♣ On the Basis of Historic Time Period
Archaeology is of several types, and each demands either specific or multiple specializations. The various kinds of archaeologies have been classified into two categories, viz., on the basis of the nature of work that is involved, and on the basis of historic time periods.
Ethnoarchaeology is the science that deals with the ethnographic investigation of living communities in order to acquire knowledge of the past. It involves the application of anthropological methods to a large extent. By using ethnoarchaeological techniques, archaeologists, in a way, attempt to link the past with the present. They try to understand how the ancient people in a given region may have lived, keeping as their basis, the tangible and intangible culture of the modern communities. One can get valuable insights into ancient social structures, religious and cultural beliefs, technology, etc., by applying the principles of ethnoarchaeology. But, the link between modern and ancient societies is of course still very ambiguous. This is because, even if two societies share some common traits, they may be distinct from each other in many aspects, which tend to change by default over a period of time. Nevertheless, studying advanced techniques of modern communities may help to a certain extent to provide an insight into the rudimentary techniques, which may have been used by the ancients.
Protohistory is the period that lies in between prehistory and history. Though this is a period that came after the invention of writing, many of the evidences have not been deciphered yet. Protohistory encompasses the bronze age and iron age, and sometimes even the copper age, but this differs from region to region. Dating of this period is a difficult task for an archaeologist, as this again depends on regional and cultural aspects. But, we know from the data available that it was during the protohistoric period that great ancient civilizations of the world sprang up, and the world took its first and prominent steps towards urbanization. Thus, it is an important transitional phase, and sites are loaded with surprising artifacts, which makes protohistoric archaeology an interesting option.