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35000 BC
In 2008 archeologists unearthed tools dating back at least 35,000 years in a rock shelter in Australia's remote northwest, making it one of the oldest archaeological finds in that part of the country.
Links: Australia, Anthropology, HistoryBC, Archeology     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
12000 BC
In 2008 evidence from Monte Verde, Chile, indicated that a small band of people inhabited the area. Initial evidence was found in a peat bog there in 1977.
Links: Chile, HistoryBC, Archeology     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
11000 BC
In 2016 Danish archaeologists found some hunting tools in Horsens dating to this time that gave insight into how some of the first people in Denmark lived.
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3500 BC
3000 BC
In 2008 a team of German and Peruvian archaeologists reported the discovery of a ceremonial plaza near Peru's north-central coast dating to this period.
Links: Peru, Germany, HistoryBC, Archeology     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
3000 BC
In Britain timber temples were constructed about this time prior to stone circles. Remains of one was found in 1997 at Stanton Drew in Somerset that measured 443 feet on the outer diameter.
Links: Britain, HistoryBC, Archeology     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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3000 BC
In 2009 archeologists identified a site named "Bluehenge," dating to about this time, about a mile (2km) away from Stonehenge. It was named after the color of the 27 Welsh stones that were laid to make up a path. The stones were gone but the path of holes remained.
Links: Britain, HistoryBC, Archeology     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2500 BC
A queen named Shubad died about this time in the city of Ur in Mesopotamia. She was buried with a staggering amount of personal property later uncovered by English archeologist Charles Leonard Woolley.
Links: Iraq, Mesopotamia, HistoryBC, Archeology     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2500 BC
In 2015 British archaeologists said they had found the buried remains of a mysterious prehistoric monument close to the famous Stonehenge heritage site dating back to about this time. The discovery was made at Durrington Walls -- a so-called "superhenge" located less than three km (1.8 miles) from Stonehenge.
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2000 BC
1500 BC
Swiss Archeologist Charles Bonnet discovered round and oval shaped structures in northern Sudan dating to this period not far from the famed archaeological site of Kerma.
Links: Sudan, HistoryBC, Archeology     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1000 BC
975 BC
In 2008 Israeli archeologists found a Hebrew inscription in proto-Canaanite script on a pottery fragment at a site believed to the biblical city of Sha’arayim (Two Gates). The city was located on a hill above the Valley of Elah, where the bible says David slew Goliath.
Links: Israel, Language, HistoryBC, Archeology     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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900 BC
700 BC
In 2008 archeologists found pottery in Tyre, Lebanon, that was used by Phoenicians during this period.
Links: Lebanon, HistoryBC, Archeology, Phoenicians     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
246 BC
222 BC
Ptolemy III Euergeter served as Egypt’s 3rd ruler of the Ptolemaic Dynasty. In 2010 archeologists discovered a temple, thought to belong to Queen Berenice, wife of King Ptolemy III who ruled Egypt in the 3rd century B.C. Archeologists believed that the temple might have been dedicated to the ancient cat-goddess Bastet.
Links: Egypt, Animal, HistoryBC, Archeology     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
221 BC
220
A section of the Great Wall was built during the Qin (221-206 BC) and Han (206 BC to 220 AD) dynasties in northeastern Jilin province. In 2009 the Xinhua news agency reported the discovery of this section, 11km (6.7 miles) further east than what was previously thought to be the wall's terminus.
Links: China, Architect, Archeology     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
37
Some 20,000 pieces of jewelry and other objects were buried about this time with a warrior-prince and 5 women in northern Afghanistan. In 1978-79 a team led by Russian archeologist Viktor Sarianidi discovered their 6 sealed tombs at a site called Tillya Tepe (hill of gold). The findings became known as the “Golden Hoard of Bactria.”
Links: Afghan, Archeology, Bactria     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1799
Pierre Bouchard [Boussart], an officer in Napoleon's army, discovered the Rosetta Stone in the city of Rosetta [Rashid], Egypt. The Rosetta Stone is a tablet with hieroglyphic translations into Greek. The stone is black basalt... and bears three texts: the uppermost is in early Egyptian hieroglyphic; the middle one in the Neo-Egyptian demotic script often used in writing papyri; and the lowermost text is Greek. Deciphering the stone, the work of English physicist Thomas Young and then French archaeologist Jean-Francois Champollion, led to an understanding of Egyptian hieroglyphic writing. Champollion published memoirs on the decipherment in 1822.
Links: France, Egypt, Language, Archeology     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1822 Jan 6
Heinrich Schliemann (d.1890), German businessman and amateur archeologist, was born. He began excavating Troy in 1870 following a visit to Hissarlik in 1868.
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1870 Apr 9
Heinrich Schliemann, German archeologist, with neither a permit nor the consent of the Turkish landowners, had his hired men sink trenches on the summit of the mound of Hissarlik, the spur of a limestone plateau on the northwest coast, where he suspected that the ancient ruins of Troy lay buried. Schliemann was hired by Frank Calvert (1828-1908), US Consular Agent at the Dardanelles, to excavate at Thymbra. In 1999 Susan Heuck Allen authored “Finding the Wall of Troy: Frank Calvert and Heinrich Schliemann at Hisarlik.”
