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.
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.
Today, archaeologists study the great cultural diversity of humanity in every corner of the world.
By the time people lived in civilizations, burials and funeral ceremonies had become extremely important and elaborate rituals.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.
On rare occasions, however, delicate objects have been preserved.