Paleontology vs. Archaeology vs. Anthropology


Adapted from

Paleontology is the field of science which uses fossils to study life throughout geologic time. Both animal and plant fossils are collected, observed, described, and classified. Paleontologists use fossils to learn more about what the Earth was like in the past and how environments changed over time. Fossils also help us learn about evolving diversity—when did a new species come about and when did that other species go extinct? Using paleontology we can connect the dots and figure out what forces created changes on Earth. Though paleontology seems to be focused on what happened in the past, it can also be used to think about what could happen in the future by studying patterns observed back then that are reoccurring today!



Adapted from What is Anthropology?

Anthropology is the study of humans from the past and present. The goal of anthropology is to better understand the different cultures of human history and to look for solutions in human problems. Anthropologists use social, biological, and physical science to get a better grasp on human cultures. Because of this use of many different sciences, anthropology can be considered an interdisciplinary study.



Adapted from What is Anthropology?

Archaeology is similar to anthropology in that it focuses on understanding human culture from the deepest history up until the recent past. It differs from anthropology in that it focuses specifically on analyzing material remains such as artifact and architectural remnants. Artifacts might include pottery, crude stone tools, and bones. Archeology is a more specific branch of anthropology.