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Archaeology vs History

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Toltec View Drop Down
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  Quote Toltec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Archaeology vs History
    Posted: 23-May-2012 at 04:57
Archaeological accounts and historical accounts for the most part disagree. Sometimes common ground, middle ground or a reconciliation can be found, but there are huge areas where what's said isn't remotely compatable and completely irreconcilable, so one has to give way. So here's a question, in the latter circumstances, what's the criteria for choosing the historical version over the archaeological or the archaeological over the historical?
Stupidity got us into this mess, why can't it get us out?

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2012 at 00:53
I'd go with the archeological one, since it has the hard proof of whatever; history is for the most part bunch of opinions of people with very different POV and usually with vested interests. IMHO, a combination of archeology, genetics /when useful for the subject, of course/ and some primary sources are the best combination, but archeology is  science while history is subjective. So, if I have to choose, archeology rules in my book.
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  Quote Toltec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2012 at 09:06
Archaeological evidence still must be interpreted. For example a if a bronze sword is found in a field, it is only evidence to the fact there was a bronze sword in that field, nothing more. One archaeologist could interptret there was a military camp there, a second a lone walker accidently dropped it, a third it was hidden by a thief to pick up later and a fourth an army marched by.
 
Archaeology is fundementally evidence and interpretation, this is what they teach you at university and ligitimate archaeology is always being conscious of what is evidence and what intepretation. Pseudo archaeology is built on crossing the line and using interpretation as evidence, it's what it's built on, that andthe basis people who believe pseudo archaeologists are not trained in distinguishing evidence from interpretation at all times.
 
 Now later on evidence may emerge there was a battle near where the bronze age sword was found. It now could be interpreted that it is the sword of a dead soldier, or the sword of a soldier who ran away, or fell off a cart on the way to the battle. Then again it could be unconnected to the battle at all. These are all still interpretations, just the new evidence means some are now more likely than others. As new evidence emerges some interpretations become more and more likely, but it's rare to categorically prove something in archaeology. Just what would it take to completely prove that sword was used in that battle?


Edited by Toltec - 30-May-2012 at 09:25
Stupidity got us into this mess, why can't it get us out?

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  Quote Centrix Vigilis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2012 at 14:27
Originally posted by Toltec

Archaeological accounts and historical accounts for the most part disagree. Sometimes common ground, middle ground or a reconciliation can be found, but there are huge areas where what's said isn't remotely compatible and completely irreconcilable, so one has to give way. So here's a question, in the latter circumstances, what's the criteria for choosing the historical version over the archaeological or the archaeological over the historical?
 
Easy one.
 
 
 
 
The historical method as classically defined. Which means to those in the know.. that the objectivity of the search and verification... to a specified standard... of evidence and proofs... is determinate upon varied and numerous sources and multi-disciplinary in nature. And remains just that... objective. Ntl with the inherent willingness to retain the imagination to not simply disregard that which by definition does not yet meet the criterion; which is ever changing in academia. But which requires further research effort and objective analysis. Rather then being disdainfully disregarded and or rejected even when the method is proved or not. That is not what is germane...the use of the method is. Theories often fail. Usually do. But the method is all. Even when your theory might be rejected or proven incorrect.
 
 
 
Been that way and has been taught that way since I was an undergrad....three decades plus ago. Check with the staff and faculty of Ball State-Northern State-Univ. of Louisville- Univ. of Kansas at Manhattan-Texas Tech-S.D. School of Mines and Technology and the Un. of Arkansas... if ya don't believe me
 
 
 
 
I am not responsible for the lapse of any Social Scientist certainly in the fields of Anthropology or History to remember that. And I am particularly not responsible for their failure to protect the reputation of the fields in lieu of the grant syndrome benefits. Which ties them to an approach that is often counter to the method. And that in many cases, viz pre-disposition of an covert or overt (revisionism) agenda has already been determined as the reason for the investigation.
"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence"

S. T. Friedman


Pilger's law: 'If it's been officially denied, then it's probably true'

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  Quote Mountain Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Aug-2012 at 11:56
Only my feeling:

Archaeology tells us what is there; history tells us how it might have gotten there.
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