The earliest subjects of archaeological study date from the origins of humanity.These include fossil remains believed to be of human ancestors who lived 3.5 million to 4.5 million years ago.Archaeology also examines many of the same topics explored by historians.
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With its focus on the ancient past, archaeology somewhat resembles paleontologythe study of fossils of long-extinct animals, such as dinosaurs.
However, archaeology is distinct from paleontology and studies only past human life.
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.
The archeological record encompasses every area of the world that has ever been occupied by humans, as well as all of the material remains contained in those areas.