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Archaeology Articles - Discoveries - Archaeology History - Digs

Archaeologist excavations, archaeological history, digs, discoveries. Collected archaeology news items. Free online articles.

“We Couldn’t Believe Our Eyes”: A Lost World of Shipwrecks Is Found

Archaeologists have found more than 40 vessels in the Black Sea, some more than a millennium old, shedding light on early empires and trade routes.

William J. Broad, NY Times 2016

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“Mobilizing the Past for a Digital Future : The Potential of Digital Archaeology”

Mobilizing the Past is a collection of 20 articles that explore the use and impact of mobile digital technology in archaeological field practice. The detailed case studies present in this volume range from drones in the Andes to iPads at Pompeii, digital workflows in the American Southwest, and examples of how bespoke, DIY, and commercial software provide solutions and craft novel challenges for field archaeologists.

Erin Walcek Averett, Creighton University, Jody Michael Gordon, Wentworth Insitute of Technology, Derek B. Counts, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2016

1,200-year-old comb holds clues to the Viking alphabet

A 1,200-year-old comb, discovered in Denmark, is shedding light on the mysterious birth and development of the Viking alphabet.

Nell Lewis, CNN 2018

10,000-year-old massacre remains may be our oldest evidence of war

An ancient mass grave in Kenya reveals a brutal, violent end for a group of humans that lived 10,000 years ago. According to a paper published Wednesday in Nature, this may be our oldest ever evidence of human warfare.

Rachel Feltman, Washington Post 2016

3-D Reconstruction Reveals Face of 500-Year-Old Irishman

The image offers a rare portrait of an ordinary Dubliner

Brigit Katz, Smithsonian 2017

‘Spectacular’ ancient public library discovered in Germany

Remains of grand building that may have housed up to 20,000 scrolls uncovered in central Cologne, dating back to second century AD

Alison Flood, The Guardian 2018

2,600 year-old kitchen of Kingdom of Lydia unearthed in western Turkey

Turkish archeologists in Dascylium ancient city in Turkey’s western province of Balıkesir have discovered a 2,600 year-old kitchen which belonged to the ancient Kingdom of Lydia in Anatolia. During the excavations, kitchenware including containers, mortars (made up of basalt stone) and some fish bones and seeds were discovered in the area where the age-old kitchen was discovered.

Ancient Egyptian Bread

Following an old recipe can be challenging. Following a recipe that is not written, but only depicted in pictograms and drawings, archeological examples, and assumptions is even more difficult. The job here is to not only follow the recipe, but also try to understand the culture and traditions where this bread came to be.

Miguel Esquirol Rios, The Historical Cooking Project 2014

Archaeologists discover bread that predates agriculture by 4,000 years

At an archaeological site in northeastern Jordan, researchers have discovered the charred remains of a flatbread baked by hunter-gatherers 14,400 years ago.

Heritage Daily 2018

3,500-Year-Old Child Burials Unearthed at Ancient Egyptian Work Site

A team of archaeologists in Egypt have unearthed four ancient child graves at Gebel el-Silsila, the site of a former Egyptian quarry that dates back 3,500 years. The finding provides new insights on what life may have been like at this ancient work site.

Ancient Origins 2017

A ‘militant archaeologist’ is famous for finding a lost city. Some say he just stole the credit.

They used to call him ‘the boy who bought a field’. Now headlines declare him the man who found a city underneath it.

Avi Selk, Washington Post 2017

A 3,000-year-old world has been unearthed in England’s Fenlands

The excavation has yielded up a wealth of astonishing finds including pottery, textiles, metal work and ancient timbers. The dig offers, “a genuine snapshot” of a lost world — a prehistoric settlement from the Bronze Age some 3000 years ago.

Nick Glass, CNN 2016

Archaeologists Find ‘Holy Grail of Shipwrecks’ Carrying Stash Worth Up to $17 Billion

In 1708, the San José— a Spanish galleon ship carrying a stash of gold, silver and emeralds — sank during a fierce battle against the British in the Caribbean Sea.

