The oldest, most metal-poor stars in the Galactic halo and satellite dwarf galaxies present an opportunity to explore the chemical and physical conditions of the earliest star-forming environments in the Universe. We review the fields of stellar archaeology and dwarf galaxy archaeology by examining the chemical abundance measurements of various elements in extremely metal-poor stars. Focus on the carbon-rich and carbon-normal halo star populations illustrates how these provide insight into the Population III star progenitors responsible for the first metal enrichment events. We extend the discussion to near-field cosmology, which is concerned with the formation of the first stars and galaxies, and how metal-poor stars can be used to constrain these processes. Complementary abundance measurements in high-redshift gas clouds further help establish the early chemical evolution of the Universe. The data appear consistent with the existence of two distinct channels of star formation at the earliest times.


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