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A man made object.

Archaeological record

Once living things imprinted in an object.


The recovery and study of artifacts, ruins, bones, and fossils remaining from the past.


The process of digging up the remains of the past.


The remains or imprints of once-living plants or animals.

Oral tradition

Legends, myths, and beliefs passed on by work of mouth from generation to generation.


History before the development of writing.

Primary source

Materials describing certain events that were created within the same time period as the events.

Secondary source

Materials describing certain events that were created by people who studied the primary sources.

Examples of written sources

Letters, diaries, speeches, popular songs, poems, business records, campaign slogans, calendars, maps

Examples of non-written sources

Fossils, artifacts, tombs, monuments, cities, oral tradition

What kinds of question help historians evaluate sources? How does each question help historians evaluate sources?

Who, what, when, where, why

Why do historians study archaeological records?

To find out what people liked, what they ate, what they played, what diseases they had, etc.

What are the steps of excavating an archaeological site?

They mark off small squares or a grid, dig out a layer at a time, and record location.

When would archaeologist use radiocarbon dating?

To find the age of a once living thing such as wood or bones.

What information can archaeologists obtain by studying the layers of the earth?

How old something is.

What is absolute dating?

Finding out exactly how old something is.

What is relative dating?

Finding out if something is older or newer then something else.

What is dendrochronology?

The study of tree rings that can tell when something happened.

Why would an archaeologist often look in garbage?

They can find out what people did.

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