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Editor-In-Chief: Henry A. Hoff

File:Gurue Mount Murresse.jpg
This diversified and partly man-shaped landscape in northern Mozambique has some visual appeal (being beautiful or picturesque). Credit: Paulo Oliveira.

Archaeology "studies human cultures through the recovery, documentation and analysis of material remains and environmental data, including architecture, artifacts, ecofacts, human remains, and landscapes."[1]

It is the study of human activity in the past, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes (the archaeological record).

Because archaeology employs a wide range of different procedures, it can be considered to be both a science and a humanity.[2]

Archaeology studies human history from the development of the first stone tools in eastern Africa 3.4 million years ago up until recent decades.[3] (Archaeology does not include the discipline of paleontology.) It is of most importance for learning about prehistoric societies, when there are no written records for historians to study, making up over 99% of total human history, from the Palaeolithic until the advent of literacy in any given society.[2]

Theoretical archaeology

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An old lamp was used in houses. Credit: Renith Sunil.{{free media}}

Def. the "period of time that has already happened"[4] is called the past.

Def. the "study of the past through material remains"[5] is called archaeology, or archeology.


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This is a photograph taken of the noted archaeologist and socialist V. Gordon Childe, circa 1930s. Credit: Swan Watson, Andrew.

"[D]ominant groups create and control the meanings and uses of material culture. If other groups wish to be understood by the dominant group, they must express themselves through the goods controlled by the dominant group."[6]

"But, the privilege afforded a certain dominant group of 'normal' archaeologists in terms of their ways of constructing the past influences all aspects of archaeological practice."[7]

"However, some answers to these questions may emerge from a consideration of the dominant group, that is, the five institutions whose scholars published the most articles in the two periodicals."[8]

Landscape archaeology

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Rural landscape: A steep field is viewed from the B7068 with more pasture beyond by the Water of Milk. Credit: Walter Baxter.{{free media}}

Def. an assemblage of surfaces that are a portion of land, region, or territory, observable in its entirety is called a landscape.

Landscape comprises the visible features of an area of [terrestrial ecoregion] land, including the physical elements of landforms such as (ice-capped) mountains, hills, water bodies such as rivers, lakes, ponds and the sea, living elements of land cover including indigenous vegetation, human elements including different forms of land use, buildings and structures, and transitory elements such as lighting and weather conditions.

Landscape archaeology is the study of the ways in which people in the past constructed and used the environment around them. Landscape archaeology is inherently multidisciplinary in its approach to the study of culture, and is used by both pre-historical, classic, and historic archaeologists. The key feature that distinguishes landscape archaeology from other archaeological approaches to sites is that there is an explicit emphasis on the study of the relationships between material culture, human alteration of land/cultural modifications to landscape, and the natural environment.


Excavations at the site of Gran Dolina, in Atapuerca (Spain), during 2008, are shown. Credit: Mario Modesto Mata.

Archaeological field survey is the method by which archaeologists (often landscape archaeologists) search for archaeological sites and collect information about the location, distribution and organization of past human cultures across a large area (e.g. typically in excess of one hectare, and often in excess of many km2).

Surveys are conducted to search for particular archaeological sites or kinds of sites, to detect patterns in the distribution of material culture over regions, to make generalizations or test hypotheses about past cultures, and to assess the risks that development projects will have adverse impacts on archaeological heritage.[9]

The surveys may be: (a) intrusive or non-intrusive, depending on the needs of the survey team (and the risk of destroying archaeological evidence if intrusive methods are used) and; (b) extensive or intensive, depending on the types of research questions being asked of the landscape in question. Surveys can be a practical way to decide whether or not to carry out an excavation (as a way of recording the basic details of a possible site), but may also be ends in themselves, as they produce important information about past human activities in a regional context.

Excavation is the exposure, processing and recording of archaeological remains. An excavation site or "dig" is a site being studied.


