Archaeologists have to be meticulous, patient, and in love with the past. Archeological finds gives us a glimpse into the the lives of our ancient ancestors. Everything from the food they ate, written language used, how they viewed sex, to the type of technology they used in everyday life, helps us understand their influence in our present.
Every discovery is important in the evolution of human kind but some have been more impacting than others. Take a look at some of the most important archeological finds in history.
In 79 AD, the city of Pompeii along with Herculaneum, Stabiae, Torre Annunziata, and other smaller communities were destroyed by the violent eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The eruption obliterated the city, killing all of its inhabitants, and buried everything under 13 to 20 feet of volcanic ash. The city was lost for 1500 years until it was discovered in 1599. A full rediscovery was made after 150 years by the Spanish military engineer Rocque Joaquin de Alcubierre in 1748.
Tutankhamun ascended to the throne at the age of nine. During his reign, he reversed several changes that were made by his father. He died at the age of nineteen and the reasons of his death are still unknown. Howard Carter discovered his tomb in 1922, after being hidden for some 3,000 years. His tomb was the most complete ancient Egyptian royal tomb ever found.
The ancient stone is a decree from Egyptian priests declaring the divinity of the new King Ptolemy V in 196 BC. The writings on the stone are done with three different scripts. French soldiers, who were rebuilding a fort in Egypt, found it in 1799. The discovery was made in a small village in the Delta called Rosetta. Since 1802, it has been housed at the British Museum in London.
The terracotta army is a collection of life-size terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. It is a form of funerary art that was buried with the emperor in 210-209 BC, with the purpose to protect the emperor in his afterlife. The treasures of his death came to light 2,100 years after his death. It was discovered in 1974 by a group of farmers attempting to dig a well near the ancient capital. The army is made up of more than 6,000 figures including soldiers, horses, chariots, bowmen, and archers. Each of them has unique facial features and are lined based on ranking.
Richard III’s reign is known to be the most historic and turbulent one. He was responsible for the murders of his nephews, and several other dissidents during his two year-reign. He was killed in the Battle of Bosworth Field on August 22, 1485. A team of archaeologists discovered in a parking lot in 2012. Archeologist unearthed the battle-scarred skeleton with spinal curvature for study. The former king was re-buried in 2015.
It is the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver metalwork yet found. Terry Herbert discovered the artifacts on July 5, 2009 while he was searching for an area of recently ploughed farmland near Hammerwich, Staffordshire with a metal detector. It contained over 3,500 items amounting to a total of 5.1 kg of gold, 1.4 kg of silver and around 3,500 pieces of garnet cloisonné jewelry. The treasure was probably stored in the 8th or 9th century. Although some of the pieces can be dated as far back as the 6th century.