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Purpose

The purpose of
archaeology is to learn
more about past
societies and the
development of the
human race. Over 99%
of the history of
humanity has occurred
within prehistoric
cultures, who did not
make use of writing,
thereby not leaving
written records about
themselves that we
can study today.
Without such written
sources, the only way
to learn about
prehistoric societies is
to use archaeology.
Many important
developments in human
history occurred during
prehistory, including the
evolution of humanity
during the Paleolithic
period, when the
hominins developed
from the
australopithecines
through to the early
members of the genus
Homo in Africa and
finally into modern
Homo sapiens.
Archaeology also sheds
light on many of
humanity's technological
advances, for instance
the ability to use fire,
the development of
stone tools, the
discovery of metallurgy,
the beginnings of
religion and the creation
of agriculture. Without
archaeology, we would
know little or nothing
about the use of
material culture by
humanity that pre-
dates writing.


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