archeology

Jacques de Perthes and European Archaeology

Jacques de Perthes and European Archaeology

On September 10, 1788, French archeologist Jacques Boucher de Crèvecœur de Perthes was born. He was the first to establish that Europe had been populated by early man. Further, his discovery of whole handaxes, tools and fragments embedded in and scattered about the fossilized bones of prehistoric mammals in the high banks of the Somme River showed that man existed at least as early as the ancient creature. Jacques de Perthes Background…
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Ernst Curtius and the Excavation of Olympia

Ernst Curtius and the Excavation of Olympia

On September 2, 1814, German archaeologist and historian Ernst Curtius was born, who directed the excavation of Olympia from 1875–1881, the most opulent and sacred religious shrine of ancient Greece and site of the original Olympic Games. “It is the relationship to the Eternal that gives us strength and endurance and self-denial; it teaches us in science to distinguish the essential from the unessential; it makes knowledge a virtue and research a…
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A. E. Douglass and the Dendrochronology

A. E. Douglass and the Dendrochronology

On July 5, 1867, American astronomer and archeologist A. E. (Andrew Ellicott) Douglass was born. He coined the name dendrochronology for tree-ring dating, a field he originated while working at the Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, Arizona, by his discovery a correlation between tree rings and the sunspot cycle. A. E. Douglass Background A. E. Douglass was not the first, who suggested that a tree’s rings could determine its age. The first known record of…
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Adolf Furtwängler and Photographic Archeology

Adolf Furtwängler and Photographic Archeology

On June 30, 1853, German archaeologist and historian Adolf Furtwängler was born. He revolutionized archeological science with his use of photography for documentation. His use of photography in research supplanted the use of drawings because a camera gives objective reproduction with more accuracy, which enabled fragments to be scrutinized, even when they were miles apart. Adolf Furtwängler Background Adolf Furtwängler grew up in a very educated family. His father was a classical…
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Gerald Hawkins and the Secret of Stonehenge

Gerald Hawkins and the Secret of Stonehenge

On June 20, 1928, English astronomer and author Gerald Stanley Hawkins was born. He is best known for his work in the field of archaeoastronomy. In 1965 he published an analysis of Stonehenge in which he was the first to propose its purpose as an ancient astronomical observatory used to predict movements of sun and stars. Background Gerald Hawkins Gerald Hawkins was born in Great Yarmouth and studied physics and mathematics at…
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Lawrence of Arabia – The Man and the Myth

Lawrence of Arabia – The Man and the Myth

On May 19, 1935, archaeologist and British Army officer Thomas Edward Lawrence died fatally injured in a motorcycle accident in Dorset. Renowned especially for his liaison role during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign, and the Arab Revolt against Ottoman Turkish rule of 1916–18. The breadth and variety of his activities and associations, and his ability to describe them vividly in writing, earned him international fame as Lawrence of Arabia. “All men dream: but not…
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The Sky Disc of Nebra

The Sky Disc of Nebra

On February 23, 2002, the state archaeologist Harald Meller succeeded to acquire the now famous Nebra Sky Disc in a police-led sting operation in Basel, Switzerland. The Nebra Sky Disc is a Bronze age artifact shaped like a disk with a blue-green patina and inlaid with gold symbols, representing a map of the sky. The Disk The disk weighs about 2,3 kg and consists of bronze as well as an alloy made…
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Vivant Denon and the Science of Egyptology

Vivant Denon and the Science of Egyptology

On January 4, 1747, French artist, writer, diplomat, author, and archaeologist Dominique Vivant, Baron Denon was born. He was appointed as the first Director of the Louvre Museum by Napoleon. His two-volume Voyage dans la basse et la haute Egypte (“Journey in Lower and Upper Egypt“, 1802), was the foundation of modern Egyptology. “Finally, I believe that, among all the monuments of Syracuse that have survived the centuries, this one of the catacombs…
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The Prophet of Modern Archaeology – Joachim Winckelmann

The Prophet of Modern Archaeology – Joachim Winckelmann

On December 9, 1717, German art historian and archaeologist Johann Joachim Winckelmann was born. Winckelmann was one of the founders of scientific archaeology and first applied the categories of style on a large, systematic basis to the history of art. Joachim Winckelmann Background Joachim Winckelmann grew up in a poor family of a master shoemaker, but was highly supported by his blind school teacher, the Rector of the Stendal Latin School, Esaias…
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Robert Koldewey’s Excavations in Babylon

Robert Koldewey’s Excavations in Babylon

On September 10, 1855, famous German architect and self-trained archeologal historian Robert Johann Koldewey was born. He is best known for his discovery of the ancient city of Babylon in modern day Iraq, where he excavated the foundations of the ziggurat Marduk, and the famous Ishtar Gate. Robert Koldewey – Early Years Robert Koldewey was bornin Blankenburg (Harz Mountains), Duchy of Braunschweig, to the customs officer Hermann Koldewey and his wife Doris, born copper. He first…
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