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First use of radiocarbon dating

Today, archaeologists study the great cultural diversity of humanity in every corner of the world.

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.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.Laetoli even reveals footprints of humans from 3.6 million years ago.Some sites also contain evidence of the earliest use of simple tools.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.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).Because many items disintegrate over time, archaeologists get an incomplete view of the past that they must fill in with other kinds of information and educated reasoning.

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