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A stone sphere created by the Diquís culture is in the courtyard of the Museo Nacional de Costa Rica (National Museum of Costa Rica). Credit: WAvegetarian.{{free media}}
File:Farm 6 archaeological site, Costa Rica.jpg
Here is a view of the Farm 6 Archaeological site. Credit: A. Egitto.
File:Pre-Columbian Stone Balls at Palmar Sur, Costa Rica.jpg
Palmar Sur airport park has stone spheres. Credit: Matthewobrien.
File:Dropa disc.jpg
A small disc with tiny hieroglyphics written on it apparently telling the story of an ancient race of aliens called the Dropa. Credit: Evelyn H. Armstrong.{{fairuse}}

Def. an "object, such as a tool, weapon or ornament, [ceramics or pottery,] structure or finding in an experiment or investigation ... made or shaped by some agent or intelligence, ... [as] a result of external action, the test arrangement, or an experimental error ... rather than an inherent element"[10] is called an artifact, or artefact.

In June 2014, the Precolumbian Chiefdom Settlements with Stone Spheres of the Diquis was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.[11]

The spheres range in size from a few centimetres to over 2 metres (6.5616798 ft) in diameter, and weigh up to 15 tons.[12] Most are sculpted from gabbro.[12]

The culture of the people who made them disappeared after the Spanish conquest.[13]

The first scientific investigation of the spheres was undertaken shortly after their discovery and published in 1943 in American Antiquity, attracting the attention of Samuel Kirkland Lothrop[14] of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University.[15] In 1948, he and his wife attempted to excavate an unrelated archaeological site in the northern region of Costa Rica.[16] In San José he met Doris Stone, who directed the group toward the Diquís Delta region in the southwest ("Valle de Diquís" refers to the valley of the lower Río Grande de Térraba, including the Osa Canton towns of Puerto Cortés, Palmar Norte, and Sierpe.[17]

The Dropa stones or discs may be a series of at least 716 circular stone discs, dating back 12,000 years, on which tiny hieroglyph-like markings may be found.[18][19] Each disc is claimed to measure up to 1 foot (30.48 cm) in diameter and carry two grooves, originating from a hole in their center, in the form of a double spiral.[20]


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Ancient copper pot on three iron feet with handle is 15cm high. Credit: JaneArt.{{free media}}

In "Serbia [are] the oldest copper implements in the world. Some 7000 years ago, tradesmen of great wealth flourished on the Balkan peninsula."[21]

"The soil around Plonik is rich in copper - the metal in a pure state lays often directly at the surface."[22]

The so-called "copper-violets" "are related to the Alpine violets, which we know in Germany from flower pots. But they grow only in a soil with a very high copper content. There - where the soil is too poisonous for the other plants, they blossom in wide carpets - and in so doing point to the presence of copper."[22]

In "the late stone age people picked up the beautiful stones. For instance, malachite. The green-hued mineral belongs to the class of carbonates. Copper content: 57 percent. Our ancestors made experiments with different stones over the fire. From there, it was only a small step to jewels and to more practical objects."[21]

On "the Black Sea Coast in today's Bulgaria, there flourished a prosperous, big city, quite close to today's Varna. Archaeologists have found the cemetary of this settlement. The graves were loaded with treasures: jewels - mostly gold, but also copper - sea shells from the Aegean and tools made of types of stone which must have come from far away."[21]

"In the 5. Millennium BC people lived there in complex, centralized settlements of up to a thousand inhabitants. They invented a new ceramic oven with two chambers which was remarkably well suited to the extraction of metal. We must strongly surmise that there existed relations between the Balkans and Northern Mesopotamia."[21]

"An enormous fire unleashed itself around 5000 BC in the city [of Plonik]. The earth carbonized. The houses collapsed and buried all the possessions of the inhabitants under their walls. When the flame died down, the city had ceased to exist."[21]


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This is a photo of a monument in Pakistan identified as the GB-7. Credit: Aamirsohail56.{{free media}}

In "the deep Southeast of Europe, near today's village of Plonik in Serbia, there existed 7000 years ago a major city. Its inhabitants lived in closely assembled huts and they melted copper to make jewels, tools and weapons."[21]

