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the systematic recovery and study of tools, graves, buildings, pottery, and other remains of past human life and culture.


an object produced by human work, especially one of historical or archaeological interest.


the systematic removal of the layers of the earth, process of digging up remains of the past for archaeological record.


the remains (or an impression) of a plant or animal that existed in a past geological age and that has been excavated from the soil

kitchen midden

a trash heap including artifacts and bones left in a settlement by people of the past


Greek for large stone, used for constructing, ex. stonehenge (as well as monuments)

oral tradition

legends, myths, beliefs passed from generation to generation by mouth


the time during the development of human culture before the appearance of the written word

primary source

text that tells a first-hand account of an event; original works used when researching (letters, journals)

radiocarbon dating

method measuring the decay rate of carbon isotopes in organic matter to provide dates for organic materials like wood or fiber


an ancient marble or stone coffin, often decorated with artwork and inscriptions

secondary source

An account or retelling of an event by someone who was not present at the event. (Like your history Book)


The city which along with Herculaneum was destroyed by the eruption of the Vesuvius in 79 A.D.

King Tutankhamen

Young pharoah who ruled during the New Kingdom and who died at the age of 18. His tomb was discovered in 1922, contained many beautiful treasures and important scientific discoveries, and supposedly a curse for disturbing his peaceful rest.


a prehistoric monument on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, England, consisting of a large circle of megaliths surrounding a smaller circle and four massive trilithons(3 stone construction); dating to late Neolithic and early Bronze Age. The stones are made sarsen (a type of limestone) and bluestones (various volcanic rocks)

scientific dating

dating in a lab

relative dating

method of determining the age of a fossil by comparing its placement with that of fossils in other layers of rock

absolute dating

the process of establishing the age of an object by determining the number of years it has existed


the dating of past events and variations in the environment and climate by studying the annual growth rates of trees.

cultural diffusion

the spreading of ideas or products from one culture to another

independent inventions

an invention arrived at independently, even though another group of people may have created the same invention in a different place at a different time

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