Laura Geggel, Live Science 2018

A Lost Roman City Has Been Discovered in Southern France

For the first time in over a thousand years, archeologists have laid eyes on the ancient Roman town of Ucetia, which is decked out with some surprisingly well-preserved mosaics. (Photos included)

IFL Science

Africa’s Atlantis: Lost Roman city of Rhapta discovered off Tanzania’s Mafia Island, believes archaeologist

An ‘ancient sunken city’ discovered by a diver off Tanzania’s Mafia island last month is believed to be the Roman market town of Rhapta.

Hannah Osborne, International Business Times 2016

Archaeologists unearth Roman road in Netherlands

Archaeologists in the Netherlands have discovered a 2,000-year-old stretch of Roman road and the remains of a Roman village at the town of Katwijk, which once marked the northern boundary of the Roman Empire.

BBC News 2018

Claim that ‘200 tons of gold’ may have been found on sunken ship triggers question: Who would own it?

A South Korean company claimed this week that it has discovered a sunken Russian warship. Analysts believe it could be the shipwreck of the Dmitrii Donskoi, a Russian cruiser that vanished 113 years ago during the Russo-Japanese war. The company is speculating on what the ship may have carried: 200 tons of gold that supposedly might be worth $132 billion.

Rick Noack, Washington Post 2018

An Aztec Temple Emerges in Heart of Mexico City

The remains of a major Aztec temple are coming to light in downtown Mexico City, revealing so far a section of what was the foundation of a huge circular temple dedicated to the Aztec wind god Ehecatl and a part of a ritual ball court.

NY Times 2017

Analysing the bones: what can a skeleton tell you?

Imagine you are an archaeologist excavating at a new building site in East London, the location of an ancient cemetery. Deep down you uncover bones that look old. You recover a full skull with teeth, and most of the bones of the body, missing a few smaller vertebrae and toes. What can you find out about the person you’ve found?

Hayley Dunning, Natural History Museum, 2017

Ancient Egyptian Woman’s Face Reconstructed From A Mummified Head

Researchers (from multiple faculties) at the University of Melbourne have combined avenues like medical research, forensic science, CT scanning and Egyptology, to recreate the visage of Meritamun (‘beloved of the god Amun’), an Ancient Egyptian woman who lived at least 2,000 years ago.

Dattatreya Mandal, Realm of History 2016

DNA From Ancient Latrines Reveal What People Ate Centuries Ago

By digging in ancient toilets, researchers uncovered genetic material that tells of past diets and diseases

Marissa Fessenden, Smithsonian 2018

Amateur metal detector finds crucifix that may change the historical record of Christianity

An ancient crucifix has been found in remarkable condition

Will Worley, Independent 2016

Ancient Greeks may have built China’s famous Terracotta Army – 1,500 years before Marco Polo

‘We have discovered something more important even than the Terracotta Army,’ says Chinese archaeologist

Ian Johnston, The Independent 2016

Historian uses lasers to unlock mysteries of Gothic cathedrals

A tech-savvy art historian uses lasers to understand how medieval builders constructed their architectural masterpieces

Rachel Hartigan Shea, National Geographic 2019

Historians Uncover Slave Quarters of Sally Hemings at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello

Archaeologists have excavated an area of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello mansion that has astounded even the most experienced social scientists: The living quarters of Sally Hemings, the enslaved woman who, historians believe, gave birth to six of Jefferson’s children.

Michael Cottman, NBC 2017

Ancient Italian ‘Stonehenge’ accidentally discovered by friends

A group of friends has accidentally discovered an ancient historical site dating back thousands of years and thought to be the Italian equivalent of Stonehenge in terms of significance, it has been reported.

Siobhan Fenton, Independent 2017

Ancient ruins keep being “discovered”: were they ever lost?

Christopher Begley is a professor of archaeology at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky, and director of the Exploration Foundation.

Christopher Begley, Aeon

Archaeologist Finds Ancient Roman Coins in 12th-Century Japanese Castle

The bronze and copper coins were found along with a cache of Ottoman-era currency during an excavation of the castle, which was thought to have stood between the 12th and 16th centuries. X-ray technology revealed that the Roman coins dated all the way back to 300 to 400 A.D., while the Ottoman coins were made in 1687.

Erin Blakemore, Smithsonian.com 2016

Lost cities #7: how Nasa technology uncovered the ‘megacity’ of Angkor

Recent laser surveys have revealed traces of a vast urban settlement, comparable in size to Los Angeles, around the temples of Angkor in the Cambodian jungle. The ancient Khmer capital was never lost … it just got a bit overgrown

Oliver Wainwright, The Guardian 2016

Archaeologists Are Only Just Beginning to Reveal the Secrets Hidden in These Ancient Manuscripts

A project to scan documents found in the walls of a remote monastery is reshaping our view of the connections between East and West

Jo Marchant, Smithsonian Magazine 2017

Archaeologists Are Spotting Ancient Ruins in Cold War Spy Photos

The declassified images are a treasure trove for scientists who study the empires of antiquity.

Geoff Manaugh, Atlantic 2016

How Tomb Raiders Are Stealing Our History

The illegal antiquities trade is booming, wreaking havoc on the world’s archaeological heritage.

Tom Mueller, National Geographic 2016

Archaeologists discover massive Petra monument that could be 2,150 years old

Buried platform measuring 184ft by 161ft ‘has no parallels’ at the ancient city and was discovered using satellite imagery to scan the surrounding land

Alan Yuhas, Guardian 2016

Archaeologists Finally Know What Happened at This Brutal Reform School

The Florida School for Boys did anything but rehabilitate its students

Erin Blakemore, Smithsonian.com 2016

Arctic explorer Roald Amundsen’s former ship raised to surface, awaits trip home to Norway

After 6 years of work, the Norwegian team has lifted the ship and is preparing it for winter – Archaeology New Discoveries

Sima Sahar Zerehi, CBC News 2016

Blackbeard’s Ship Confirmed off North Carolina

Wreck’s large size, weapons that of 18th-century pirate, experts say.

Willie Drye, National Geographic News 2011

Britain’s Earliest Mummy and the People of Wor Barrow

Wor Barrow lies within Cranborne Chase in Dorset, an area renowned for its prehistoric archaeology. It was investigated by the ‘father of scientific archaeology’, General Pitt Rivers, during 1893 and 1894 and became the first Neolithic long barrow to be completely excavated and recorded to’modern’ standards. Over 120 years later, the archaeological finds and field notebooks, now housed in Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum, are still being studied, and yielding new insights.

Historic England 2017

Cuneiform: 6 things you (probably) didn’t know about the world’s oldest writing system

Distinguished by its wedge-shaped marks on clay tablets, cuneiform script is the oldest form of writing in the world, first appearing even earlier than Egyptian hieroglyphics.

History Extra 2015

Deep in the Swamps, Archaeologists Are Finding How Fugitive Slaves Kept Their Freedom

The Great Dismal Swamp was once a thriving refuge for runaways

Richard Grant, Smithsonian Magazine 2016

Diet and mobility end up recorded in our bones and in our teeth

A piece of research has applied standard geological techniques and methods at an architectural site in Zaragoza to establish the diet of individuals

Heritage Daily 2017

Discover the Oldest Beer Recipe in History From Ancient Sumeria, 1800 B.C.

The ‘Hymn to Ninkasi’, which you can read below, not only provides insight into the importance of this custom in Sumerian mythology, but it also gives us a recipe for brewing ancient Sumerian beer – the oldest beer recipe we have.

Open Culture 2015

Divers uncover world’s oldest harbor, in Red Sea

Archaeologists find monumental harbor built by King Cheops 4,600 years ago at Wadi el-Jarf to import stuffs to build the Great Pyramid of Giza.

Philippe Bohstrom, Haaretz 2016

Drowned worlds: Egypt’s lost cities

As a major new exhibition opens at the British Museum, Charlotte Higgins travels to the Nile Delta to meet the archaeologists uncovering the spellbinding secrets of ancient Naukratis.

Charlotte Higgins, Guardian 2016

Earliest evidence for dog breeding found on remote Siberian island

An analysis of canine bones from Zhokhov suggests the dogs there were bred to pull sleds, making this the first evidence – by thousands of years – for dog breeding in the archaeological record.

David Grimm, Science 2017

Egypt unearths 7,000-year-old lost city

Archaeologists discover huts, tools and 15 huge graves dating from first dynasty period in Sohag province

Guardian 2016

Europe’s Famed Bog Bodies Are Starting to Reveal Their Secrets

High-tech tools divulge new information about the mysterious and violent fates met by these corpses

Joshua Levine, Smithsonian Magazine 2017

Exceptional Survival of Rare Anglo-Saxon Coffins

“Remarkable discovery of rare ‘plank-lined’ graves and tree-trunk coffins discovered in previously unknown Anglo-Saxon cemetery in Norfolk. Cemetery offers a unique opportunity to increase our knowledge of early Anglo-Saxon Christian communities”

Historic England 2016

French Revolution Forgeries?

When Louis XVI went to the guillotine on January 21, 1793, spectators dipped handkerchiefs in his blood as souvenirs of the French Revolution. One hanky reportedly ended up in a hollow gourd decorated with figures of the revolution. In 2009, the family enlisted paleogenomicist Carles Lalueza-Fox, of Barcelona’s Pompeu Fabra University, to verify that the blood in the gourd was in fact Louis XVI’s.

Nikhil Swaminathan, Archaeology 2013

Looted in Syria – and sold in London: the British antiques shops dealing in artefacts smuggled by Isis

When Mark Altaweel agreed to hunt for ‘blood antiquities’ in London dealerships, he was expecting more of a challenge. But as the archaeologist discovered, relics from the ruins of Palmyra and Nimrud are now on display in British shops – and so far no-one has worked out how to stop it

Rachel Shabi, Guardian 2015

Remarkable New Evidence for Human Activity in North America 130,000 Years Ago

Researchers say prehistoric mastodon bones bear human-made markings

Brigit Katz, Smithsonian.com 2017

Revealed: Cambodia’s vast medieval cities hidden beneath the jungle

Exclusive: Laser technology reveals cities concealed under the earth which would have made up the world’s largest empire in 12th century

Lara Dunston, Guardian 2016

Rome metro dig unearths 1800-year-old ruins

A house, perhaps once belonging to a senior Roman army officer, destroyed by fire. Last year construction workers discovered the site near the Colosseum as they were digging a shaft to the tunnel of Rome’s new metro Line C.

Ben Wedeman, CNN 2017

Seeking eternity: 5,000 years of ancient Egyptian burial

Dr Margaret Maitland, senior curator at National Museums Scotland, charts the remarkable changes in Egyptian tombs and the extraordinary objects that filled them.

History Extra 2017

Something in the Water

Count underwater archaeologist Jessi Halligan among the cowboys of science.

Steven Potter, Discover 2016

Thanks to Fossil Fuels, Carbon Dating Is in Jeopardy. One Scientist May Have an Easy Fix

The amount of carbon dioxide humans are pumping into Earth’s atmosphere is threatening to skew the accuracy of this technique for future archaeologists looking at our own time. That’s because fossil fuels can shift the radiocarbon age of new organic materials today, making them hard to distinguish from ancient ones.

Ben Panko, Smithsonian.com 2016

The Greatest Vanishing Act in Prehistoric America

Seven centuries ago, tens of thousands of people fled their homes in the American Southwest. Archaeologists are trying to work out why.

Richard Monastersky, Scientific American 2015

This 3,500-Year-Old Greek Tomb Upended What We Thought We Knew About the Roots of Western Civilization

The recent discovery of the grave of an ancient soldier is challenging accepted wisdom among archaeologists.

Jo Marchant, Smithsonian Magazine 2017

Top Archaeological Finds-from-the-Air List Shows Aerial Technology is Transforming Understanding of the Past

Every year the government body that cares for England’s historic environment discovers and photographs sites across England from a light aircraft. Here are nine examples which Historic England is sharing to mark the Festival of Archaeology.

Historic England 2016

How GIS is Used to Understand History

“Historical events are increasingly understood within geospatial contexts, where key events, circumstances, and reasons as to why given outcomes occurred are interpreted using GIS. As an example, historical geography is one area that has applied GIS to understand outcomes of battles, why cities were built in given locations, and using ancient technologies to understand length and difficulty of travel at different times of the year.”

Mark Altaweel, GIS Lounge 2016

Shipwreck Alley

From wood to steel, from sail to steam, from early pioneers to established industry, the history of the Great Lakes can be found deep beneath Thunder Bay.

