Difference Between History and Archaeology & Their Similarities


History and archaeology are studies of the past along the timeline to the present date to know about man’s evolution and their stories. History studies past from written accounts of people from the past while archaeology studies of a different past that did not have writing left only artefacts and magical discoveries to be made.

You can also find differences between articles on various topics that you need to know. Just tap on the quick link available and get to know the basic differences between them.

What is the Difference Between History and Archaeology?

About History

History is the interpretation of the past by studying the words of a historian. It is a scholarly study of what has occurred in the past without being judgmental. History can also be defined as the rewriting of the past events with the help of narratives and accounts that were written in the past.

Thus, history started when writing was invented, so it accounts for authentic information and also the period when it was recorded.

About Archaeology

Archaeology is referred to the field of study that tries to scrutinize and dig out information about the past by finding articles and analyzing them subjectively. Archaeology can also be defined as studying events, people, and their lifestyle, art and culture from a time where writing was not invented.

The study is solely done on evidence from surrounding collected by archaeologists and referring to past archaeological studies. Often its said, “Archaeology ends where history begins.”

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Differences Between History and Archaeology

Area Of Differentiation History Archaeology
Definition History is the scholarly study of the past by historians. Archaeology isthe subjective study from artefacts following the timeline by archaeologists.
Beginning History began when writing was invented. Archaeology began in 19th Century Europe.
Origin of term  “History” origins from a Greek word that means “what is known by asking.” Greek “Archaiologia”
Type of study An Indoor study from reading records. Outdoor surveying and excavations are needed.
Subject of study Pre-historic events. Ancient art, customs, signs, lifestyle etc.
Information type Authentic information Not as authentic as history, more subjective.
Requirement History does not depend on cross-disciplinary research. Archaeology depends on cross-disciplinary research.
Subdivisions Social history, religion history, cultural history, military history, environmental history and geographical history are history divisions. Historical archaeology, ethnoarchaeology, experimental archaeology and archaeometry are divisions of archaeology.

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Similarities of History and Archaeology

  • Both history and archaeology are studies that reveal the past.
  • On a broader aspect, both history and archaeology deal with examining human activities and society.
  • History and archaeology complement each other, hypothetically if history is the “theory,” then archaeology can be considered the “practical.”
  • Archaeology and history both work under a similar philosophy, gathering evidence and then interpreting the evidence to construct a narrative.
  • Text aided study of archaeological questions is termed “historical archaeology” which a connective link between history and archaeology.
  • History and archaeology are exposed to the people who had lived in the past, their outlook and their philosophy.

Frequently Asked Questions on Difference Between History and Archaeology

What is the basic difference between history and archaeology?

History deals with rewriting events of the past and archaeology is the study of people, events, their lifestyle from a period when writing was not invented, with the use of artefacts and other documented evidence.

What is the development of archaeology?

The roots of archaeology have its roots with history and those interested in past, like kings who had records of their achievement and glories.

What is the importance of history and archaeology?

History and archaeology help in understanding the evolution of humanity up to the current time.

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