As an archaeologist, one will often be asked what the use of studying the past is—surely, it does not matter so much; it’s over and done with. It is true that many people fail to grasp the importance of knowing our past, of knowing how people used to live and survive in a world that was not always safe or stable. The importance is there though, and it is more than a little useful, contrary to popular belief. We can learn from the mistakes, trials and tribulations of former societies and draw knowledge from their experiences to aid us in solving problems we face in today’s world. By studying our past, we may come to understand how some problems developed, which in turn may lead to a core-solution to a problem we still face today. As many forget, the reason we, as a species, are fascinated by our own past goes far beyond mere problem-solution seeking, though it is a reason we keep returning to. We are also drawn to it; we thirst for knowledge, and while we may know far more about this planet and the world we live in than our ancestors did, many of the questions they asked remain unanswered. Many of the problems we face today have already happened before; as it was said on The Archaeology Channel, history does not repeat itself, but problems that humanity faces throughout history often do. This rings true many times in the course of human history; and one of the most pressing problems we face today is rapid change in climate all over the world; this, too, is a problem ancient societies before us have faced and survived. For instance, in Australia, during the Holocene period, the changing climate (the end of an Ice Age) brought on a rise in sea level, which forced the human population to migrate to other areas—areas often occupied by others. Due to the rising sea levels, several groups also found themselves stranded on isolated islands; an isolation that only the strong and the creative survived. In Tasmania, people ceased eating fish, for...
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