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Investigating the Past

This section will tell you a little about some of the methods that we use to investigate what happened in the past. The first question to ask is why we bother doing history at all - why is it important that we understand what happened in the past and why?

The answer is that history and the past can be interesting and they can be informative. Most of us are interested in how people lived in the past and what their lives were like, and this interest extends beyond our immediate past back to the earliest humans.

If we are going to try to understand how people lived in the past, we need to get all the information we can, and to do this we have to use several different methods. But we also have to remember that the further back we go in time, the more difficult it is to draw an accurate picture.

In history, and especially in archaeology, itís not always a matter of being "right" - sometimes we have to take an educated guess!