Anthropology can explain itself by analyzing the root words. "Anthro" comes from the Greek word Anthropos which means "human". "Ology" is also Greek which means "the study of". Combining the two, you have a whole new world of science; "the study of humans". But the study of humans can be broken up into many different subfields. You can study our past in the subfield of Archaeology. There is also Biological Anthropology which is a broad area of Anthropology which focuses on the human as a species. In doing this, you can study how humans differ and how that impacts the wide spectrum of cultures in today's world. The subfield of Linguistics focuses on human languages. This looks at all area from the languages spoken today to languages that were spoken in the past and how they relate to the culture they were born in. There many more subfields of Anthropology, all of which deal with a specific point in human nature and existence.
Of all the subfields, perhaps the most common is Archaeology. In particular, the digging up of fossils from past civilizations can not only open up a detailed portion of history, but can possibly lead to explanations as to how cultures have evolved. Some research has shown that the interest in Archaeology has gone as far back as the Roman times. However, it is suggested that Archaeology in that time might not have been for the information they could provide but instead, their weight on the barter table or in the market. Through the times and advances in technology, Archaeologists have improved their techniques. In turn, this opens more doors of possibilities as we learn more. For instance, sometime ago people thought that you could not learn anything from the remains of a human skeleton. Now with today's technology, you can find out what kinds of foods the humans or animals ate in that time. You can also find out the date of the skeleton using a specific technique called carbon dating.