The toichographology (from the ancient Greek τεῖχος, toichos, “wall”, γράφειν, graphein, “to write”, “to paint”, “to draw” and λόγος, logos, “speech”, “science”) is a discipline of the dedicated archeology excavation and study of murals. It is particularly applicable to the study of paintings and stuccoes from antiquity. A specialist in this discipline is a toichographologist.

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Prehistory (discipline)

Prehistory (not capitalized), also called prehistoric archeology, is a discipline that aims to reconstruct the history and life of humans from their appearance until the appearance of writing, during the chronological period of same name (“Prehistory”, with capital). It is therefore essentially based on the examination and interpretation of the testimonies of the human presence such as the archaeological remains discovered during excavations or the works of the parietal art.

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Paleopathology (from the Greek παλαιός, palaios, “ancient”, πάθος, páthos, “passion, mania, disease” and λόγος, logos, “word, explanation, theoretical study”) is a branch of medicine specializing in the study of diseases and degenerative changes seen in past populations. This is a young discipline for which no specific teaching is yet available: paleopathologists are trained in the analysis of human remains, either as part of a medical education of pathological anatomy or forensics, or in the specialized biology teaching (prehistoric anthropology or paleoanthropology,). As was the case for Egyptology, paleopathology was initially created by isolated researchers, such as Philippe-Charles Schmerling or later Marc Armand Ruffer, who developed methods and techniques and gradually formed a new scientific branch.

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Paleopalynology, also known as archeopalynology, is the retrospective study of organic-walled microfossils as indices for reconstructing relative ages, biozones, palaeoenvironments, palaeoclimates, and so on. from a more or less recent past to very old ones like the Precambrian. These studies require that palynomorphs have been preserved in significant quantity and quality for the periods considered. It is based on the study of fossil palynomorphs. It is the most widely developed application of palynology. It is particularly important in petroleum research, and for the retrospective evaluation of the response of ecosystems to climate change. The pioneer is Arlette Leroi-Gourhan (1913-2005).

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Geoarchaeology or Quaternary geology is the discipline that studies archaeological sediments. At the hinge of the natural sciences and human sciences, it can be defined as a geological approach to an archaeological site. In particular, it is used in some protocols to prepare diagnoses of archaeological potential on a large scale, and to optimize the deadlines of preventive archeology as part of the preparation of major construction sites.

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Epigraphy is the study of inscriptions made on non-stone materials (so-called “lapidary inscriptions”), clay or metal. This science aims to date them, to place them in their cultural context, to translate them and to determine the information that can be deduced from them.

The person who practices this science is an epigraphist. Medals, monuments or ancestral bas-reliefs, do not bear inscription or title. The study of ancient handwriting, usually done in ink, is a separate field called paleography.

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Archaeozoology is the scientific discipline that aims to reconstruct the history of natural and cultural relations between man and animal (ethnozoology or domestication). It is therefore fundamentally different from paleontology, which studies the history and evolution of fossil animal or plant species. Archeozoology is at the crossroads of two scientific disciplines: archeology and zoology. It groups together different fields: zooarchaeology (study of animal archeology), paleozoology which is interested in the history of animals and osteoarchaeology which only concerns vertebrates. Archeozoology aims to study the remains of animals (bones, teeth, horns, etc.) to understand the relationships that human groups had with metazoans in the past (domestication, dissemination of animals, etc.).

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Archeometry is a scientific discipline that implements physical or chemical methods for archaeological studies. These methods include studies of sedimentology, botany, archeozoology, anthropology, material analysis for the purpose of interpretation and dating of archaeological objects and sites. In Europe, the European Archeometry Center is located in Liège, Belgium, and is directly under the University of Liège (ULg). The archeometry of French tradition was founded by Maurice Picon who has worked to convince the scientific community that the discipline of archeometry is not an adjunct science of archeology. He is also one of the founding members of the Group of Multidisciplinary Methods Contributing to Archeology (GMPCA), the association making the link between multidisciplinary actors of archeometry.

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Archeomalacology is a scientific discipline related to archeozoology that is dedicated to the archaeological study of molluscs (whether terrestrial, freshwater or marine) and their relationship with humans. This relatively recent axis of study was able to be constituted thanks to the meeting of two major factors: on the one hand, the emergence of archaeological techniques that allowed the taking into account of more and more previously unexploitable data and the other, a new approach to Man and his environment that tends to focus on areas previously neglected by archeology. The mollusk, considered for a long time innocuous, allows researchers to approach from a new angle, some already known information, but also to access unexplored areas of history that can better understand men, their societies and their environments.

