society tools using. The challenge is that, not every cultural activity lives behind material evidence. Archaeology is not only important because it has helped start museums and write history books, but it also helps us understand who we are and where we came from. Without this information people would not be able to advance themselves into the society we are today.
Bahn P&Colin R. (1994). Archaeology theories Methods and Practice. New York: Thames and Hudson.
Sharer R & Wendy A. (2009). Discovering Our Past fifth edition. Boston: Mc Graw Hill Higher Education.
Mathew J. (2009). Archaeological Theory an Introduction second edition: Wiley Blackwell:
Oxford Students Dictionary, (2007). UK: Oxford University Press.
Cunliffe, B & Gosden, C and Joyce, R. (2009). The Oxford Handbook of Archaeology. New York: Oxford University Press.
Joukowsky M. (1977). A Complete Manual of Field Archaeology. New Jersey: Prentice – Hall, INC Englewood Cliffs.
Fagan B. (2009). Archaeology a Brief Introduction: Santa Barbara: University of California.
Fagan B, (1999). Archaeology a Brief Introduction:
Colin R. (2008). Archaeology Theories, Methods and Practice. UK: Themes & Hudson.
Drewett P. (1992). Field Archaeology an Introduction. London and New York: Routtedge Tylor & Francis Group.

Staeck J. (2002). Back to the Earth an introduction to archaeology. London: Toronto Press Mayfield publishing company.

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