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1878
Carl Humann led a German team in excavating an archeological site in Bergama, western Turkey. The team discovered an altar of Zeus, dating from the 2nd century BC. It was sent to Germany and became the centerpiece of the Pergamon Museum in Berlin.
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1879
The Cyrus Cylinder was discovered by the Assyro-British archaeologist Hormuzd Rassam in the foundations of the Esagila, the main temple of Babylon, and was later placed in the British Museum in London. The cylinder was created following the Persian conquest of Babylon in 539 BC, when Cyrus overthrew the Babylonian king Nabonidus and replaced him as ruler, ending the Neo-Babylonian Empire. It was later considered as the world's first declaration of human rights.
Links: Babylon, Britain, Iran, Persia, Archeology     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1881
Hamdi Bey (1842-1910), Ottoman statesman painter and archeologist, founded the Archeological Museum of Istanbul. It opened in 1891.
Links: Artist, Turkey, Archeology     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1884
Turkey passed a law stating that all antiquities were the property of the state and could not be taken out of the country. The law was updated in 1906.
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1887
A Lebanese villager discovered a well near Sidon that led to two underground chambers, which turned out to be a royal tomb containing 18 marble sarcophagi dating back the 5th century BC. The largest was believed to contain the remains of Alexander the Great. Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II ordered them shipped to Istanbul.
Links: Turkey, Lebanon, Archeology     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1890 Dec 26
Heinrich Schliemann (86), German businessman and archaeologist, died. He excavated the site of ancient Troy in 1870-1871.
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1906 May 26
Pres. Theodore Roosevelt approved the US Congress chartered the Archaeological Institute of America.
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1906 Jun 8
Pres. Theodore Roosevelt signed the American Antiquities Act, first proposed in 1882. It was used to set aside American resources by executive order. Roosevelt had urged the passage of the Antiquities Act to allow the president to designate areas of scientific, historic or archeological significance as national monuments without the approval of Congress.
Links: USA, RooseveltT, Archeology     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1907
In Egypt a mummy known as KV55 was found. It was named after the number of the tomb where it was found in the Valley of the Kings. In 2010 DNA and CT scanning identified the mummy as that of Pharaoh Akhenaten (1350-1336BC).
Links: Egypt, DNA, Archeology     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1916
George Reisner (1867-1942), American archeologist, began excavating pyramids at Meroe, Sudan.
Links: USA, Sudan, Archeology     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1919
James Henry Breasted (1865-1935), archeologist, founded the Oriental Institute as part of the Univ. of Chicago. The collection was opened to the public in 1931.
Links: USA, Chicago, Museum, Archeology     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1922 Nov 2
English archeologist Charles Leonard Woolley began excavating the ancient Mesopotamian city of Ur, located between Baghdad and the Persian Gulf.
Links: Iraq, Britain, Mesopotamia, Archeology     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1924 Mar 1
Emile Fradin (d.2010 at 103), French peasant, discovered an underground chamber containing ancient artifacts that were later dated anywhere from 300 BC to the 15th century. The field, called Duranthon, was later renamed the Champ des Morts (field of the Dead).
Links: France, Archeology     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1928
In Egypt Pierre Montet, a French archeologist, began excavations at Tanis. He was convinced that the ruins there were of Pi-Rameses, capital of Rameses the Great. However it was later determined that many of the artifacts had been brought there from Qantir by the kings of Dynasties 21 and 22, as they built their new Delta capital. In the late 1930s and 1940s an entire complex of tombs was found intact at Tanis.
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1936
Agatha Christie authored her novel “Murder in Mesopotamia.” During the 1930s she accompanied her husband Max Mallowan, British archeologist, on excavations in southern Iraq and later wrote an account of their work titled “Come Tell Me How You Live” (1946).
Links: Iraq, Britain, Writer, Books, Archeology     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1939 Feb 27
In Egypt Pierre Montet, a French archeologist, found the tomb of King Osorkon II at Tanis.
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1939 Mar 21
In Egypt King Farouk arrived at Tanis for the opening of the coffin of the 21st Dynasty King Psusennes I, recently discovered by French archeologist Pierre Montet. It turned out that this coffin actually belonged to Sheshonq II of the 22nd Dynasty.
Links: France, Egypt, Archeology     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1940 Feb 28
In Egypt King Farouk arrived at Tanis for the opening of the sarcophagus of the 21st Dynasty King Psusennes I, recently discovered by French archeologist Pierre Montet.
Links: France, Egypt, Archeology     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1940 Apr 17
In Egypt King Farouk arrived at Tanis and ordered French archeologist Pierre Montet to open the tomb of King Amenemope, son of 21st Dynasty King Psusennes I.
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1946
French archeologist Pierre Montet (d.1966) resumed his excavations at Tanis, Egypt, and continued work there until 1951. In 1958 he published an account of his discoveries titled “La Necropole Royale de Tanis.”
