What is really archaeology for?

How many times have we heard the following comments “Archeology is fascinating, but I think it is more useful to donate money for a healthcare or an NGO working in a developing country”. Of course, this choice seems obvious as archeology is still so much associated with dreams and a pleasant pastime with absolutely no consequences in our daily life. It is time to change this vision and to consent that archeology has got consequences in our daily life for more than two centuries now. Discover how archeology get a strong social impact in our daily lives and how it changes our understanding of the Stranger.

Excavations on the roman forum in ItalyThe social impact of archaeological research is only as strong as how it is used - it can contribute to the healthy development of a society or, on the other hand, it can build up barriers between people and create tensions which can take years and even centuries to overcome.

You seem surprised! After all, what is archaeology? Just a way to understand past societies. Is that really all? If for many archaeologists the use often stops there, it is far from being really the case in our societies where it provides the core material for the history lessons to children from grade school to high school, it supplies tourist guides with invaluable information as they could not do their job without it, it facilitates diplomatic relations with foreign countries thanks to archaeological missions under the authority of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in France for example, etc. The training of our children, our own individual construction base and many professions depend on the results of archeology.

That said, ask an archaeologist what impact he has on everyone's daily life or, more brutally, what is he for! Very often, it will be difficult to provide you an answer. This idea of some utility is not yet generalized in university training. However, since the emergence of archeology in the 18th century and the foundations of our European society resting on philosophical thoughts gathered since Antiquity, the archaeologists activity gave birth to many uses. As with any science, we would have done without some of these uses related to fraud and misappropriation of the scientific approach in exchange for results leading to a culture to justify its ascendancy over another: "Our ancestors the Gauls..." during the French colonial period, the Aryan myth in Nazi Germany and many other ideologies nurtured by actors in History (archaeologists, historians, ethnologists, etc.). In a society where only materialist mind is important, get to recognize the importance of the psychology and the value of the intangible remains is fundamental to avoid past mistakes..

Then, what are these famous archaeology uses?
The role of archaeological research in wordsThis is what ArkéoTopia has listed for you below:

Archaeological research that produces Knowledge affects the construction of our identity.
To deny it, is to regress. If our societies are currently declining, it has not to be our destiny.

CThe cross of pathways: Past, Present, Future With archaeological research,
let's improve our knowledge of the past
to better understand our present
and find solutions for our future.


Crédits : ♦ Arpingstone - Wikimedia Commons, Domaine PublicEmdé - Les Bobinettes ♦ Hathier ♦ Jebulon - Wikimedia Commons, Domaine PublicUnescoInvestigation11111 - Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0