Archaeologists Diverse Range of Evidence and Analytical Techniques

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Globally, Archaeologists have been pivotal in the provision of a detailed analysis of various aspects such as the existence of people living in the past. The archaeological examination was developed more than 200 years ago with the contemplation of facts related to particular areas such as chemistry, metallurgy, and geology among others (Rehren, 2002, p. 2). Scientific scrutiny of the archaeological materials has been crucial, primarily through the provision of facts about certain artifacts. As a result, the interpretation of the traditional stylistic and other ancient approaches becomes easier (Rehren, 2002, p. 1). Notably, technological advancements in archaeological science and the diversity of the old materials have impacted significantly on the methods of analysis (Rehren, 2002, p. 1).

Consequently, the approaches used in the scrutiny emanate from the commonly used earth disciplines and material science (Rehren, 2002, p. 1).  Remarkably, historical sites have been the central area of concentration among the archaeologists. Henceforth, it has been indispensable in the provision of quantifiable facts about various researches conducted to determine details relating to the past of certain things such as human beings (Rehren, 2002, p. 2).

Initially, comprehending how people lived in the past used to be difficult since it was reliant on the hypothesis of the involved archeologist in the study (Paulso51, 2016). However, in the present world, there are various methodologies such as electromagnetic, chemical, and radio-metric among other used to date object that is a few years old as well as centuries older (Lamoureux, 2009). Thus, archaeologists have been using a diverse range of evidence and analytical techniques to comprehend how various individuals lived in the ancient days.

Noteworthy, the existence of multiple artifacts such as stone tools act as evidence to portray how human beings conducted their activities in the past (Stony Brook University, 2015). However, archaeologists have to use specific analytical techniques to date the objects and acquire enough details regarding how ancient people used such tools. Notably, there are various works conducted by diverse archaeologist to portray the evidence and systematic techniques used to analyze certain artifacts. This paper examines the comparison and contrast of two articles regarding their sources of evidence and the analytical method used by the archaeologists to arrive at their conclusion about the past.

The Two Articles Analysis

The two articles examined, involve archaeological works and comprehending the evidence obtained alongside the techniques used in the analysis. The first article authored by Huang and Freestone encompasses the developments in ceramic technology in North China during the six century (Huang & Freestone, 2017). It reflects on the findings of two materials (Sancai and White Porcelain) that have impacted significantly towards the ceramic technology in China (Huang & Freestone, 2017, p. 64). It is believed that the two material had been established in the 17th century, and became rampant in the Tang Dynasty (Huang & Freestone, 2017, p. 64). Notably, the materials had undergone various transformations in the preceding century, leading to some advancements in the ceramic industry (Heuze, 2016).

On the other hand, the second article authored by Martinon-Torres, Uribe-Villegas, Saenz-Samper, and Arenas, involves the recent progress in archaeometallurgy in Colombia.  It reflects on the creation, usage, and value of the metal in American history, with the primary focus being Columbia, since it portrayed various elements connected to the invention. It is believed that the Muisca community inhabited the Eastern Highland of Columbia and created "tunjos"in the form of supplicatory offerings that had the traces of metal (Martinon-Torres et al., 2017, p. 80). The two articles internalize specific sources of evidence found in both areas (China and Colombia), and the analytical techniques used by the archaeologists to conclude the past existence of the materials.

Sources of Evidence

Comparatively, both articles provide substantial evidence about the past existence of ancient materials. Notably, the elements that acted as sources of evidence in the two journals were unearthed in various locations. More so, they were remnants of the specific items left behind by the ancient communities. For instance, in North China, the two materials (Sancai and White Porcelain) were unearthed in areas believed to be significant locations of the Tan and Northern Qi Dynasty tombs (Huang & Freestone, 2017, p. 65). Moreover, the traces of the materials were found in kilns, where they were produced and molded into different ceramic collections (Huang & Freestone, 2017, p. 65).

On the other hand, in Colombia, hundreds of the “tunjos” that formed the Muisca ritual offering were unearthed in various locations in the Eastern Highland of Colombia (Martinón & Uribe, 2015, p. 377). Next, archaeologist believed that both materials of evidence in the two countries were used to create collections used on traditional occasions such as burials and religious activities. As a result, the majority of the artifacts in the two articles were collected from the funeral and sacred places respectively. For example, the Sancai and the White Porcelain were used to make funerary collections, since the majority of the evidence materials has been collected from tombs (Huang & Freestone, 2017, p. 65). On the other hand, the metal and its alloys such as gold were used to make "tunjos"for religious benefit in supplicatory offerings conducted by the Muisca community (Martinon-Torres et al., 2017, p. 81). Lastly, the materials found in both article portrayed some resemblance to other evidence items that preceded them. For instance, the white wares from the North Qi Dynasty were highly comparable to the ones collected from the Fan Cui and Li Yun tomb that were believed to be the pioneers of white porcelain (Henan Museum, 1972, p. 50).

