Archaeology

Learn more about ancient civilizations and human remains, such as buildings, art or trash.

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Here are six surprises that were uncovered around the globe when the heat rose and the water receded.

By Cherise Threewitt

The curves of the Serpent Mound, Ohio state's massive and mysterious geological wonder, line up with the sun during equinoxes and solstices.

By Jesslyn Shields

Archaeology is the study of humanity's material remains -- even a piece of an ancient pot can tell us a lot about the past. But how do archaeologists make sense of these relics?

By Sarah Dowdey

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Emperor Qin ordered 7,000 generals, cavalrymen and archers to protect his mausoleum. What's so odd about that? Well, they were made of terracotta.

By Cristen Conger

This is not an easy question to answer, thanks to the mists of time. But historians have put forth several possibilities. An ancient tablet claims one king ruled for 28,000 years!

By Nathan Chandler

Archaeologists discovered what they believe to be ruins of the Roman city of Neapolis — underwater near Tunisia.

By Michelle Konstantinovsky

The pigment ultramarine was as expensive as gold in medieval Europe; so how did it end up in the teeth of a nun buried at a monastery in rural Germany?

By Jesslyn Shields

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What makes peat bogs so perfect at preserving human remains? We look at what's behind these waterlogged areas of decaying plant matter.

By Mark Mancini & Desiree Bowie

Does searching through the mud of a riverbank for treasures of old sound like a fun way to spend a day? If so, you may just be a true mudlarker at heart.

By Jennifer Walker-Journey

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?

By Nathan Chandler

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?

By Jessika Toothman

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Although the trenched enclosures were probably used to conduct rituals, they can tell us how the ancient indigenous people of the Amazon managed their forests.

By Jesslyn Shields

The perfectly preserved remains of a 3,000-year-old settlement called Must Farm provide a window into the lives of the Bronze Age Britons.

By Jesslyn Shields

But that doesn't mean they worshipped them.

By Dave Roos

Most mammals have a penis bone called a baculum, but humans don't. A new study sheds light on the history of the baculum, and why ours is missing.

By Jesslyn Shields

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Hieroglyphics used to be a language that no one -- Egyptian or otherwise -- could decipher. With the help of the Rosetta Stone, that all changed.

By HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

It's not so much about time as it is about money. What dictates how long an archeological team is permitted to dig at a particular site?

By Charles W. Bryant

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"?

By Charles W. Bryant

In "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade," Dr. Jones battles the Nazis for the Holy Grail. Did the Nazis really have an interest in archaeology? And if so, what fueled it?

By Charles W. Bryant

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In "The Raiders of the Lost Ark," Indiana Jones competes with grave-robbing Nazis for the lost Ark of the Covenant. But what defined Dr. Jones as legit and the Nazis as grave robbers?

By Charles W. Bryant

In the search for Cleopatra's tomb, a team of archaeologists was surprised by two mummies with gold foil-covered tongues. What was the reason for this strange burial custom?

By Jesslyn Shields