Archeology

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CAN PAST TALK TO US

INTRODUCTION

1. A few years back a movie titled ‘Jurassic Park’ was released and soon became box office hit. When I saw the movie I was astonished and impressed by the on screen appearance of the huge creatures, the dinosaurs, of different variety. The object of appreciation was, of course, the computer generated graphics and animation. But more than that, I was really amazed by the knowledge the people had about these wild monsters, who are the species extinct for almost 65 million years. How do these people come to know how did these creatures look like, what were their food habits, how did they live and how did they evolve? A question came to my mind, ‘CAN PAST TALK TO US?’ . 2. A few years later another movie was released, ‘The Mummy’. This time it was the Egyptian culture that was depicted. Incidentally this culture has also been extinct for thousands of years. It is believed that this culture was in existence some 4500 years ago. Where did the knowledge of the life style of the ancient Egyptians, their religious practices, their culture, their language and their houses, clothes and weapons come from? Could the past possibly have talked to the producers?

3. I am sure these questions must have surfaced in your minds also. If I was to answer these questions, I would say, yes, the past can talk to us. But only through an interpreter. This interpreter is called an ‘ARCHAEOLOGIST’.

4. Good morning lady and gentlemen, today I shall talk briefly on the subject ‘Archaeology’. Although the subject of digging into the past of the planet earth has extremely wide scope, I shall restrict myself to the history of man, only.

AIM

5. The aim of my talk today is to explain to you in brief, what is meant by archaeology, to give you a brief idea about the work of an archaeologist and the manner in which he goes about his business. At the end of my talk you will have a reasonable idea about the field of archaeology.

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