"The age of the oldest pieces which they have found up to now in the settlement is up to 7300 years. That's a good 800 years older as any other copper implements which have been found anywhere on Earth to this day."[21]


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Iranian shafted weapons, 19th century, are from the Qajar era and are steel, damascened with gold. Credit: Zereshk.{{free media}}

"The people of the Balkan peninsula had a good knowledge of how they could create jewels, tools and weapons out of earth with a high copper content."[21]

"In Plonik, excavators found hatchets of copper. And weapons: axes and maces. With them a new area began. The stone age was gone, the copper age - chalcolithic - had begun."[21]


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Ancient gold jewelry is displayed. Credit: Erik Drost.{{free media}}

"From one grave, the excavator dug 1,516 K of gold jewelry. This is more gold than has been found in all the rest of the world for this particular epoch."[21]


"In order to interpret archaeological ceramic assemblages in terms of social identities, a method was developed [that] consists in sorting the potsherds according to, successively, technical, techno-petrographic and morpho-stylistic criteria."[23]

Heritage management

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Birgitte Skar are walking the trail in Bahia Lapataia, Parque Nacional, Tierra del Fuego, in order to learn how cultural heritage is defined, assessed and activated in contemporary cultural heritage management in Argentina. Credit: Photo K. Ø. Oftedal, NTNU Vitenskapsmuseet.{{free media}}

"Rare, though, is the country where ethnic groups balance each other in terms of numbers, wealth or political influence and, consequently, it is not uncommon for the dominant group to use its power to push its own heritage to the fore, minimizing or denying the significance of subordinate groups as it crafts a national identity in its own image."[24]

Historical archaeology

Historical archaeology is a form of archaeology dealing with places, things, and issues from the past or present when written records and oral traditions can inform and contextualize cultural material. These records can both complement and conflict with the archaeological evidence found at a particular site. Studies focus on literate, historical-period societies as opposed to non-literate, prehistoric societies. While they may not have generated the records, the lives of people for whom there was little need for written records, such as the working class, slaves, indentured labourers, and children but who live in the historical period can also be the subject of study. The sites are found on land and underwater. Industrial archaeology, unless practiced at industrial sites from the prehistoric era, is a form of historical archaeology concentrating on the remains and products of industry and the Industrial era.

Maya civilization

File:Tikal Jungle Structures.jpg
Dense forest surrounds the city center of Tikal. Credit: Marcello A. Canuto, Francisco Estrada-Belli, Thomas G. Garrison, Stephen D. Houston, Mary Jane Acuña, Milan Kováč, Damien Marken, Philippe Nondédéo, Luke Auld-Thomas, Cyril Castanet, David Chatelain, Carlos R. Chiriboga, Tomáš Drápela, Tibor Lieskovský, Alexandre Tokovinine, Antolín Velasquez, Juan C. Fernández-Díaz, Ramesh Shrestha.{{fairuse}}

In the image on the right, dense forest surrounds the city center of this Classic-era Maya site (top) Tikal. Laser mapping of the same view (bottom) reveals structures and causeways hidden by the jungle.

"Lidar (a type of airborne laser scanning) provides a powerful technique for three-dimensional mapping of topographic features."[25]

"Lowland Maya civilization flourished from 1000 BCE to 1500 CE in and around the Yucatan Peninsula."[25]

"In 2016, the Pacunam Lidar Initiative (PLI) undertook the largest lidar survey to date of the Maya region, mapping 2144 km2 of the Maya Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala."[25]

"Analysis identified 61,480 ancient structures in the survey region, resulting in a density of 29 structures/km2. Controlling for a number of complex variables, we estimate an average density of ~80 to 120 persons/km2 at the height of the Late Classic period (650 to 800 CE). Extrapolation of this settlement density to the entire 95,000 km2 of the central lowlands produces a population range of 7 million to 11 million."[25]

"Settlement distribution is not homogeneous, however; we found evidence of (i) rural areas with low overall density, (ii) periurban zones with small urban centers and dispersed populations, and (iii) urban zones where a single, large city integrated a wider population."[25]

