Philosophy of Archaeology


Like all studies of history Archaeology suffers from the problem of data decay over time. This is because written material and artifacts decay over time or are other wise destroyed. Besides natural decay process that occur, catastrophic events both man made and natural can and often do cause a lose of writings and artifacts. For example the destruction of the ancient library of Alexandria many irreplaceable manuscripts were lost in a single night. Because the older an artifact or written material is the more natural decay affects it and the more likely it might be destroyed by some disaster.

As a result unless ancient written material is copied and spread around it can easily be completely lost. The Bible is the best example of  ancient written material that has been preserved because it has been carefully copied, while lots of other material from similar time periods are totally lost. Even worst some times written material is not accurate for example most Egyptian Pharaohs tended to exaggerate their successes and down play their failures and some Pharaohs even engaged in history revisionism. 

So because Archaeology suffers from data decay over time it is highly influenced and the need to separate the historical wheat from the chaff, the quality of  historical evidence needs to be weighed and this process requires making assumptions about the past. The assumptions used are often philosophical in nature. Sadly the main stream Archaeology is philosophically atheistic and thus an much of the preserved written material (the Bible) is not taken as real history by  main stream Archaeologist, since the Bible contains references to miracles.



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