To reiterate, archaeologists do not dig dinosaurs, and tend to find this misconception rather disheartening.Archaeology is particularly important for learning about prehistoric societies, for whom there may be no written records to study.This type of research is attempts to provide archaeology with a theoretical framework based on scientific method.SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: astroarchaeology CATEGORY: branch DEFINITION: The study of the relationship between prehistoric knowledge of astronomical events through calendars, observatory sites, and astronomical images in art and past cultural behavior.Archaeologists study human prehistory and history, from the development of the first stone tools at Lomekwi in East Africa 3.3 million years ago up until recent decades.Archaeology as a field is distinct from the discipline of palaeontology, the study of fossil remains.SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: sedentary settlement, sedentary lifestyle CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A way of life in which people remain settled in one place throughout the year; permanent settlement at one location.It is settlement based in a single location rather than involving moving camp at regular intervals.
The archaeological record consists of artifacts, architecture, biofacts or ecofacts, and cultural landscapes.
The field includes the study of mathematical correlations between archaeological features and the movements of celestial bodies.
Some sites (Stonehenge, New Grange) show a definite interest in simple solar observations.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: settlement pattern study CATEGORY: technique; term DEFINITION: The study of ancient human occupation and activity patterns within a specified area -- the distribution of features and sites, buildings, and other constructions in relation to the topography of a given area.
Archaeological studies of settlement patterns deal with such matters as urbanization, the relationship between town, village, and countryside, and the operation of administrative centers.