A 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle of the Rocky Mountains not challenging enough? Imagine assembling it without knowing how it looked or if all the pieces were there. And what if the pieces actually made up several separate puzzles? Now pretend the pieces are three-dimensional and 4,000 years old.
That's what archaeologists face when they find the scattered remnants of cups, bowls and other containers. Putting the fragments together can provide vital clues about the culture of interest, but the process can take months.
This article was originally published with the title Piecing the Past.