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Archaeology is the study of past human civilizations with a focus on understanding human evolution and overall biological and cultural progress. Evidence suggests that humans have existed on this planet for three million years.¹ However, the current level of human sophistication and societal order is radically different from what was present three million years ago. Thus, it is through the study of archaeology that human progression can be analyzed.¹

Archaeological research is dependent on the analysis of past material artifacts, such as stone tools for example, and environmental data. Unfortunately, prehistoric civilizations did not make use of the written language and archaeologists are required to search for artifacts out in the field.¹

Through different types of field surveys, such as aerial surveys and geophysical surveys, evidence of past civilizations can be discovered. Aerial surveys use the approach of a bird’s eye view, whereas geophysical surveys aim to discover what is beneath the ground.¹

The study of human history is critical to understanding how Homo sapiens evolved. In fact, three million years ago, the time when human existence commenced, Homo sapiens were not yet developed.¹

Rather, modern humans evolved from previous Homo species, which were less developed. For instance, Homo erectus was the dominant human-like species present in the Lower Paleolithic era (2.5 million years ago). Evidently, the study of archaeology is critical to retelling how past societies evolved and present humans came to be.¹



Image source:

1. Wikimedia


1. Hirst, K. History of Archaeology: The Series. Retrieved May 23, 2014, from http://archaeology.about.com/od/historyofarchaeology/a/history_series.htm

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