What is Archaeology? Archaeologists Share Their Expertise

Updated on January 2, 2024 by Meg Pier

What is Archaeology? Archaeologists Share Their Expertise

What is Archaeology? Ask the Experts!

What is archaeology? The short answer is that archaeology is the study of human history and prehistory through the excavation of sites and the analysis of artifacts and other physical remains.

If you want a deeper dive into what archaeology is, we present in-depth explanations from world-class archaeologists around the world who share their purpose, passion, and techniques. We share the observations and insights from archaeologists on the ancient cultures from a diverse spectrum of places from Ireland and Scotland in the U.K., to Cyprus and Malta in the Mediterranean, to Croatia in Central Europe and Spain in mainland Europe, as well as the Nordic island of Iceland.

Who better to answer "What is archaeology?" than trained professionals who describe how they unearth information about the lives of people who existed hundreds, thousands, and even millions of years before us.

These real-life "Indians Joneses" describe specific excavations they have undertaken, and what they learned about the communities and societies they have studied. Each archaeologist profiled here offers mini case studies on what can be revealed through ancient structures; manuscripts, sculptures, and paintings; tools; food remnants, cooking utensils, and storage receptacles; clothing; and human remains themselves.

The archaeologists PAC features also answer the question "What is Archaeology?" by explaining the reasoning behind the conclusions they draw, and how they connect the dots between specific sites and their surroundings, the material evidence they uncover, and what is known about the period of history during which the site was populated.

Despite its focus on the past, archaeology brings to life themes as relevant today as they were several millennia ago: identity, sense of place, community, ritual, power, awe, and connection.

Read on to learn some of the enduring truths and eternal mysteries revealed by some of the world’s most fascinating archaeological sites!

Experts Offer Insights on Archaeological Sites in Scotland and Ireland

Camster Cairns | Mysterious Neolithic Tombs on Windswept Moor

Camster Cairns | Mysterious Neolithic Tombs on Windswept Moor

The Grey Cairns of Camster in Scotland are intriguing ancient monuments in Flow Country and a landscape known for its windswept moors.

Cairns of Clava in Scotland | The Past Speaks

Cairns of Clava in Scotland | The Past Speaks

The Cairns of Clava in Scotland is a mysterious prehistoric site full of intrigue for anyone interested in archaeology, folklore, and history.

Definitive Guide to Archaeology Sites of Dingle’s Slea Head Drive

Definitive Guide to Archaeology Sites of Dingle’s Slea Head Drive

The Dingle Peninsula has a rich culture and heritage, specifically Irish Ogham Stones. Meet Irish archaeologist Isabel Bennett to hear more.

Experts Offer Insights on Archaeological Sites in Cyprus and Malta

Megalithic Temples of Malta Hold Eternal Mysteries

Megalithic Temples of Malta Hold Eternal Mysteries

The Megalithic Temples of Malta are mysterious ancient ruins and happen to be the passion of archaeologist Dr. Reuben Grima.

Cyprus History Revealed by Renowned Archaeologist’s Insights

Cyprus History Revealed by Renowned Archaeologist’s Insights

Cyprus history as a cultural crossroads is brought to life by the former director of the Cyprus Department of Antiquities in this engaging interview.

Expert Offers Insights on Croatian Archaeological Sites

How Croatia’s Many Borders Influenced the History of the Croats

How Croatia’s Many Borders Influenced the History of the Croats

Meet Domagoj Perkic, archaeologist and curator of the Dubrovnik Archaeology Museum for a dive into Croatia’s history as a cultural crossroads.

Expert Offers Interpretation of Spanish Archaeological Sites

Cultural Legacy of Spain’s Civil War Inspires Museum Director

Cultural Legacy of Spain’s Civil War Inspires Museum Director

The cultural legacy of Spain’s Civil War inspires a museum director’s passion for recovering marginalized heritage. A must-read for culture lovers!

Expert Offers Interpretation of Icelandic Archaeological Sites

Thingvellir National Park, the Heart, and Soul of Iceland

Thingvellir National Park, the Heart, and Soul of Iceland

Thingvellir National Park is a beautiful landscape with a history of storytelling. Meet archeologist Margret Hallmundsdottir to learn more!

Expert Explains Role of Technology in Conserving
Swedish Cultural Icon

Conservator Malin Sahlstedt examining wooden objects

Vasa Museum Conservator Reveals Secrets of 17th Century Warship

Meet Vasa Museum Conservator Malin who reveals the secrets of 300 year old Swedish warship she helps to preserve

Archaeologist Looks at Portuguese Colonialism and
Who Owns the Past

Verónica with her colleague Claire

Archaeologist Shines A Light On Portuguese Colonialism

Portuguese Colonialism and the question of who owns the past are explored in this interview with UNESCO archaeologist

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