Friday, October 23, 2009

Archaeological science vs. archaeology vs. anthropology

On my recent trip out west, I learned of two academic departments where the cultural anthropologists and archaeologists had split and formed separate departments.  I guess even the best of unions suffer after long relationships.  Kind of too bad, though, with all the fuss we make about using the natural sciences in the service of problems important to the social sciences. And, who gets the office furniture when it's all over?

Always interesting to look at the different situation in Europe, where there are entire departments of archaeology, sometimes with specialties in archaeological science.  I'm hoping to visit Bradford when I am in Europe this coming Spring.  Not only can you get an undergraduate degree in archaeology, but you can also specialize in archaeological science.  Pretty sweet.  I know from the majors in environmental science within my own department that those interdisciplinary majors can be tricky, but if done right with an eye for rigor, there is much to be gained.

What are some academic models or departments that you think make for good training for the archaeological sciences? Feel free to comment below.

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