Archaeology has been used by nation-states to create particular visions of the past.
Since its early development, various specific sub-disciplines of archaeology have developed, including maritime archaeology, feminist archaeology and archaeoastronomy, and numerous different scientific techniques have been developed to aid archaeological investigation.
Archaeology is particularly important for learning about prehistoric societies, for whom there may be no written records to study.
Prehistory includes over 99% of the human past, from the Paleolithic until the advent of literacy in societies across the world.
is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture.
In broad scope, archaeology relies on cross-disciplinary research.His approach was highly methodical by the standards of the time, and he is widely regarded as the first scientific archaeologist.He arranged his artifacts by type or "typologically, and within types by date or "chronologically".The idea of overlapping strata tracing back to successive periods was borrowed from the new geological and paleontological work of scholars like William Smith, James Hutton and Charles Lyell.The application of stratigraphy to archaeology first took place with the excavations of prehistorical and Bronze Age sites.This style of arrangement, designed to highlight the evolutionary trends in human artifacts, was of enormous significance for the accurate dating of the objects.