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1952
In Egypt Mohammed Zakaria Ghoneim found the burial mask of noblewoman Ka Nefer Nefer at the Saqqara pyramids. It dated back to 1307BC-1196BC. In 1998 St. Louis bought the mask for half a million dollars from Phoenix ancient Art gallery in Geneva, which was owned by Lebanese brothers Hicham and Ali Aboutaam. In 2004 an Egyptian court sentenced Ali Aboutaam in absentia to 15 years in prison for smuggling artifacts from Egypt to Switzerland.
Links: Switzerland, Egypt, Missouri, Lawsuit, Archeology     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1955 Jun 9
Langdon Warner (b.1881), American archaeologist and art historian, died in Cambridge, Mass. He was the curator of the Brooklyn Museum from 1947-1949 and specialized in East Asian art.
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1960 Feb 20
English archeologist Charles Leonard Woolley (b.1880), best known for his excavations at Ur in Mesopotamia, died. He was knighted by King George V in 1935.
Links: Britain, Mesopotamia, Archeology     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1966 Jun 19
French archeologist Pierre Montet (b.1885), renowned for his excavations at Tanis, Egypt, died. In 1958 he published an account of his discoveries titled “La Necropole Royale de Tanis.”
Links: France, Egypt, Archeology     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1969
Peter V. Glob (1911-1985), Danish archeologist, authored "The Bog People: Iron Age Man Preserved."
Links: Denmark, Books, Archeology     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1971
John Evans (b.1925), English archeologist, published the comprehensive survey: "The Prehistoric Antiquities of the Maltese Islands."
Links: Britain, Malta, Books, Archeology     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1972 Oct 1
Louis Leakey (b.1903), Kenyan archeologist and naturalist, died in London. He was flown home and interred at Limuru, Kenya, near the graves of his parents.
Links: Britain, Kenya, Archeology     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1974 Nov 28
Konstantin Melnikov (b.1890), Russian architect, died. His Melnikov House in Moscow was built from 1927-1931 with fees from commissions.
Links: Russia, USSR, Archeology     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1974
Amateur and professional archeologists met in New Mexico and created the American Rock Art Research Assoc. (ARARA) for the study and conservation of rock art.
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1974
In China an ancient terracotta army created by Qin Shi Huang, China’s first emperor (221-206BC) was discovered by a peasant digging a well. It represented one of the greatest archaeological finds of modern times, and was listed as a World Heritage Site in 1987. Archeologists continued to unearth terracotta figurines from the site into 2012.
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1975 Jul 11
Archaeologists unearthed an army of 8,000 life-size clay figures created more than 2,000 years ago for the Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi (Shihuangdi). [see 210BC] Villagers had uncovered the first of the figures in 1974.
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1979 Oct 31
The US Archeological Resources Protection Act, on behalf of endangered antiquities, became law.
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1980
The US Archeological Conservancy was founded by a group of private citizens and archeologists.
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1980
A mummy titled the "Beauty of Kiruran," was found in the Taklimakan Desert in China. The Uighurs have been the majority population of this area for centuries and speak a Turkic language.
Links: China, Archeology     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2001
Tom Malzbender, a computer scientist at HPs laboratory in Palo Alto, Ca., developed a lighting method that came to be known as polynomial texture mapping (PTM). It was later found useful in illuminating details on ancient objects.
Links: USA, Technology, Archeology     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2008 Mar 22
Egyptian and European archeologists announced they had discovered a giant statue of Queen Tiy, the wife of 18th dynasty Pharaoh Amenhotep III, on the south Egypt site of the Colossi of Memnon.
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2008 Mar 31
Some of England's most sacred soil was disturbed for the first time in more than four decades as archaeologists worked to solve the enduring riddle of Stonehenge: When and why was the prehistoric monument built?
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2008 Jun 5
Egyptian archaeologists unveiled a 4,000-year-old "missing pyramid" that they believed to have been discovered by an archaeologist almost 200 years ago and never seen again. The pyramid was thought to have been built by King Menkauhor, an obscure pharaoh who ruled for only eight years. The style of the pyramid indicates it was from the Fifth Dynasty, a period that began in 2,465 B.C. and ended in 2,325 B.C.
Links: Egypt, Archeology     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2008 Sep 14
Archaeologist Georgi Kitov (b.1943), an expert on the treasure-rich Thracian culture of antiquity, died of a heart attack while excavating a temple in central Bulgaria.
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2009 Feb 11
In Egypt archeologist revealed the discovery of a burial chamber 36 feet below ground at the necropolis of Saqqara dating back to about 640BC.
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2010 Feb 1
Egypt’s Parliament amended an antiquities law to bring in stiffer punishments for the theft and smuggling of relics while granting patent rights to the country's antiquities council.
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2010 Feb 28
The Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities announced that archaeologists have unearthed the massive head of one Egypt's most famous pharaohs who ruled nearly 3,400 years ago. Amenhotep III, the grandfather of Tutankhamun, ruled from 1387-1348 B.C. at the height of Egypt's New Kingdom and presided over a vast empire stretching from Nubia in the south to Syria in the north.
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2010 Oct 28
Ehud Netzer (76), leading Israeli archaeologist, died of injuries suffered in a fall at an excavation at the King Herod-era site near Bethlehem.
Links: Israel, Archeology     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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