Archaeologists have documented that the development of agriculture took place about 10,000 years ago.
Early domesticationthe planting and harvesting of plants and the breeding and herding of animalsis evident in such places as the ancient settlement of Jericho in Jordan and in Tehuacn Valley in Mexico.
Archaeology also examines many of the same topics explored by historians.
But unlike historythe study of written records such as government archives, personal correspondence, and business documentsmost of the information gathered in archaeology comes from the study of objects lying on or under the ground Archaeologists refer to the vast store of information about the human past as the archaeological record.
Archaeology became established as a formal discipline in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
At that time, most archaeological work was confined to Europe, to the so-called cradle of civilization in southwestern Asia, and to a few areas of the Americas.
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.Sites containing signs of the first simple but purposeful burials in graves date to as early as 40,000 years ago in Europe and Southwest Asia.By the time people lived in civilizations, burials and funeral ceremonies had become extremely important and elaborate rituals.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.Dozens of archaeological sites throughout Asia and Europe show how people migrated from Africa and settled these two continents during the last Ice Age (100,000 to 15,000 years ago).