Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith

Early Excavations Around The Globe

  • Michael Seymour
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_1033

State of Knowledge and Current Debates

Introduction

For many people, the history of archaeology is synonymous with the history of excavation. In the public imagination the two are barely separable, yet this very strong association is a comparatively recent phenomenon, and one that can be unhelpful in defining a discipline. By the same token, development in archaeological method consists of more than the refinement of techniques in the field; again, a focus on excavation can be limiting and deceptive. The early history of excavation is best treated as one aspect of the broader methodological and intellectual history that helps us to understand archaeology’s emergence as a discipline, and so in this brief summary aims to relate early excavations to these other developments.

Excavation is not synonymous with archaeology, but it is the central and most prominent tool of the modern discipline. Why? Fundamentally, excavation has developed as a research tool in response to changing...

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Further Reading

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Seymour
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Ancient Near Eastern ArtThe Metropolitan Museum of ArtNew YorkUSA