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Archeology is the scientific study of past human culture and behavior, from the origins of humans to the present.
Archaeology studies past human behavior through the examination of material remains of previous human societies.
The Stone Age or Paleolithic Period is the name archaeologists have given to the beginning of archaeology--that part of the earth's history that includes the genus Homo and our immediate ancestor Australopithecus.
It began approximately 2.5 million years ago, in Africa, when Australopithecus began making stone tools, and ended about 20,000 years ago, with big-brained and talented modern humans spread all over the world.
A cursory investigation yields the usual suspects: scientists with a theoretical axe to grind, careers to further and the status quo to maintain.
Archaeologists concentrate their studies on past societies and changes in those societies over extremely long periods of time.
Traditionally, the Paleolithic period is broken into three parts, the Lower, Middle and Upper Paleolithic periods.