Chapter 4 - Chapter 4 Outline All human beings experience...

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Chapter 4 – Outline All human beings experience time. An individual experiences a lifetime of perhaps 70 years or so. That person, through the memories of his or her parents and grandparents, may also indirectly experience earlier periods of time, back over one or two generations. The study of history gives one access - even less directly but often no less vividly - to hundreds of years of recorded time. But it is only archaeology, in particular prehistoric archaeology, that opens up the almost unimaginable vistas of thousands and even a few millions of years of past human existence. In order to study the past it is not, rather surprisingly, always essential to know precisely how long ago in years a particular period or event occurred. As we saw in Chapter 1, C.J. Thomsen's great achievement in the 19th century was to establish a three-part organization of tools for the Old World into those of stone, bronze, and iron which stratigraphic excavation con- firmed was a chronological sequence: stone artifacts came before bronze ones, and iron ones came after.
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