"The PLI survey revealed a landscape heavily modified for intensive agriculture, necessary to sustain populations on this scale. Lidar shows field systems in the low-lying wetlands and terraces in the upland areas. The scale of wetland systems and their association with dense populations suggest centralized planning, whereas upland terraces cluster around residences, implying local management. Analysis identified 362 km2 of deliberately modified agricultural terrain and another 952 km2 of unmodified uplands for potential swidden use. Approximately 106 km of causeways within and between sites constitute evidence of inter- and intracommunity connectivity. In contrast, sizable defensive features point to societal disconnection and large-scale conflict."[25]

“The new lidar data show that interconnected Maya cities go back to at least 300 B.C.”[26]


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Prehistory is diaplayed at Nairobi National Museum. Credit: ninara.{{free media}}

The prehistory period dates from around 7 x 106 b2k to about 7,000 b2k.

Def. the "history of human culture prior to written records"[27] is called prehistory.

21st Century

"During an underwater expedition in 2000, divers saw a large stone head emerge from the murky dark waters [over Heracleion]. It was the head of the god Hapi, the personification of the Nile’s annual flood."[28]

Heracleion, also known by its Egyptian name Thonis,[29] and sometimes called Thonis-Heracleion, was an ancient Egyptian city located near the Canopic Mouth of the Nile, about 32 km northeast of Alexandria. Its ruins are located in Abu Qir Bay, currently 2.5 km off the coast, under 10 m (Expression error: Missing operand for *. ) of water.[30] A stele found on the site indicates that it was one single city known by both its Egyptian and Greek names.[31]

20th Century

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The image shows a North American X-15 on a test flight for the US Air Force. Credit: USAF.
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Map shows Nile Delta with ancient Canopus, Heracleion, and Menouthis. Credit: ChrisOsenbrück.{{free media}}

Manned spaceflight on an individual basis has only been achieved with experimental aircraft such as the X-15.

"In 1933 British RAF Group-Captain Cull was flying his plane over Aboukir, a Royal Air Force base east of Alexandria in Egypt, when he glimpsed something in the water below him. From his vantage point, Cull could make out the outlines of structures beneath the water. Unbeknownst to him, Cull had located Heracleion, an important ancient Egyptian city that had lain hidden beneath the water for nearly 1500 years."[28]

Heracleion is located at 31°18'15"N 30°06'02"E.

"According to legend, this lost metropolis had hosted its namesake, Heracles, and lovers Paris and Helen before they fled to Troy. Cleopatra, Egypt’s most famous queen, had even been crowned in one of the temples there."[28]

"Before its discovery, Heracleion (which was also known in the ancient world by its Egyptian name, Thonis) was almost the stuff of mythology. Though it is now buried several miles off the coast, Thonis-Heracleion was once a thriving port city."[28]

The ruins submerged in the sea were located and explored by the French underwater archaeologist Franck Goddio in 1999, after a five-year search.[32]

19th Century

File:Covered Bridge Cedarburg WI May-09.jpg
This Covered Bridge is a latticed timber truss bridge built in 1867 as of May 2009. Credit: Freekee.{{free media}}

The Covered Bridge on the right was built in 1867 near the town of Cedarburg, Wisconsin.

"In 1866 Mahmoud Bey El-Falaki, the official astronomer to the Viceroy of Egypt, had published a map that located the nearby ancient town of [...] Canopus on the edge of the coastline."[28]

18th Century

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The Jantar Mantar is a collection of architectural astronomical instruments, built by Maharaja Jai Singh II at his then new capital of Jaipur between 1727 and 1733. Credit: Knowledge Seeker.

Taken from the observation platform at the top of the Jantar Mantar, the image on the right shows smaller architectural sundials. The Jantar Mantar is a collection of architectural astronomical instruments, built by Maharaja Jai Singh II at his then new capital of Jaipur between 1727 and 1733. The City Palace is behind then Govindji Temple. Nahargarh Fort is on the Hill.

