From their studies, archaeologists attempt to reconstruct past ways of life.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.
For the most part, the only things that survive are durable items such as potsherds (small fragments of pottery), tools or buildings of stone, bones, and teeth (which survive because they are covered with hard enamel).
Archaeology studies past human behavior through the examination of material remains of previous human societies.
These remains include the fossils (preserved bones) of humans, food remains, the ruins of buildings, and human artifactsitems such as tools, pottery, and jewelry.
For example, fabrics and flowers were found in the celebrated tomb of Tutankhamun, an Egyptian pharaoh who was buried in 1323 BC.
Archaeology became established as a formal discipline in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Archaeological studies have also provided much information about the people who first arrived in the Americas over 12,000 years ago.