Archaeology Facts

Archaeology is the study of the past by looking for the remains and artifacts (historical things) left by the people who lived long ago. These remains can include old coins, tools, buildings, and garbage. Archaeologists, the people who study archaeology, use these remains to understand how people lived.
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  • Archaeology is a science that studies past cultures and the way people lived based on the things they left behind. Archaeology helps us understand not only where and when people lived on the earth, but also why and how they have lived.
  • The things that people leave behind are called artefacts. Archaeologists can tell a lot about people by looking at their houses, clothes, bones, and even their garbage. In fact, a garbage site is one of the best places to find artefacts of the past.
  • Most artefacts are buried in the ground and archaeologists must dig them up. This process is called excavation.
  • Any place where human activity occurred and where artefacts are found is called an archaeological site.
  • There are two kinds of archaeological sites. One is called a prehistoric site. The other is called a historic site.
  • The prehistoric site is one were the artefacts that are found are dated before people began writing records. These sites are more difficult because scientists can’t look up information in any type of book or encyclopaedia. At a historic site, archaeologists can look up information about the objects they find.
  • Archaeologists dig in a scientific way with neat, organized, square holes on a grid system. By doing this they can record everything they find and where the items were found.
  • The goal of archaeological research is to find cause and effect explanations of human behavior over the centuries. Studying the past actually helps scientists understand the present and can sometimes help scientists predict the future.
  • The archaeologists uses many tools in order to excavate a site. They use: handpicks, brushes, pointed bricklayer’s trowels , hand shovels, dustpans, whisk brooms, stakes, string, cameras, notebooks and pencils. Sometimes they even use a bulldozer.
  • 1For a long time scientists thought the beginning of civilization began in Mesopotamia’s Fertile Crescent. However, archaeologists now know the earliest known human remains were found around the ancient rock formation of Kibish, Ethiopia. The facts that early human remain were found there makes many believe that the first humans came from Africa.