Archaeology is the study of ancient artifacts, sites, and cultures to learn more about the past.
Believe it or not, not all archaeologists are the same. Each archaeologist specializes in a certain area of study, a specific branch of archaeology. Even though someone may be called an archaeologist, they most likely have received training according to their particular area of study.
Here are some different branches of archaeology that a person could specialize in:
Biblical archaeology is the field of archaeology that deals with biblical sites. If a find has to do with a biblical event or has a connection to the Bible, then a Biblical archaeologist would be the right person to deal with the discovery.
Classical archaeology deals with the study of ancient Greece and ancient Rome. Archaeologists are usually specialized in certain cultures, as is the case here with ancient Greece and Rome.
Underwater archaeology deals with, well obviously, underwater finds. Archaeologists have been able to find some great artifacts and sites in bodies of water. These sites have either been flooded as the land has changed, or the objects have simply found their way into the water. Shipwrecks, for example, can hold valuable ancient artifacts that are just waiting to be discovered by underwater archaeologists.
Paleolithic archaeology is the study of ancient civilizations, events, and cultures that are believed to have taken place before metals were discovered. This is a way that archaeologists can use to classify time eras as well. However, keep in mind that this way of dating history is used by people who believe the Earth is millions of years old, when that isn’t necessarily correct.
Another area of archaeological study based on time era is prehistoric archaeology. Prehistoric archaeology deals with the period of time before writing was invented. Once again, this method of dating is used by those who believe the Earth to be millions of years old.
Egyptology is the study of ancient Egypt. This field of archaeological study is pretty explanatory, especially due to the public’s connection of Egypt with archaeology (due to famous sites such as the Pyramids and King Tut’s tomb).
Zooarchaeology is a form of archaeology that deals with findings of animals. Usually zooarchaeologists will find bones and teeth, which can help them to learn more about the ancient civilization, such as whether or not they used animals for work or for pets and what kind of food was eaten in that culture.
Keep in mind that there are many more fields of archaeology in the world than just the ones mentioned here!