Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Anthropology vs Archaeology | What’s The Difference? UCLA Anthropology Student Explains Impacts

So i'm an anthropology major and i tend to find that people think that anthropology and archaeology are the same thing is this true no do i have to deal with it yes is my attempt in this video to clarify things yes so without further ado let's get into it so for anyone that might be new here.

Hello my name is olivia brown and i am currently a fourth year undergraduate student at ucla studying anthropology and today you saw you know i'm going to be clarifying exactly what those differences are between anthropology and archaeology i was looking this stuff up on youtube trying to see if there's videos out there already and there.

Really aren't that many so it just seemed like the right thing to be talking about this week so now let's jump into that first big difference so for anyone who may not know this already anthropology is actually a broader field than archaeology is so much so that archaeology is actually a sub-discipline of anthropology so.

Anthropology and archaeology can't be the same thing because archaeology is actually a more specific version of anthropology so on to the next point archaeology is actually the study of past humans while anthropology tends to be the study of past and present humans i think a lot of people are relatively familiar with the traditional concept of.

Anthropology you have anthropologists like malinowski who went to the troprian islands and did observation of the people there you have anthropologists like margaret mead who went to samoa and observed the people there those two anthropologists are examples of studying humans and human cultures in the present context they go and they're trying to.

Get an understanding of the nature of that culture right now now this is something that is definitely still happening anthropologists certainly travel all around the world to try to get a realistic understanding of what cultures are doing right now but at the same time anthropology has expanded to a lot more than just this traditional idea.

Where we go to some part of the world that we're unfamiliar with to understand a specific culture there right you can look at digital culture what's happening online right now you can look at your local community you can look at people that you in fact are a part of that community there's a lot of things that this could be but the point is.

Anthropology often not always often looks at present cultures now archaeology i mean you guys know what archaeology is we're digging things up from the past and so if you're digging up like a cup or a bowl or part of a home or something like that it's telling us what happened that many years ago and it doesn't really inform us about what's.

Happening right now it does though inform us about how we got to where we are right now which is really amazing and actually helps us strengthen that relationship between archaeology and anthropology now that second point is very closely related to this third point and that is that archaeology studies humans through past material culture.

Whereas anthropology studies humans through modern observation now this is different from the second point because it has a lot more to do with the actual research methods not the timeline necessarily so material culture for anyone who may not know already i'll do a really brief definition.

Is basically the physical items that get left behind in the archaeological record we look at those we look at that material culture and not only try to understand what it is right like is that like i said before is that a cup is that a part of someone's home but we also look at the meaning that's conveyed through that item and what that item.

Might have meant to the people who used it now anthropology studies modern humans through observation not the material culture that we find and i'm saying observation and this is kind of a dicey one because anthropology is so broad and gets conducted in so many different ways but for the sake of argument and for the.

Sake of this explanation we're just going to stick with observation where you have anthropologists that go to a community you could have a focus group you could kind of stand in the back and just observe what's going on and you're trying to understand what's happening there what's the dynamic who's who all that stuff so finally we have this.

Fourth and final difference which is actually a pretty big one and that is that anthropology also has this element of trying to solve modern human issues where archaeology really only helps us to understand issues of the past now obviously by digging up remains and digging up material culture there's not a lot that.

That can do for us to then change current practices right like that doesn't really help us but it is good to understand the kinds of issues that people have had in the past right because that can inform other kinds of knowledge but anthropology has this undercurrent of trying to figure out why people act the way they do and then how.

We can actually use that information to help with maybe informing policy or creating or maybe making health resources more accessible these kinds of things one really great example of this is medical anthropology i personally believe that medical anthropology does the best job of making change in the world but if.

You're looking at how maybe a specific community is impacted by disease once we understand how that community is impacted by disease and maybe why certain people are more prone to disease we can use that information and say hey politicians or whoever look at this look at this information that we found how can you use that.

To then change the health outcomes of different people and i think that's pretty fantastic so that's one main difference between anthropology and archaeology and that's that there's active efforts to change people's lives for the better within anthropology whereas archaeology is really just.

Informative and helps us understand the people of the past now that's actually all i have to say on the differences between anthropology and archaeology they're both fantastic archaeology is actually a part of anthropology so in some ways they have a long comment um if you guys have any other questions about anthropology or archaeology or.

Honestly anything else just leave that in the comment section down below i love talking you guys down there it's probably my favorite part about uploading these videos every week and yeah thank you so much to everyone for liking commenting subscribing watching these videos to the end it truly helps me out so much and it's just.

So lovely to see so many new people around here and of course so much appreciation for everyone who's been here for a while so yeah i will see everyone next sunday as always and i hope you guys have a great rest your day all right you guys bye.

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