History of archaeology

History Of Archaeology

History of archaeology

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The history of archaeology has been one of increasing professionalism, and the use of an increasing range of techniques, to obtain as much data on the site being examined as possible.

Origins (antiquities collection era)

See also: Antiquarian, Song Dynasty , List of Chinese inventions , Sociology in medieval Islam


The exact origins of archaeology as a discipline are uncertain. Excavations of ancient monuments and the collection of antiquities have been taking place for thousands of years. Tentative steps towards archaeology as a science took place during the Age of Enlightenment, also known as the Age of Reason, in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Archaeology in the Middle East began with the study of the ancient Near East by Muslim historians in the medieval Islamic world who developed an interest in learning about pre-Islamic cultures. In particular, they most often concentrated on the archaeology and history of pre-Islamic Arabia, Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt. In Egyptology, the first known attempts at deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs were made in Islamic Egypt by Dhul-Nun al-Misri and Ibn Wahshiyya in the 9th century. It has recently been argued by Okasha El DalyDr. Okasha El Daly (2005), Egyptology: The Missing Millennium: Ancient Egypt in Medieval Arabic Writings, UCL Press, ISBN 1844720632 that these Arab scholars at least partly understand what was written in the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, by...
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