In the vast field of science, there are many branches of study that many people often confuse with each other. Archeology and paleontology are the two best examples of this confusion. So what is the difference between these two fields of science? The content of this article will help you better visualize the researchers in these two fields and what they are doing.
Archeology Versus Paleontology
The difference between archaeologists and paleontologists stems from the difference in the nature of these two fields of science. In general, these are two sciences that study the history and events that have taken place in the past, thereby contributing to explanations and theories about the nature and causes of current things and events. Although they share the same research goals, the subjects of archeology and paleontology are different.
Archeology focuses on exploiting and studying the history of human development and formation and related things and events. Through the excavation and study of archaeological remains and antiquities, archaeologists will have a clearer view of the living picture of prehistoric people and previous eras. Archaeological findings have always been important for related sciences such as sociology, psychology, etc.
Meanwhile, the object of study of paleontology is the animals and the events related to them. Paleontologists will study animal bones or fossilized animal remains and fossil plants. Through research, they will understand the evolutionary process and contribute to other sciences such as biology, oceanography, etc.
Collectively, archeology focuses on the study of prehistoric humans while paleontology focuses on the study of prehistoric animals and plants.
The work of an archaeologist
An archaeologist is a scientist who studies history and prehistory through the discovery of ancient artifacts, remaining structures, and writings. They examine ancient sites and objects to learn about history, then record, interpret, and preserve them for future generations.
As mentioned before, archaeologists mainly deal with residual material such as antiquities and architectural remnants. Artifacts can include pottery, stone tools, weapons, coins, bones, jewelry, furniture, etc. Through analyzing these ancient things, archaeologists discover important information about ancient civilizations.
There are four main fields of archeology. They are expert archaeology, public or community archeology, academic archeology, and commercial archeology.
An archeology degree involves other sciences such as anthropology, ancient history, conservation, or heritage management. However, experience, as well as postgraduate qualifications, are required to move towards a higher position in the field.
The work of a paleontologist
A paleontologist focuses on studying or practicing paleontological skills as a job. Paleontology is the study of life forms that existed in prehistoric times as represented by fossils of plants, animals, and other organisms. Therefore, a paleontologist studies fossils to discover information about life forms that have existed on earth.
They use fossils to know more about the ancient Earth and how the environment has changed over the decades. They also use fossils to learn about diverse developments. The fossils are carefully analyzed by using advanced technological techniques. Therefore, a paleontologist must acquire a good educational background in terms of natural sciences, with a focus on areas such as geology and biology.