17th Century

This is a schematic of a Keplerian refracting telescope which uses two different sizes of plano-convex lenses. Credit: Szőcs Tamás.

The Keplerian Telescope was invented by Johannes Kepler in 1611.[33]

16th Century

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This armillary sphere is dated from 1547. Credit: Mike Peel.

The images on the right shows the sphere without sighting tubes or any device for observing astronomical objects and dates from 1547.

15th Century

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An armillary sphere is shown in a painting by Sandro Botticelli, c. 1480. Credit: Creator: Sandro Botticelli.

The image at the right dating from c. 1480 shows the sphere without sighting tube or any device for observing astronomical objects.

14th Century

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The image shows Charlemagne holding a sceptre dated from before 1380. Credit: Siren-Com.

The image at the left shows a sceptre dated to before 1380.

"According to written records, a steady succession of earthquakes, perhaps as many as 23, struck North Africa between A.D. 323-1303."[28]

13th Century

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This Anasazi ruin tower is found in the Canyon of the Ancients, New Mexico. Credit: Bob Wick.{{free media}}

The ruin tower on the right is apparently dated to the 13th Century and was built by the Anasazi.

12th Century

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Exterior is of the Church of San Tirso, Sahagún. Credit: José Antonio Gil Martínez.{{free media}}

Romanesque apses and brick towers of the Church of San Tirso, Sahagún, are shown on the right, dated to the 12th Century.

11th Century

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This star map is from Su Song's Xin Yi Xiang Fa Yao. Credit: PericlesofAthens.

The star map on the right, which features a cylindrical projection, was published in 1092 and has a corrected position for the pole star using Shen Kuo's astronomical observations.[34]

10th Century

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Photo was taken in Visby in August 2007. Credit: Żeglarz.{{free media}}

Visby was founded in the 10th century, on the then independent Baltic Sea island of Gotland. The Hansaetic League formed it during ensuing centuries, during which it came to Denmark. In 1645, it came into Swedish occupation, in which it has remained until today.

There is more about lenses more recently from Visby, Gotland.

"What intrigues the researchers is that the lenses are of such high quality that they could have been used to make a telescope some 500 years before the first known crude telescopes were constructed in Europe in the last few years of the 16th century."[35]

"Made from rock-crystal, the lenses have an accurate shape that betrays the work of a master craftsman. The best example of the lenses measures 50 mm (2 inches) in diameter and 30 mm (1 inch) thick at its centre."[35]

"The [Visby] Gotland crystals provide the first evidence that sophisticated lens-making techniques were being used by craftsmen over a 1,000 years ago."[35]

9th Century

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Nilometer is at Rawda, Cairo, Egypt. Credit: Baldiri.{{free media}}

There was an inscription which placed the foundation of the nilometer in 861.

Cobá is a former pre-Columbian Mayan city on the Yucatán Peninsula southeast of Valladolid located in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico.

In Cobá, the temple pyramid Nohoch-Mul (also known as Castillo, or the climbing pyramid shown on the left) is 42 meters high.

The city was founded shortly after the beginning of the year and expanded into a city state that peaked between 600 and 800 (1400 and 1200 b2k).

8th Century

File:Dunhuang Star Atlas - complete.jpg
The Dunhuang Star Atlas is the last section of Or.8210/S.3326. Credit: Unknown.
File:Dunhuang star map.jpg
This is an image of the Dunhuang map from the Tang Dynasty of the North Polar region. Constellations of the three schools are distinguished with different colors: white, black and yellow for stars of Wu Xian, Gan De and Shi Shen respectively. Credit: Laurascudder, from: Brian J. Ford (1993). Images of Science: A History of Scientific Illustration, Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195209834.

The Dunhuang map from the Tang Dynasty of the North Polar region at right is thought to date from the reign of Emperor Zhongzong of Tang (705–710). Constellations of the three schools are distinguished with different colors: white, black and yellow for stars of Wu Xian, Gan De and Shi Shen respectively. The whole set of star maps contains 1,300 stars.

