Ramses II-era burial site uncovered in Israel
Found by accident at a popular beach at the Palmahim National Park, it joins the list of recent archaeological finds.
Ramses II-era burial site in Israel
The 3,300-year-old chamber was described by one archeologist as like being "on the set of an Indiana Jones movie." The structure, complete with dozens of intact pottery and bronze artifacts, was found by accident. The burial chamber containing several dozen pieces of intact pottery and bronze artifacts appears to have served as a family tomb.
Estate in southern Israel
After two mosques dating back some 1,200 years were found near the Bedouin town of Rahat, remains of a luxurious four-winged estate from the same period were also unearthed nearby. One of the rooms is covered with marble floors, the walls decorated with frescoes. Archaeologists also found a cistern and shards of decorated glassware, indicating the owners' wealth.
A rare Roman-era wooden figure
In a field near Twyford, west of London, a well-preserved 67-centimeter (26-inch) wooden figure from Roman times was found during digs along the planned HS2 rail route. Based on the carving style and the figure's dress, archaeologists estimate it to be nearly 2,000 years old. It is a rare find, as wood usually rots easily. The Romans occupied Great Britain for around 400 years.
Celtic gold tells a story of migration
The discovery of 41 Celtic gold coins in the German village of Baitz in the state of Brandenburg, made public on December 13, 2021, has been deemed a "sensation." Coin researcher Marjanko Pilekic said that since the over-2,000-year-old coins were found far from the Celts' actual distribution area, "the find could provide new insights into migration movements in the Iron Age."
More than just jewelry
These perforated shells, dating back 150,000 years, are believed to be the world's oldest jewelry. Assumed to have been used to form necklaces and bracelets, they were discovered in the Bizmoune cave near the coastal resort of Essaouira, in Morocco. Researcher Abdeljalil Bouzouggar described them as "symbolic objects that can only be transmitted through language."
When wine was preferred over water
A sprawling winemaking complex dating back some 1,500 years was recently unearthed in Yavne, Israel, complete with wine presses, kilns for producing clay wine jars, and warehouses. Excavation director Jon Seligman explained that wine was a common substitute for drinking water, which was not always safe back then, and was served to both adults and children.
Hellenistic-era warship in sunken city
A Greek warship found in the sunken city of Heracleion in Egypt's Abu Qir Bay is the latest discovery of very rare Hellenistic-era ships. Heracleion — also known as Thonis — was hit by earthquakes, tsunamis, rising sea levels and soil liquefaction at the end of the second century B.C. The ship was docking near the temple of Amun when the entire city collapsed, burying it under the debris.
Opulent city hall
In early July, Israeli archaeologists found what may have been a 2,000-year-old city council building during excavations under Jerusalem’s Old City. The opulent space is believed to have been a banquet hall for the elite. It is located close to the site of the Second Temple, which was destroyed by the Romans during the Siege of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.
Missing link in alphabet history
A 3,100-year-old pottery fragment inscribed with the name "Jerubbaal," relating to the biblical book of Judges, was found in southern Israel in July. Written in early Canaanite script, it provides a rare and valuable clue to the development and spread of writing systems in the region, as it is unusual for local researchers to find any writing from the 12th and 11th centuries B.C.
This 51,000-year-old bone decorated by a Neanderthal was found in July in the Unicorn Cave in Germany's Harz Mountains. The lines purposefully carved into the toe bone belonging to a prehistoric deer may have had symbolic meaning. Archaeologists were blown away by the artifact because it was evidence that the Stone Age hominids were capable of artistic expression.
A quirky find
During excavations in the Israeli town of Yavne in June, archaeologists discovered an intact 1,000-year-old chicken egg. "The egg's unique preservation is evidently due to the conditions in which it lay for centuries, nestled in a cesspit containing soft human waste that preserved it," they said. Sadly, it cracked later in the lab.
A new type of hominid
In June, researchers found the remains of the "Nesher Ramla Homo type." They took the name from the area in Israel where they had been doing excavation work in a sinkhole. The hominids lived alongside our species more than 100,000 years ago. The finds included this jaw that belonged to a person who lived 120,000 to 140,000 years ago.
Lost golden city of Luxor
Egyptologists announced the discovery of a 3,000-year-old "lost golden city" near Luxor in April, touting it as one of the most important finds since the tomb of Tutankhamun. It dates back to the reign of Amenhotep III, one of Egypt's most powerful pharaohs, who ruled from 1391 to 1353 B.C.
An ancient 3D map?
In April, French archaeologists said they believed the Saint-Belec slab, which dates from the Bronze Age and was unearthed in 1900 in western France, may be Europe's oldest 3D map. The 4,000-year-old etchings on the slab measuring 2.2 by 1.5 meters (7.2 by 5 feet) appear to resemble topographical features such as hills and a river network, maybe referring to an area in modern-day western Brittany.
Mask that launched countless memes
This mysterious ceremonial gold mask found in Sanxingdui, in China’s Sichuan Province, unwittingly became a social media sensation after its discovery in March. Having inspired memes and tribute videos in China, the 3,000-year-old artifact was one of 500 Bronze Age relics that experts said could provide new insights on the ancient Shu state, which ruled the area before 316 B.C.
World's oldest woven basket
In March, archaeologists found a well-preserved basket with a capacity of about 100 liters (26 gallons) dating back to the pre-pottery neolithic period, roughly 10,500 years ago. Found in the Muraba'at Caves in the Judean Desert west of the Dead Sea, it was buried under almost 3 feet (roughly 1 meter) of soil. It was exquisitely preserved due to the region's high temperatures and extreme aridity.
Oldest known cave painting
In January 2021, Australian and Indonesian archaeologists announced the discovery of cave paintings in Sulawesi, Indonesia. They depict prehistoric Indonesian pigs using ocher, an inorganic mineral that cannot be carbon dated. Researchers instead dated the calcium stalagmites and stalactites surrounding the paintings and found that the oldest painting was created at least 45,500 years ago.