Analogy in Archaeology


Archaeology is the study of human history or ancient human beings by use of artifacts, architecture and cultural landscape. Archaeology as a discipline uses many procedures to unravel what the past might have been. Due to the use of these various procedures it is considered as both a science and humanity. Archaeology mainly is concerned about human evolution from the time of Stone Age in eastern Africa to the present. It also tries to understand the culture of human beings and how it has evolved over time like from hunters and gatherers to farming and to industry. Archaeology is important because it helps us understand human history even during the pre-historic times when records were barely made and literacy was only for a few people.


Analogy is relating a particular subject or object to another. It can also mean the relationship between the source and the target. It differs from other methods of infrencing like induction and deduction, where one can relate something and apply it to many others or make it general to apply to the rest. For analogy it’s different because there have to be a relation between a particular object or subject to another particular object or subject too. Analogy is widely used in problem solving, decision making and coming up with explanations. Archeology as a study widely utilizes this method of inference in its study of artifacts or objects to determine the history that was there before. it can also be relating one behavior with another unknown behavior that the archeologist may want to find information on.

There are four steps that are involved in archaeological studies. the first step involves the formulation of the problem or the identification of a site .an archaeologist may find a site with human remains and decide to study them so that he or she can understand the history tied to the remains or so that he can learn about their culture (Peterson, 2009, p.568). The second step involves the data collection or the excavation step, here the archaeologist ventures into the field and actually studies the material they have uncovered. They even sometimes may dig deeper in the hope of finding more remains. The third step is data interpretation; in this step the use of analogy to interpret data collected is widely used. The fourth step then is data reporting or synthesis; in this stage the inferences that are made from the data are reported.

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