The archeology is the science that deals with the study of ancient societies from the material remains they left behind, consisting mainly of objects, artifacts, monuments or artistic works. As such, the word comes from the Greek ἀρχαιολογία (archaiology), which translates ‘legend or ancient history’.
The archeology allows us to know us more about the life of peoples and cultures human and disappeared, as it is responsible for searching, gathering and analyzing the material objects produced, and understand their role, meaning and importance, for, through them, try reconstruct their ways of life, their religious beliefs, their social, political and economic organization, etc. In this sense, it is an auxiliary science of History and related to Anthropology.
In addition, the archeology has developed dating methods to determine the period to which they belong findings, in order to establish chronological divisions to differentiate the different stages that occur in the evolution of human civilizations. The best known dating method, and one of the most reliable, is carbon 14.
Also, archeology establishes geographical divisions for the study of specific cultures or populations, whether it is a whole region (Egypt, for example), or specific locations or sites.
The archeology divides method of study in three phases: prospecting, excavation and laboratory work.
The archaeological survey comprises the exploratory phase in the ground itself, and involves a series of procedures to determine the location of a potential reservoir from the finding of material evidence.
Next, archeology proceeds to the excavation phase, which is constituted by the series of activities, techniques and operations of extraction of archaeological material for the next phase, that is, the analysis and study of what was found in a laboratory environment for determine its dating, relevance, meaning, etc.
Like all modern science, archeology has several subdivisions, including ethnoarchaeology, cognitive archeology, contextual archeology, experimental archeology, architecture archeology, public archeology, urban archeology, etc.
The experimental archeology is a branch of archeology that is responsible for investigating and understanding the role of artifacts made by prehistoric man as well as resources, techniques and procedures used for processing. In this sense, experimental archeology helps to verify or discard theories. Likewise, it has been assigned a didactic and informative function to make known to the general public the ways of life of the civilizations of the past.
Archeology in Mexico
In Mexico, archeology covers the entire geographical region that includes the space where the ancient Mesoamerican cultures settled, the best known being the Aztec and Mayan, although we can also count among them the Toltec, Teotihuacan, Mixtec, Zapotec, Huasteca and Olmec As such, the Mexican archaeological heritage is one of the most important in the continent, due to its cultural richness and the dimension and significance of its findings. In fact, archeology in Mexico constitutes one of the main mobilizing elements of tourism towards the country.