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Archaeomagnetism is a branch of paleomagnetism that focuses on the study of fingerprints of the Earth’s magnetic field recorded in archaeological materials. A ferromagnetic or ferrimagnetic material such as magnetite contained in the clay, heated beyond the Curie temperature, loses its spontaneous magnetization. When the temperature goes down again, it takes a so-called thermoremanent, parallel (paleodirectional) and proportional (paleointensity) magnetization to the acting field. The baked clays have the property of recording an image of the Earth’s magnetic field at a given moment (that of their last heating) and at a given place. The orientation and magnitude of the Earth’s magnetic field at a particular location varies over time, and can be used to determine the age of the materials. In conjunction with radiometric dating, this technique can be used to date recent field reversals and thus update the geomagnetic polarity time scale. This is one of the dating methodologies used for the archaeological sites of the years. The first glimpses of this method were given by Emile Thellier.

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Underwater archeology

Underwater archeology is a field of archeology characterized by the research and study of ancient or recent remains found under fresh water with particular methods, in order to know the human activities of the past. It is practiced in inland waters, as opposed to underwater archeology practiced in the sea. The aquatic environment is very favorable to archeology:

They are very varied;

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Roman Provincial Archeology

Roman Provincial Archeology is a discipline of archeology whose objective is to study the material remains that have survived in the Roman provinces. Historically, research has been geographically limited to the North West Provinces. Unlike an approach in art history, which represents classical archeology, this discipline raises questions about everyday life and uses methods from prehistory and protohistory. Roman Provincial Archeology is taught in the German universities of Frankfurt am Main, Freiburg im Breisgau, Cologne, Munich and Bamberg. In Austria, Roman provincial archeology is treated in conjunction with classical archeology; priority is given to it at the universities of Vienna, Salzburg, Graz and Innsbruck. In Switzerland, the subject can be studied at the Universities of Basel and Berne. In the Netherlands, the discipline can be studied at the University of Leiden.

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Phoenician-Punic Archeology

Phoenician-Punic archeology (originally called Punic antiquity) is the study of the ancient civilization of Phoenicians and Carthaginians. The field of study of this discipline is essentially Phoenician and Punic cradles located in Lebanon or Tunisia, but are also concerned other sites of Syria and Israel. The subject also concerns all Phoenician and Punic cities founded from the millennium in the Mediterranean, in particular Cyprus, Italy (including Sicily and Sardinia), Malta, Spain, Portugal, and other Maghreb countries. , Libya, Algeria and Morocco.

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Gallo-Roman experimental archeology

In the work of research in Gallo-Roman archeology, it is sometimes useful, to interpret the data collected during field research, to engage in activities of Gallo-Roman experimental archeology.

Gallo-Roman experimental archeology, like experimental archeology applied to other periods of prehistory or history, applies to realizing objects, dwellings, food products, etc., from observations made during excavations, according to a precise methodology, to try to validate the scientific hypotheses relating to the manufacture and the use of these objects.

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Archeology of buildings

Archeology of buildings is a discipline of archeology that studies the elevations of any built construction, whether religious (churches, abbeys), military (castles) or secular (houses). Hence its other name: archeology of elevations. These can be made of “hard” materials (stones), or, although it is more rare, perishable materials (wood, mud).

The work of the archaeologist is often reduced to a basement excavation. It is to forget that the archaeological research bears since its origins on the study of the aerial parts. The archeology of buildings consists of:

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Aerial Archeology

Aerial archeology is a method of non-destructive archeology that involves photographing at a low altitude open areas and studying and interpreting the collected clues, invisible to the ground. Three kinds of modifications, due to the presence of buried remains, are observable on the photographs obtained under optimal conditions of season and lighting: modification of levels, color of the soil or development of cultures. These modifications make it possible to detect old structures which remain then to date and to specify.

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Archeoentomology is the branch of entomology and a specialty of archeozoology whose object is the study of fossil insects in order to reconstruct past human activities (which distinguishes it from paleoentomology).

This science studies insect species of foodstuffs (eg dermestidae suggest the presence of dried meat) and their predators as well as species attracted by the conditions of darkness and humidity that prevail in homes (the bruchus allows to assume storage attics of Fabaceae, the wheat weevil of grain granaries). The insects can thus make it possible to specify the nature of the food discharges in the dumps, the activities practiced nearby, the nature of the constructions (wood revealed by the vrillettes, skins) or the use of a building (storage, housing, stabling, etc.).

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