The events of human life, public as well as private, are so closely connected with architecture, that most observers are able to reconstruct nations or individuals with entire accuracy, in respect to their habits, from the remains of their public monuments or by examining their domestic relics. Archaeology is to social nature what comparative anatomy is to organic nature. A mosaic discloses a whole social epoch, just as the skeleton of an ichthyosaurus implies a whole creation.
The Quest of the Absolute / Balzac, Honoré de (1899), The Quest of the Absolute, Philadelphia, George Barrie & Son, pp. 5