What Is the Difference Between Paleontology, Archaeology and Anthropology and Why?

Once scientists realized that fossils were a key to uncovering Earth’s past, the search was on for more, older fossils.

Three main new sciences grew out of these studies, paleontology, archaeology, and anthropology.

Paleontology is the study of fossils, including those of humans, animals, and plants.

Archaeology is the study of past human culture and behavior; it includes the study of human fossils as well as the manmade materials they left behind, like tools and buildings.

Anthropology is the study of all human culture and behavior from the past to the present.

Fields of study like anthropology are sometimes called social sciences because the emphasis is the study of human behavior rather than of natural phenomena.