History of Archaeology
14TH-16TH CENTURIES: The Renaissance revived interest in classical art, including ruins and buried art and artifacts.
1748: The buried Roman city of Pompeii was discovered.
1784: Thomas Jefferson dug an Indian burial mound on the Rivanna River, Virginia and wrote about it.
1790: John Frere identified Old Stone Age (Paleolithic) tools together with large extinct animals.
1899-1935: A J Evans excavated Minoan Knossos in Crete.
1879: Stone Age paintings were first discovered at Altamira, Spain.
1840s: A H Layard excavated the Assyrian capital of Nineveh.
1868: Great Zimbabwe ruins in East Africa first seen by Europeans.
1836: C J Thomsen devised the Stone, Bronze, and Iron Age classification.
1871: Heinrich Schliemann began work at Troy.
1880s: A H Pitt-Rivers developed the concept of stratigraphy (identification of successive layers of soil within a site with successive archaeological periods; the most recent at the top).
1822: Champollion deciphered Egyptian hieroglyphics
1891: W M F Petrie began excavating Akhetaton in Egypt.
1900-1944: Max Uhle began the systematic study of the civilizations of Peru.
1911: The Inca city of Machu Picchu discovered by Hiram Bingham in the Andes.
1911-1912: Piltdown skull ‘discovered’; proved a fake in 1949.
1914-18: Osbert Crawford developed the technique of aerial survey of sites.
1917-27: J e Thompson discovered the great Mayan sites in Yucatán, Mexico.
1926: A kill site in Folsom New Mexico, was found with spearpoints in association with ancient bison.
1935: Dendrochronology (dating events in the distant past by counting tree rings) developed by A E Douglas; useful when preserved timbers are found.
1922: Tutankhamen’s tomb in Egypt opened by Howard Carter.
1939: Anglo-Saxon ship-burial treasure found at Sutton Hoo, England.
1947: The first of the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered.
1948: Proconsul prehistoric ape discovered by Mary Leakey in Kenya; several early hominid fossils found by Louis Leakey in Olduvai Gorge 1950s-70s.
1953: Michael Ventris deciphered Minoan Linear B.
1960s: Radiocarbon and thermoluminescence measurement developed as aids for dating remains.
1961: Swedish warship Wasa raised at Stockholm.
1963: W B Emery pioneered rescue archaeology at Abu Simbel before it was flooded by the Aswan Dam.
1974: Tomb of Shi Huangdi discovered in China.
1978: Tomb of Philip II of Macedon (Alexander the Great’s father) discovered in Greece.
1979: The Aztec capital Tenochtitlán excavated beneath a zone of Mexico City.
1982: The English king Henry VII’s warship Mary Rose 1545 was raised and studied with new techniques in underwater archeology.
1985: The tomb of Maya, Tutankhamen’s treasurer, discovered at Saqqara, Egypt.
1988: Turin Shroud established as of medieval date by radiocarbon dating.
1989: Remains of Globe and RoseTheatres, where many of Shakespeare’s plays were originally performed, discovered in London.
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