archaeology

Kathleen Kenyon’s Excavations in the Fertile Crescent

Kathleen Kenyon’s Excavations in the Fertile Crescent

On August 24, 1978, British archaeologist Kathleen Mary Kenyon passed away. Specialized on Neolithic culture in the Fertile Crescent, she is best known for her excavations of Jericho and Bangalow in 1952–1958, and has been called one of the most influential archaeologists of the 20th century. Youth and Education Kathleen Kenyon was born in London, England, on January 5, 1906, the daughter of Sir Frederic Kenyon who later became director of the…
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Karl Richard Lepsius – A Pioneer in Modern Archaeology

Karl Richard Lepsius – A Pioneer in Modern Archaeology

On July 10 1884, Prussian egyptologist and linguist Karl Richard Lepsius passed away. Lepsius is regarded as one of the founding fathers of scientific methods in archaeology. His plans, maps and drawings of tomb and temple walls are of high accuracy and reliability. In 1866 he found found the Canopus decree at Tanis. Being written in two languages, it was a valuable cross-reference for the prior interpretation of the Rosetta stone by Champollion.[6]…
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Johan Gunnar Andersson and Chinese Archaeology

Johan Gunnar Andersson and Chinese Archaeology

On July 3, 1874, Swedish archaeologist, paleontologist and geologist Johan Gunnar Andersson was born. Andersson is closely associated with the beginnings of Chinese archaeology in the 1920s. He laid the foundation for the study of prehistoric China. In 1921, at a cave near there, on the basis of bits of quartz that he found in a limestone region, he predicted that a fossil man would be discovered. Six years later, the first…
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Gaston Maspero and the Sea Peoples

Gaston Maspero and the Sea Peoples

On June 23, 1846, French egyptologist Gaston Camille Charles Maspero was born. Maspero is best known for popularizing the term “Sea Peoples“. He was director general of excavations and antiquities for the Egyptian government, who was responsible for locating a collective royal tomb of prime historic importance. Studying Egyptology under Auguste Mariette Gaston Maspero studied at the École normale and met Egyptologist Auguste Mariette in 1867, back then the commissioner for the Egyptian…
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Giuseppe Fiorelli’s Excavations in Pompeji

Giuseppe Fiorelli’s Excavations in Pompeji

On June 8, 1823, Italian archaeologist Giuseppe Fiorelli was born. Fiorelli’s systematic excavation at Pompeii, the ancient Roman town-city near modern Naples that was buried under volcanic ash and pumice in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, helped to preserve much of the ancient city as nearly intact as possible and contributed significantly to modern archaeological methods. Born in Naples Giuseppe Fiorelli was born in Naples, Italy, and not much…
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Maria Reiche – Keeper of the Nazca Lines

Maria Reiche – Keeper of the Nazca Lines

On May 15, 1903, German-born Peruvian mathematician and archaeologist Maria Reiche was born. Reiche was the self-appointed keeper of the Nazca Lines, a series of desert ground drawings over 1,000 years old, near Nazcain in southern Peru. For 50 years the “Lady of the Lines” studied and protected these etchings of animals and geometric patterns in 60 km of desert. In 1995 the Nazca Lines were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.…
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Howard Carter and the Tomb of Tutankhamun

Howard Carter and the Tomb of Tutankhamun

On May 9, 1874, English archaeologist and Egyptologist Howard Carter was born. Carter became world-famous after discovering the intact tomb of the 18th Dynasty Pharaoh, Tutankhamun in November 1922. We’ve had already featured Tutankhamun [1] as well as the discovery of the tomb [2] here at SciHi blog. Time to draw our attention to the egyptologist Howard Carter. “Here before us was sufficient evidence to show that it really was an entrance…
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Andrew Sherratt and the Secondary Products Revolution

Andrew Sherratt and the Secondary Products Revolution

On May 8, 1946, English archaeologist Andrew Sherratt was born. Sherratt was one of the most influential archaeologists of his generation. He was best known for the idea of the Secondary Products Revolution, which involves a widespread and broadly contemporaneous set of innovations in Old World farming, such as e.g. the exploitation of milk, wool, traction (the use of animals to drag ploughs in agriculture) as well as riding and pack transport. Andrew…
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Heinrich Karl Brugsch and the Decipherment of Demotic Script

Heinrich Karl Brugsch and the Decipherment of Demotic Script

On February 18, 1827, German egyptologist Heinrich Karl Brugsch was born. Brugsch was associated with Auguste Mariette in his excavations at Memphis and pioneered in the decipherment of Demotic, the simplified script of the later Egyptian periods. He also recognized the Semitic side of Egyptian grammar, thus enabling a far more comprehensive and systematic understanding of hieroglyphs. Self-taught Studies in Egyptology Heinrich Karl Brugsch was born in Berlin, Germany, as the son…
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Gertrude Caton Thompson and Prehistoric Egypt

Gertrude Caton Thompson and Prehistoric Egypt

On February 1, 1888, English archaeologist Gertrude Caton Thompson was born. Thompson was an influential archaeologist at a time when participation by women in the discipline was rather uncommon working primarily in Egypt. She was able to distinguish two prehistoric cultures in the Al-Fayyum depression of Upper Egypt, the older dating to about 5000 BC and the younger to about 4500 BC. Archaeology with Flinders Petrie Gertrude Thompson traveled to Egypt with her…
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