Introduction - Introduction Archaeology is partly the discovery of the treasures of the past partly the meticulous work of the scientific analyst

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Introduction Archaeology is partly the discovery of the treasures of the past, partly the meticulous work of the scientific analyst, partly the exercise of the creative imagination. It is toiling in the sun on an excavation in the deserts of Central Asia, it is working with living Inuit in the snows of Alaska. It is diving down to Spanish wrecks off the coast of Florida, and it is investigating the sewers of Roman York. But it is also the painstaking task of interpretation so that we come to understand what these things mean for the human story. And it is the conservation of the world s cultural heritage - against looting and against careless destruction. Archaeology, then, is both a physical activity out in the field, and an intellectual pursuit in the study or laboratory. That is part of its great attraction. The rich mixture of danger and detective work has also made it the perfect vehicle for fiction writers and film-makers, from Agatha Christie with Murder in Mesopotamia to Steven Spielberg with Indiana Jones. However far from reality such portrayals may be, they capture the essential truth that archaeology is an exciting
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This note was uploaded on 02/13/2008 for the course ANTHR 101 taught by Professor Gleach during the Spring '08 term at Cornell University (Engineering School).

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Introduction - Introduction Archaeology is partly the discovery of the treasures of the past partly the meticulous work of the scientific analyst

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