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.
Laetoli even reveals footprints of humans from 3.6 million years ago.
Some sites also contain evidence of the earliest use of simple tools.
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 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.
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.
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.
Archaeologists have documented that the development of agriculture took place about 10,000 years ago.