Department of Archaeology
Archaeology is the science that studies human cultures through the recovery, documentation, analysis, and interpretation of material remains and environmental data, including architecture, artifacts, features, biofacts, and landscapes. Because archaeology's aim is to understand humankind, it is a humanistic endeavor. Due to its analysis of human cultures, it is closely associated with anthropology, which contain the subsets: physical anthropology, cultural anthropology, and linguistic anthropology. There is debate as to what archaeology's goals are. Some goals include the documentation and explanation of the origins and development of human cultures, understanding culture history, chronicling cultural evolution, and studying human behavior and ecology, for both prehistoric and historic societies.
Archaeologists are also concerned with the study of methods used in the discipline, and the theoretical and philosophical underpinnings underlying the questions archaeologists ask of the past.
The tasks of surveying areas in order to find new sites, excavating sites in order to recover cultural remains, classification, analysis, and preservation are all important phases of the archaeological process.
Since humans acquire culture through a processes of learned behavior and socialization, people living in different places or different circumstances develop different cultures. Anthropologists have also pointed out that through culture people can adapt to their environment in non-genetic ways, so people living in different environments will often have different cultures. Much of anthropological theory has originated in an appreciation of and interest in the tension between the local (particular cultures) and the global (a universal human nature, or the web of connections between people in distinct places/circumstances).
A important field of study within the Tek-Gnostics archaeology department is the study of xenoarchaeology. This discipline is a form of archaeology concerned with the physical remains of past (but not necessarily extinct) alien cultures. These may be found on planets or satellites, in space, the asteroid belt, planetary orbit or Lagrangian points.
At the fringes of mainstream scientific inquirery, there is a lively subculture of enthusiasts who study purported structures on the Moon or Mars. The controversial "structures" (such as the Face on Mars) are not accepted as more than natural features by "respectable" scientists.
The palaeo-contact or ancient astronaut theories, espoused by Erich von Däniken and others, are further examples of xenoarchaeological theories. These claim that the Earth was visited in prehistoric times by extraterrestrial beings. Central to this theory is the assertion that the myriad deities from most (if not all) religions actually were extraterrestrials and that their advanced technologies were interpreted as evidence of their divinity.
According to ancient astronaut theory, the apparently miraculous achievements of antiquity… such as the construction of the great pyramids in Egypt and Central America, the Moai stone heads of Easter Island and the Nazca lines of Peru… are remnant examples of this ancient intervention. Per this theory, all prehistoric knowledge, religion, and culture either came directly from extraterrestrial visitors, or were developed as a result of the influence of a cultural incubator or “mother culture" of extra-terrestrial origin.
In regard to
scientific rigor, ancient astronaut theorists rely
primarily on circumstantial evidence of ancient art,
craftwork and legend, which they interpret as
depicting extraterrestrial technologies and/or
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