Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Paleontology vs Archaeology: What’s the Difference?

Today we're going to talk about something that's very close to my heart and that is the difference between archaeology and paleontology there's a lot of confusion in the public between what the difference is i think most of the confusion with the public has come from the fact that dr jones and dr grant wore similar hats in .

Indiana jones and jurassic park we'll put that aside for today and i'll teach you a little bit about paleontology paleontology is the study of life through time mostly fossils fossil life through time archaeology is the study of hominid related .

Things and the excavation of hominid related things something that might cause confusion is say like a fish bone maybe you have a fish bone that is in a fire pit in the center of a teepee ring that's been chewed on by humans and then it was thrown away into the fire pit well that would be an archaeological .

Artifact whereas a fossil fish that's much older than hominids had time to fossilize and everything would be paleontology these are some examples of paleontology if you take anything home with you today please know that dinosaurs such as this dinosaur claw and this dinosaur skull dinosaurs or .

Paleontology archaeologists don't dig dinosaurs so dinosaur material paleontology here's a fossil clam really old fossil clam this guy is paleontology old fossil coral paleontology this is a fossil fish so this is paleontology .

Let's go over to archaeology and see what their examples are today we are going to learn all about archaeology it's gonna be awesome so kristin could you please tell me what archaeology is yeah archaeology is the study of the material past that has to do directly with human beings .

And so whether it's historic archaeology which would be mostly european sites some indigenous sites but post-written record okay and so these are modern things that you find you find teacups you find a lot of outhouses you dig through privies then there is what is has been .

Classified as prehistoric archaeology or pre-colonial archaeology we sometimes refer to it as and that most often in north america refers to the indigenous past and sometimes the interactions between non-indigenous people and indigenous people indiana jones i think there's a couple .

Of shots where you see him in a classroom but mostly indiana jones is a looter he's not excavating he's not doing research he's out there stealing artifacts and then running from people trying to kill him or rocks trying to roll him over so indiana jones is a looter .

Archaeology doesn't always study human remains i myself prefer not to work with human remains so i study the past material culture so i've been working in british columbia on a single house pit and looking at the spatial organization and social interactions within the .

Household household not being defined by property lines like we have it today and so that's part of including that indigenous perspective is where does where does the home end and begin and usually you know using the greater landscape and that interpretation so this house at bridge river first of .

All has about 14 discrete anthropomorphic floors that means that these floors were created by humans so just walking on the surface you can find all these artifacts this is made of quartzite oh that's where geology comes in handy yes .

And it is a bifacially reduced um stone point okay this is archaeology this is archaeology this is a piece of a stone pipe oh this is a fragment of the stem of a stone pipe neat this bag has a great example of different um different types of funnel remains that we find in the archaeological .

Record all of these over here these are salmon bones oh or fish bones it's kind of sharp so i would assume carnivore it is a carnivore this is a dog tooth well we handed it over to one of the band members who held it in her hand and we were all again just so incredibly .

Excited and we waited and she said it's a morning figurine um and it is a morning figurine for an infant an infant girl that's been lost and we thought well we were all moved uh you know of course by the moment but one of the other things that you're thinking is you're .

Looking at this is like she's never seen it before how does she know i believe there's two or three figurines they were made of wood rather than stea type but they were nearly identical and they were all associated with children's burials so we keep it wrapped up um in this .

Piece of buckskin and that is at the band's request for how we treat it she doesn't get left on the shelf um this is a strong cultural memory of an individual participant for them and so we take good care of her okay we keep her upstairs in the office .

And we smudge her at least once a year it's a big question who owns the past all right who lived it exactly and so then we have this obligation to understand who those people are and include them in our research and include their ideas about the world not just the way that we're seeing the world as we excavate .

So yes we don't own the past they do what is archaeology stone point archaeology um braiders archaeology dinosaurs paleontology yeah fish bones archaeology deer bones archaeology dog teeth archaeology um pipes archaeology australopithecus .

Archaeology yes fossil archaeology you


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