The Dunhuang Star Atlas, the last section of manuscript Or.8210/S.3326. It is "the oldest manuscript star atlas known today from any civilisation, probably dating from around AD 700. It shows a complete representation of the Chinese sky in 13 charts with over 1300 stars named and accurately presented."[36]

"The Dunhuang Star Atlas [above center] forms the second part of a longer scroll (Or.8210/S.3326) that measures 210 cm long by 24.4 cm wide and is made of fine paper in thirteen separate panels."[36]

"The first part of the scroll is a manual for divination based on the shape of clouds. The twelve charts showing different sections of the sky follow these. The stars are named and there is also explanatory text. The final chart is of the north-polar region. The chart is detailed, showing a total of 1345 stars in 257 clearly marked and named asterisms, or constellations, including all twenty-eight mansions."[36]

"The importance of the chart lies in both its accuracy and graphic quality. The chart includes both bright and faint stars, visible to the naked eye from north central China".[36]

7th Century

File:Sambor Prei Kuk N16 A.jpg
N16 Sanctuary is in Sambor Prei Kuk, Cambodia. Credit: Baldiri.{{free media}}
File:Cantona (20065785913).jpg
Cantona is a Mesoamerican archaeological site in the state of Puebla, Mexico. Credit: Arian Zwegers from Brussels, Belgium.{{free media}}

Sambor Pre Kuk, with its N16 Sanctuary imaged on the right, is an archaeological complex formed by the remains of the city of Isanapura, the capital of the kingdom of Chenla, an immediate predecessor of the Khmer Empire (pre-Angkorian).

This city was built during the reign of Isanavarman I (616-635). At this time, several constructions, clear predecessors of Khmer architecture, were erected in Angkor.

Cantona is a Mesoamerican archaeological site in the state of Puebla, Mexico. It was a fortified city with a high urbanization level at prehispanic times, probably founded by Olmec-Xicalanca groups towards the late Classical Period. It sat astride an old trading route between the Gulf Coast and the Central Highlands and was a prominent, if isolated, Mesoamerican city between 600 and 1000 CE. After Chichimec's invasions in the 11th century, Cantona was abandoned.

Cantona's inhabitants were mainly agricultural farmers and traders, particularly for obsidian, obtained from Oyameles-Zaragoza mountains surrounding the city. Additionally, they may have been supplying the lowlands with a derivative of the maguey plant, pulque. Cantona's population is estimated at about 80,000 inhabitants at its peak.

Cantona may well be the largest prehispanic city yet discovered in Mesoamerica. Limited archaeological work has been done at the site, and only about 10% of the site can be seen. The Pre-Columbian settlement area occupies approximately 12 km², distributed in three units, of which the largest is at the south, with a surface of 5 km². The site comprises a road network with over 500 cobblestone causeways, more than 3,000 individual patios, residences, and 24 ball courts - more than in any other mesoamerican site. It has an elevated Acropolis over the rest of the city in which the main buildings of the city were built. This was used for the ruling elite and priests, and was where the temples of the most important deities where located. These impressive buildings were constructed with carved stones (one atop the other) without any stucco or cement mortar. Cantona certainly was built with a definite urban design and walkways connecting each and every part of the city. The "First Avenue" is 563 meters in length.

6th Century

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The Temple of the Owl pyramid is at Dzibanche. Credit: HJPD.

On the right is the Basilica Cistern in Constantinople, Turkey. It has been dated to the 6th century.

Dzibanche is an archaeological site which includes the Temple of the Owl pyramid. It is an ancient Maya site located in southern Quintana Roo, in the Yucatan Peninsula of southeastern Mexico.

Structures at Dzibanche include the Temple of the Captives, the Temple of the Lintels and the Temple of the Owl, on the left.

5th Century

File:Iron Pillar at Qutub Minar Complex India-0346 - Flickr - archer10 (Dennis).jpg
Iron Pillar is seven-metres high in the courtyard of the mosque and has been there long before the mosque's construction. Credit: Dennis Jarvis from Halifax, Canada.{{free media}}

Ancient India was an early leader in metallurgy, as evidenced by the wrought-iron Pillar of Delhi in the image on the right, dated to about 415 or 1585 b2k.

