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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.
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.
These include fossil remains believed to be of human ancestors who lived 3.5 million to 4.5 million years ago.
Archaeology is an important field of anthropology, which is the broad study of human culture and biology.
Archaeologists concentrate their studies on past societies and changes in those societies over extremely long periods of time.
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.