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date: 26 September 2022


The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World
Kevin GreeneKevin Greene

The material remains of the past provide a common focus for the work of all archaeologists. While some study specific artifacts or monuments, others examine landscapes formed by human activities over long periods. Archaeology covers several million years, ranging from geological periods when species ancestral to humans are first found right up to recent historical times, including the Industrial Revolution. A distinction is frequently made between prehistory, for which no documentary sources are available, and text-aided archaeology. Prehistory was transformed in the twentieth century by the introduction of scientific dating methods, which are sometimes more precise than the chronologies of early historical periods. Documents go back to ... ...

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