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Archaeologists study people and cultures of the past by analyzing material remains such as artifacts, human remains, architecture, landscapes, and environments. Archeaologists use this evidence to study such topics as the formation of social groups, ideologies, subsistence patterns, human interactions with the environment.
Some areas of focus:
Historical archaeology: the study of historically documented cultures. Faculty and students focus on battlefield and urban archaeology in the northeastern states.
Bioarchaeology: the study of human remains. Faculty and students study activity patterns, health, growth and development of past populations.
Prehistoric archaeology: the study of the past before historic records began. Faculty and students study the peopling of the Americas.
Some key questions:
How did subsistence patterns of hunting and gathering shift to agriculture over the course of a few millennia?
Why did cities emerge, apparently quite independently in different parts of the world?
How are identities formed, both of individuals and of groups?