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Articles on Archaeology

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Grave from France where the individual was moved around before he fully decomposed. Éveha-Études et valorisations archéologiques/G Grange

Archeologists long believed that ancient graves were robbed all over Europe, but here’s why they’re wrong

All over Europe, early medieval graves look like they were robbed long ago. But new research suggests that relatives re-opened them to take out heirlooms and make connections with the dead.
A crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic lends urgency to scientific research, putting researchers under pressure to produce. janiecbros/E+ via Getty Images

Pandemic, war and environmental disaster push scientists to deliver quick answers – here’s what it takes to do good science under pressure

Scientists can be asked to help find solutions during disasters. A study of how archaeologists worked on the problem of looting during the Syrian war offers lessons for science done during crisis.
Inkatha leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi, former South African President FW de Klerk and Nelson Mandela after signing a peace pledge ahead of the first democratic elections in 1994. Keith Schamotta/AFP via Getty Images

New book on South Africa’s history puts black people at the centre, for a change

This history covers twelve decades, from the surrender of Boer guerrillas in the Second Anglo-Boer War in 1902 to the July 2021 looting spree and violence.
Mary Elizabeth Shutler in Vanuatu, in the1960s. Permitted to join the first archaeological expedition to New Caledonia in 1952 as a ‘voluntary assistant’, she was the only French speaker and chief interlocuter with the Kanak people. Family archives, reproduced with the kind authorisation of John Shutler & Susan Arter.

Friday essay: invisible no more – putting the first women archaeologists of the Pacific back on the map

‘Wives’, volunteers, assistants: the vital contribution of women archaeologists has long been underplayed, if not erased. A new project uncovers trailblazers in the Pacific.
Archaeologists and marine scientists must work together with Indigenous communities and policy makers to protect Australia’s cultural heritage above and below the sea. Sam Wright

Australia’s coastal waters are rich in Indigenous cultural heritage, but it remains hidden and under threat

With 300 stone artefacts submerged on Australia’s continental shelf last year, Indigenous underwater cultural heritage needs to be prioritised in marine science and industry practices.
Archaeologist and paleoenvironmental researcher Isaac Hart of the University of Utah surveys a melting ice patch in western Mongolia. Peter Bittner

Melting Mongolian ice reveals fragile artifacts that provide clues about how past people lived

From the high Yukon to the mountains of Central Asia, melting ice exposes fragile ancient artifacts that tell the story of the past – and provide hints about how to respond to a changing climate.
It should be obvious to this diver that this is a shipwreck and not a reef, but what about to someone looking at a image of this spot taken from an aircraft? LookBermuda/Flickr

AI spots shipwrecks from the ocean surface – and even from the air

It’s difficult to tell a shipwreck from a natural feature on the ocean floor in a scan taken from a plane or ship. This project used deep learning to get it right 92% of the time.

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