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The First Hunters and Farmers

The past lives underground. To learn about the way the world used to be, the past must be uncovered. A number of scientists and academics borrow into the ground and past to better understand the present and influence the future.

Of all the people who spend time digging and exploring, archaeologist immerse themselves deeper inSioux Huntersto the dirt and history than most other professionals. Historians dive into libraries and museums looking for the forgotten letter or abandoned diary. Anthropologists chip away at fossils, human and non-human, in search of answers to why people are people. Archaeologists are like historians in that they read; and anthropologist in that they must dig in the earth for answers. Archaeologists devote much of their time looking through trash.

One of the best places to learn more about a past culture is a dump. In dumps, archaeologists can find artifacts, like eating utensils, which give them an idea how a particular culture lived. In addition to trash piles, ancient people used food caches to hold what they ate. In a sense, a cache was the prehistoric version of a refrigerator.

Whether excavating ancient caches in cities like Pompeii and Hierakonpolis, or picking through garbage in sites across South Dakota, researchers combine their extensive knowledge with the instincts of a crime investigator to pull from the ground information about people who lived hundreds, maybe even thousands, of years ago.

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