4th Century

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This shows the House of Peter, Capernaum, Israel. Credit: Hoshvilim.{{free media}}

The House of Peter in Capernaum, Israel, has been dated to the 4th century.

"The most severe [earthquake of North Africa] occurred in A.D. 365. The coastline fell and the cluster of cities that lay in the Canopic branch of the Nile vanished into the Mediterranean."[28]

3rd Century

File:Dermainzer Globus.jpg
The Mainz celestial globe is the last known celestial globe of Roman antiquity (1850-1780 b2k, 11 cm diameter). Credit: Gunnar Heinsohn.
File:Der mainzer Globus.jpg
These are constellation illustrations on the last known celestial globe of Roman antiquity. Credit: Gunnar Heinsohn.

The last known celestial globe shown at the right dates from 1850 to 1780 b2k. The constellation illustrations from the Mainz celestial globe are shown at the left.

2nd Century

File:P. Oxy. I 29.jpg
Oxyrhynchus papyrus (P.Oxy. I 29) shows a fragment of Euclid's Elements. Credit: Euclid.{{free media}}

On the right is an image of the oldest extant diagram of Euclid's Elements, found at Oxyrhynchus and dated to c. 100 AD.[37]

1st Century

Pompeii lens (plano-convex) from the excavations of the Via Stabia, "House of the Engraver" dated to 79 AD per E. Gerspach, L'art de la verrerie (Paris 1885) 41-42.

Roman London lens (fragmentary biconvex glass lens of light green color), from Roman London, dated to 43-50 AD per H. Syer Cuming, "On Spectacles," The Journal of the British Archaeological Association 11 (1855) 144-49.

-1st Century

Indian-standard coin of King Maues has on the obverse a rejoicing elephant holding a wreath, symbol of victory. Credit: Per Honor et Gloria].

The "Late La Tène time span [is] between the conquests of 55 BC and 54 BC [2055 and 2054 b2k] under Julius Caesar (100-44 BC) and the time of Christ. In the rare cases where pottery and tableware are attributed to Saxons of the 4th/5th c. AD, "astonishingly La Tène art styles [more than 300 years out of fashion] re-emerge as dominant in the northern and western zone." (Hines 1996, 260)"[38]

"Stamped pottery has had a long and varied history in Britain. There have been periods when it flourished and periods when it almost totally disappeared. This article considers two variations of the rosette motif (A 5) and their fortunes from the late Iron Age to the Early Saxon period. [...] The La Tène ring stamps [which end in the 1st century BC; GH ] are found in a range of designs, from the simple negative ring (= AASPS Classification A 1bi) to four concentric negative rings (= AASPS A 2di). These motifs are also found in the early Roman period [1st century AD; GH]. [...] The 'dot rosettes' (= AASPS A 9di) on bowls from the [Late Latène] Hunsbury hill-fort (Fell 1937) use the same sort of technique as the dimple decoration on 4th-century 'Romano-Saxon' wares."[39]

In "Šarnjaka kod Šemovca (Dalmatia/Croatia), e.g., contain 700-year-older La Tène and Imperial period items (1st century BC to 3rd century AD) [...]:"[38]

"A large dugout house (SU 9) was discovered in the course of the investigation in 2006. Its dimensions are 4.8 by 2.1 metres, with a depth of 34 centimetres, and an east-west orientation, deviating slightly along the NE-SW line. It contained numerous sherds of Early Medieval pottery, two fragments of glass, and a small iron spike. Three sherds of Roman pottery [1st-3rd c. CE; GH] and ten sherds of La Tène pottery [ending 1st c. BCE; GH] were also recovered from the house."[40]

