Archaeology

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


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

And archaeologists figured it out with just a little DNA.

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.

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.

Could this new underwater find shed light on the enigmatic ancient computing device known as the Antikythera Mechanism?

A stone slab unearthed in northern Italy has revealed its first big discovery: the name of an Etruscan goddess in a lost language.

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.

Wadi Sura's enigmatic cave art gives a glimpse into a society where lines between human and animal were very, very blurry. New research has solved some of the mystery.

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.

Not all archaeological digs take place in the sandy desert. Beneath the concrete sidewalks and streets and towering skyscrapers in our world's great cities are artifacts that tell stories.

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?

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?

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?

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"?

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?

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?

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.

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?

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