Difference Between Historian and Archaeologist


Main Difference

The main difference between Historian and Archaeologist is that a Historian studies past through the written documents, whereas Archaeologist studies history through the physical events.

Historian vs. Archaeologist

Historian is the person who studies history and its relation with the human. An archaeologist is a person who studies archaeology as a profession or practices it as a profession. Historian deals with the incidents, events, and things that relate to humanity. Archaeology is the analysis of the past through physical events, like artifacts and other materials.

Historian researches about the history from the written documents and the information can be primary or secondary. An archaeologist collects the information from the lifestyle of our predecessors, by discovering and analyzing their societies and the remainders of specific periods in particular areas and time. The historian collects information through different sources that depend upon the time of recordings like print media, handwritten information, on leaves and, stones. An archaeologist studies history through the remains of physical things, patterns of their houses, the ruination of buildings, and samples of artifacts like weapons, coins, jewelry, and pots, etc..


The historian’s jobs and roles include exploring and analyzing the facts and information and gave logical information to declare the facts and figures about the past. An archaeologist has a duty in the specific areas from where he can get the physical information about the past and remains of the things which were in use of our forefathers.

Historians generally got a job in universities, colleges, and museums, etc. while an archaeologist has fieldwork and he works as a research assistant or technician.

Comparison Chart

Historian is a person who studies past from the previously documented studiesThe person who studies about the past by giving the information about the former times and analyze things from remained particles is known as Archaeologist
The Greek word refers to get information by askingThe Greek word refers to a study of the ancient/ former’ times or events
Types of Evidence
Studies through documented evidenceStudies through the physical evidence
Fields of Work
Historian collects information from documented studies, i.e., books, newspapers, paintings, etc.The study includes the artifact analysis, underwater evidence, remote sensing, environmental and classical studies of different societies
The Degree to Get a Job
Require a graduate degreeGenerally require a PhD

What is a Historian?

Historian is that person who researches history from incidents, events, and happenings of the past. Historians cover up the events, achievements, happenings of the entire human ages, and human relationships with the environment and climate of that time. He considered as the expert and authority in the field of history.

Historians collect the information from written records of past events and incidents. The study includes the past/rare scripts that found on leaves, stones, dried animal leaves, and papers. They can also take information from print media, books, newspapers, and paintings, etc. They collect a lot of information from these documents and recorded materials.

A historian uses different types of sources to find out knowledge about historical events. The types of sources are primary and secondary. Primary sources collected from a real and direct source. Secondary sources are that in which information took from the person other than the primary source. A secondary source of information can be oral and visual from another person or source.

The career opportunities for a historian are in different colleges, universities, and museums, etc. His qualification should at least graduation. But in universities, the qualification should be till postgraduate or Ph.D. level.

The jobs and roles of historians include the reading of historical events and documents, find out further relevant and relative information and data. He should be sure about the authenticity of the data. Historian describes the historical importance of different buildings, he provides data to common people about the historical places and events.

What is an Archaeologist?

The person who studies the past through the physical events of the past is called an archaeologist. Archaeology is the study that involves the recovery, and discovery of different artifacts. The word originated from a Greek word that refers to the study of ancient incidents — an archaeologist study and practice past as a profession. He takes information from the societies of our fore-fathers, discovers the lifestyle of predecessors using the physical artifacts of their time.

An archaeologist analyzes the societies, areas, environments, and specific periods to get informed. He got a lot of data by analysis of physical remains like parts of a human skeleton, memorials, building ruinations, remains of artifacts like jewelry, pots, weapons, coins, and pottery, etc.

The career opportunities for archaeologists depend upon their education and qualification level. The undergraduate degree in archaeology is just for the entry-level like field worker, technician, and research assistant, etc. the post-graduation required for the higher posts in the field of archaeology.

An archaeologist invents many fields like analysis of an artifact, determine the age of the object by radiocarbon dating, and provide information about underwater pieces of evidence. He focuses on the relationship between present and past incidents and concerned about precious and unique buildings that had a significant value in history.

The duties of an Archaeologist include researching history on a physical basis, visit the historical areas and locations. Set up a room/ space of research to find evidence about the past, enumerate and categorize the known artifacts.

Key Differences

  1. Historian studies history, whereas archaeologist takes archaeology as a profession.
  2. A historian takes information from the documented records and evidence; on the other hand, archaeologists study based upon physical events.
  3. A historian does not have fieldwork; conversely, an archaeologist has to do work in the field.
  4. The historian does not need to travel the cites to take information; on the flip side, archaeologist needs traveling to collect data.
  5. A historian can get a sufficient job on graduation level, while an archaeologist needs at least a postgraduate degree to get a good job.
  6. A historian studies the artifacts, while an archaeologist studies them and categorizes them according to their period in history.


The study concludes that a Historian studies about past events based on documented information like books, newspaper, etc. while an Archaeologist studies the past happenings based on physical shreds of evidence like artifacts, etc

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson