Archaeologists dig up and study the material remains of human civilizations. Bioarchaeologists do the same thing, except they focus on the remains of, well, us. What's the big deal about old bones and teeth?
A sculpted mammoth shows visitors to the La Brea Tar Pits what these ancient animals might have looked like, but the pits themselves have looked the same for thousands of years. How did they form, and what discoveries lie beneath the sticky surface?
When you're trying to patch together human history, it helps to have a trick or two up your sleeve. And geoarchaeology, a scientific discipline with a fondness for fossils and soil, might be just that.
While archaeological digs are still hands-on projects, some computer programs can help piece together a more complete picture of the site and even what its inhabitants might have looked like. What else can the software tell us?
Each country and each region within each country has its own laws regarding the right to cultural property. So, how do you know which artifacts belong to the government and which are "finders keepers"?
We've been scribbling our thoughts down on stone and paper for a while now. But the job of assembling a history for all of humanity gets a lot harder once those written records disappear. Luckily, archaeologists are happy to tackle the job.
Identifying the biggest archaeological find in history is sort of like naming the best movie ever made. One person's blockbuster could be another person's bust. So which find swept the other contenders into the dust?
Before the existence of radiocarbon dating, archaeologists would hope their prized potsherds happened to lie buried next to a dated coin. How has the measurement of C-14 and C-12 revolutionized the science of archaeology?
Archaeology used to mean reckless treasure hunting, but not so today. When even the most battered shard of clay can signify the world to an archeologist, how do the professionals plan and execute a dig?
You have to dig deeply to uncover the foundations of archaeology. What started as a treasure hunt gradually transformed into a science where every potsherd counts for something. Who were the game changers in archaeology?