These remains include the fossils (preserved bones) of humans, food remains, the ruins of buildings, and human artifactsitems such as tools, pottery, and jewelry.
From their studies, archaeologists attempt to reconstruct past ways of life.
Archaeological research spans the entire development of phenomena that are unique to humans.
For instance, archaeology tells the story of when people learned to bury their dead and developed beliefs in an afterlife.
Archaeology became established as a formal discipline in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Archaeologists concentrate their studies on past societies and changes in those societies over extremely long periods of time.
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.
Today, archaeologists study the great cultural diversity of humanity in every corner of the world.
Archaeological study covers an extremely long span of time and a great variety of subjects.