Samir S. Patel, Archaeology 2015

India’s Most Fascinating Archaeological Discoveries

Ten of India’s best archaeological sites, with descriptions, photos, and some historical background.

Staff, Homegrown 2014

Despite Landmines, Snakes and Dodgy Gin, Iraq is an Archaeological Paradise

Undergoing chemical, biological and nuclear weapons training in preparation for Iraq was nerve-wracking, but excavating here has been a revelation.

Mary Shepperson, The Guardian 2016

Israeli Archaeologists Rush to Dig at Cave of Skulls before Looters Take Everything

Amir Ganor is an Israeli cop, but not the kind who chases car thieves or bank robbers. Ganor is a Jewish Indiana Jones, an archaeologist gumshoe, but instead of a coiled bullwhip at his side, he shoves a pistol into his pants and manhandles jeeps through seemingly impassable goat trails.

William Booth and Ruth Eglash, Washington Post 2016

Lost Greek temple found after steps recounted

A group of archaeologists have ended a search lasting more than 100 years for a missing Greek temple, after working out that ancient directions to the site were wrong.

BBC News 2017

Major Roman ruins discovered underwater in Tunisia

Streets, monuments and about 100 fermentation tanks found in the Mediterranean, confirming a theory about Neapolis.

Aljazeera 2017

Underground Transit Projects Reveal Secrets Buried Beneath Cities

Subway construction offers archaeologists rare opportunities to dig into historic urban centers — but with the clock ticking.

Jennifer Hattam, Discover, 2015

Researchers Confident Mysterious Pair Of Mummified Knees Belonged To Queen Nefertari

Italian archaeologists discovered the plundered tomb of Queen Nefertari in Egypt’s Valley of the Queens in 1904, and amid the debris, they found a pair of mummified knees. Now, for the first time, researchers have conducted a broad array of tests on the knees and say they are confident they belong to Nefertari, who was the wife of Pharaoh Ramses II and one of the most famous of Egypt’s queens.

Merrit Kennedy, The Two-Way 2016

New Map Reveals Ships Buried Below San Francisco

Dozens of vessels that brought gold-crazed prospectors to the city in the 19th century still lie beneath the streets.

Greg Miller, National Geographic 2017

Oldest Community of Monks in U.K. Discovered

In the 1960s, archaeologists found a cemetery at Beckery chapel on a small island in Somerset, in southwest England. They concluded that the 50-plus bodies, nearly all adult men, were monks. Now it turns out this was the oldest community of monks found in the UK.

Jason Daley, Smithsonian Magazine 2016

Oldest Homo sapiens bones ever found shake foundations of the human story

Idea that modern humans evolved in East Africa 200,000 years ago challenged by extraordinary discovery of 300,000-year-old remains in Moroccan mine.

Ian Sample, The Guardian 2017

On the origins of our species

As families go ours is pretty amazing. You have ancient cousins who effortlessly chomped through the toughest of roots and hardest of seeds. Another relative was the first of our family to make it all the way to China around 1.7 million years ago. Each individual human alive today belongs to the same family as all of our extinct relatives, the Hominidae. Our kinship runs deeper than geographical boundaries.

Twilight Beasts 2016

One of Britain’s oldest churches discovered on Holy Island of Lindisfarne

‘It is one of the most important discoveries from the early medieval period that has been made in Britain over recent decades’

David Keys, Independent 2017

One of earliest known copies of Ten Commandments sees the light of day

One of the earliest known copies of the Ten Commandments was written in soot on a strip of goatskin found among the trove of biblical material known as the Dead Sea Scrolls, widely considered to be one of the great archaeological finds of the 20th century.

William Booth, Washington Post 2015

One of the 19th century’s most important documents was recently discovered in a New England attic. Here’s what it tells us.

How a rare copy of the U.S.-Navajo Treaty, once thought lost, was found.

Megan Kate Nelson, Washington Post 2018

Perfectly Preserved Shipwreck Found in Lake Superior

A team has found the The J.S. Seaverns which sank in Michipicoten harbor in 1884 with its hull intact and dishes still on the shelves

Jason Daley, Smithsonian Magazine 2016

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