Pollen dating archaeology

Archaeology is an important field of anthropology, which is the broad study of human culture and biology.Archaeologists concentrate their studies on past societies and changes in those societies over extremely long periods of time.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.Laetoli even reveals footprints of humans from 3.6 million years ago.Some sites also contain evidence of the earliest use of simple tools.On rare occasions, however, delicate objects have been preserved.For example, fabrics and flowers were found in the celebrated tomb of Tutankhamun, an Egyptian pharaoh who was buried in 1323 BC.

These include fossil remains believed to be of human ancestors who lived 3.5 million to 4.5 million years ago.

Archaeology plays a major role in the study of early civilizations, such as those of the Sumerians of Mesopotamia, who built the city of Ur, and the ancient Egyptians, who are famous for the pyramids near the city of Giza and the royal sepulchers (tombs) of the Valley of the Kings at Thebes.

Other sites that represent great human achievement are as varied as the cliff dwellings of the ancient Anasazi (a group of early Native Americans) at Mesa Verde, Colorado (see Mesa Verde National Park); the Inca city of Machu Picchu high in the Andes Mountains of Peru; and the mysterious, massive stone portrait heads of remote Easter Island in the Pacific.

Archaeologists have also recorded how primitive forms of humans spread out of Africa into Asia about 1.8 million years ago, then into Europe about 900,000 years ago.

The first physically modern humans, Homo sapiens sapiens, appeared in tropical Africa between 200,000 and 150,000 years agodates determined by molecular biologists and archaeologists working together.

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

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