Archaeologists use artefacts and stratigraphic evidence, whilst historians use documents.
Archaeological evidence is particularly valuable in studying the lives of ordinary people, whilst documents tend to deal with the upper echelons of society.
Both types of study may be appropriate in some cases, but to interpret archaeological remains solely on the basis of written evidence is not good practice.
Neither is it acceptable to use selected archaeological evidence simply to illustrate history.
Archaeology is the study of people in the past based on their material remains.
This means that most archaeologists look at the ruins and rubbish which people discarded, or the objects and people which they deliberately buried.
Archaeology is not about finding treasure, or about Indiana Jones or Lara Croft-style adventures!
The discovery of information about people's lives in the past is much more rewarding and exciting to most professionals.
Archaeology, as studied today, is about the mundane and the everyday, although sometimes spectacular finds are made and it is these which capture the media's attention.
Within the subject, it is not the objects which are important, but the information which they provide.
Most people think that archaeology is about history, but archaeologists are not historians.
The basic difference lies in the type of evidence which the two disciplines use to interpret the past.