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Articles on Archaeology

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The main chamber of Cloggs Cave. Monash University archaeologist Joe Crouch is standing in the 1970s excavation pit, digging a new area in the wall of the old excavation. Bruno David

Magic, culture and stalactites: how Aboriginal perspectives are transforming archaeological histories

Two starkly different research projects at East Gippsland's Cloggs Cave, 50 years apart, show the importance of Indigenous perspectives in archaeology.
A variety of clues can tip off archaeologists about a promising spot for excavation. Gabriel Wrobel

How do archaeologists know where to dig?

Archaeologists used to dig primarily at sites that were easy to find thanks to obvious visual clues. But technology – and listening to local people – plays a much bigger role now.
Djenj Project Gunbalanya School Trip. L-R Leeanna Namarnyilk, Diondre Cooper, Hayley Brinjin, Dionica Cooper, Morgan Disspain, Imogen Mangiru, Sharni Dirdi. Lynley Wallis

School of fish: how we involved Indigenous students in our investigation of a 65,000-year-old site

Archaeologists had some questions about an ancient Aboriginal site. So they involved the community and local school kids on their search for answers.
What route did the first settlers to colonize the islands of the Caribbean take? M.M. Swee/Moment via Getty Images

Archaeologists determined the step-by-step path taken by the first people to settle the Caribbean islands

Did people settle these islands by traveling north from South America, or in the other direction? Reanalyzing data from artifacts discovered decades ago provides a definitive answer.
A: Border Cave’s 200,000 year old fossilised grass fragments. B: The profile section of desiccated grass bedding dating to around 43,000 years ago. Both images copyright Lyn Wadley

Grass on ash: uncovering 200,000 year old beds from South Africa

Before 200,000 years ago, close to the origin of our species, people preferred the use of broad-leaved grasses to build their beds and resting areas using ash layers underneath.
Cylinder seal (left) and modern impression (right) showing two people drinking beer through long straws. Khafajeh, Iraq (Early Dynastic period, c. 2600–2350 B.C.). Courtesy of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago

Brewing Mesopotamian beer brings a sip of this vibrant ancient drinking culture back to life

Beer was extremely popular in ancient Mesopotamia. Sipped through straws, it differed from today’s beer and was enjoyed by people from all walks of life.

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