On the contrary, the white wares found in North China had similar characteristics by being solely lead-coated with a white body, hence, fulfilling the known attributes about porcelain (Guo, 1987, p. 6). As a result, it became easier to distinguish them from other artifacts. Nevertheless, the Muisca supplicatory metal works found in Colombia defied the believed concept about gold being refined and flashy since the Muisca goldsmithing custom relied mostly on the modeling of wax items (Martinón & Uribe, 2015, p. 382). As a result, it led to the reconsideration of other artifacts such as Muisca raft of El Dorado to determine whether they exhibited the same characteristics (Martinon-Torres et al., 2017, p. 81).

Analytical Techniques

Comparatively, after the excavation of the sources of evidence, the archaeologist used various methods to analyze the artifact and determine their primary purpose in the past. Notably, both articles reflect on the archaeologists using the microscopic analysis to identify specific facts about the sources of evidence. For instance, in studying the artifacts in North China, the experts used the electron microscope to determine the coating composition and other information such as the firing temperature of the white wares (Huang & Freestone, 2017, p. 66). Similarly, the analysts used the microscope technique to characterize the Muisca supplicatory goldsmithing tradition as being reliant on the sculpting of wax models, than actual finishing of the items using metal (Martinon-Torres et al., 2017, p. 81).

On the contrary, the archaeologists analyzing the North China white wares used other techniques in their study. First, they used the “Munsell Rock Color Book” and photography to determine the color of the artifacts, while taking pictures to counterbalance the whiteness (Huang & Freestone, 2017, p. 66). Next, they used the portable X-ray fluorescence to determine the fundamental structure of the glazes (Huang & Freestone, 2017, p. 66). On the other hand, the archaeologists analyzing the artifacts from the Eastern Highlands of Colombia, employed other analytical techniques such as stylistic and chemical analysis to be precise about the Muisca goldsmithing custom, used to model the metal items (Martinon-Torres et al., 2017, p. 81).

Conclusively, archaeologists have used diverse ranges of evidence and analytical technique to determine some facts about ancient artifacts. The two articles have supported the ideology by providing substantial sources of evidence and the precise methods employed by the archaeologists to prove certain concepts regarding the objects. Moreover, their analysis has provided considerable evidence about the existence of certain materials (white wares and metal works) in the ancient days. As a result, archaeologists have impacted significantly towards the understanding of various ideologies regarding the analysis of the old materials and the people’s culture. However, further research on other prehistoric materials and mysterious structures can be conducted to influence the comprehension of the various history of different societies.

References List

Guo, Y., 1987. Raw Materials for Making Porcelain and the Characteristics of the Porcelain Wares in North and South China in Ancient Times. Archaeometry, 29(1), pp. 4-18.

Henan Museum, 1972. Excavation report of Fancui Tomb of Northern QI Dynasty in Anyang, Henan: Cultural Relics 1.

Heuze, T., 2016. A Brief History of the Origins of Chinese Pottery. [Online]

Available at:

[Accessed 22 10 2018].

Huang, S. & Freestone, I., 2017. Developments in Ceramic Technology in North China in the Sixth Century C.E. Archaeology International, Volume 20, pp. 64-68.

Lamoureux, M. G., 2009. The various dating techniques available to archaeologists. [Online]

Available at:

[Accessed 21 10 2018].

Martinón, M. & Uribe, M. A., 2015. Technology and Culture in the invention of lost-wax casting in South America: An archaeometric and ethnoarchaeological perspective. Cambridge Archaeological Journal, 25(1), pp. 377-390.

Martinón-Torres, M., Uribe-Villegas, M. A., Sáenz-Samper, J. & Lobo-Guerrero, J., 2017. Archaeometallurgy in Colombia: Recent Developments. Archaeology International, Volume 20, pp. 80-84.

Paulso51, 2016. Blog post 2: Technological advancements in archaelogy. [Online]

Available at:

[Accessed 22 10 2018].

Rehren, T., 2002. The Analysis of Archaeological Materials. Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems, Volume 1, pp. 1-17.

Stony Brook University, 2015. Archaeologists find the earliest evidence of stone tool making. [Online]

Available at:

[Accessed 22 10 2018].

November 24, 2023
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