Cultural dating archeology

Dozens of archaeological sites throughout Asia and Europe show how people migrated from Africa and settled these two continents during the last Ice Age (100,000 to 15,000 years ago).Archaeological studies have also provided much information about the people who first arrived in the Americas over 12,000 years ago.Archeology is the scientific study of past human culture and behavior, from the origins of humans to the present.Archaeology studies past human behavior through the examination of material remains of previous human societies.The archeological record encompasses every area of the world that has ever been occupied by humans, as well as all of the material remains contained in those areas.Archaeologists study the archaeological record through field surveys and excavations and through the laboratory study of collected materials.

Because many items disintegrate over time, archaeologists get an incomplete view of the past that they must fill in with other kinds of information and educated reasoning.

Many of the objects left behind by past human societies are not present in the archaeological record because they have disintegrated over time.

The material remains that still exist after hundreds, thousands, or millions of years have survived because of favorable preservation conditions in the soil or atmosphere.

The earliest archaeological sites include those at Hadar, Ethiopia; Olduvai Gorge and Laetoli, Tanzania; East Turkana, Kenya; and elsewhere in East Africa.

These sites contain evidence of the first appearance of bipedal (upright walking), apelike early humans.

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Archaeology became established as a formal discipline in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

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