"The contemporaneity of Rome’s Imperial period textbook-dated to the 1st-3rd century AD with the Early Middle Ages (8th-10th century AD) is also confirmed for Poland [in the stratigraphic table above]. There, too, Late Latène (conventionally ending 1st c. BC) immediately precedes the Early Medieval period of the 8th-10th c. CE."[38]

"In [the Roman Empire] capital cities, Rome and Constantinople (Heinsohn 2016) [they] build residential quarters, streets, latrines, aqueducts, ports etc. only in one of the three periods—Imperial Antiquity, Late Antiquity, and Early Middle Ages—dated between 1 and 930s AD. In Rome, they are assigned to Imperial Antiquity (1st-3rd c.); in Constantinople, to Late Antiquity (4th-6th c.)."[38]

"Roman churches of Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages [...] would suffice to confirm the existence of these two periods. The churches are there. However, we never find churches of the 8th or 9th century superimposed on churches of the 4th or 5th century that, in turn, are superimposed on pagan basilicas of the 1st or 2nd century. They all share the same stratigraphic level of the 1st and 2nd/early 3rd century. Moreover, the ground plans of the 4th/5th—as well as the 8th/9th—century churches slavishly repeat the ground plans of 1st/2nd century basilicas, as already pointed out 75 years ago by Richard Krautheimer (1897-1994). It is this period of Imperial Antiquity (with its internal evolution from the 1st to 3rd centuries) that alone builds the residential quarters, latrines, streets, and aqueducts so desperately looked for in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. Thus, Rome does not have more stratigraphy for the first millennium AD than England or Poland."[38]

"Germanic tribes, not only Anglo-Saxons and Frisians but also Franks, had been competing with Rome for the conquest of the British Isles since the 1st century BC".[38]

"1st century BC "Astonishingly LA TÈNE art styles" (Hines 1996) dominate pottery of SAXONS [and] Powerful LA TÈNE Celts with King Aththe-Domarous of Camulodunum [is the] greatest ruler."[38]

"Saxons begin their attack on Britain as early as the 1st century BC. They compete with the Romans, who may have employed Germanic Franks as auxiliary forces. The Saxons invade from the East, i.e., from the German Bight."[38]

From "the stratigraphy of the Saxon homeland, located around Bremen/Weser inside today’s Lower Saxony [it] is mainly inhabited by Chauci and Bructeri [...] Saxon tribes that are [...] at war with the Romans in the time of Augustus (31 BC-14 AD) and Aththe-Domaros of Camulodunum (Aθθe-Domaros, also read as Addedom-Arus; c. 15-5 BC)."[38]

On the right is an Indian-standard coin of King Maues. On the obverse is a rejoicing elephant holding a wreath, a symbol of victory. The Greek legend reads ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΝ ΜΕΓΑΛΟΥ ΜΑΥΟΥ (Great King of Kings Maues). The reverse shows the seated king Maues. Kharoshthi legend: RAJATIRAJASA MAHATASA MOASA (Great King of Kings Maues).

-2nd Century

File:NAMA Machine d'Anticythère 1.jpg
The image shows the main Antikythera mechanism fragment (fragment A). Credit: Marsyas.{{free media}}
File:Nike of Samothrake Louvre Ma2369 n4.jpg
The Nike of Samothrace, ca 190 BC, is a masterpiece of Hellenistic art. Credit: Archaeological expedition of Charles Champoiseau, 1863 and 1879.
File:Lagid queen Isis Ma3546.jpg
Cleopatra II was born c. 185 BC and died 116 BC. Credit: Jastrow.{{free media}}

The "fragments [of the Antikythera Mechanism] contain at least 30 interlocking gear-wheels, along with copious astronomical inscriptions. Before its sojourn on the sea bed, it computed and displayed the movement of the Sun, the Moon and possibly the planets around Earth, and predicted the dates of future eclipses."[41]

The Winged Nike of Samothrace is made from Parian marble, ca. 190 BC? and found in Samothrace in 1863 by the archaeological expedition of Charles Champoiseau, 1863 and 1879.

Cleopatra II on the left was involved in the ruling of Egypt apparently from c. 175 BC to until she died in 116 BC.

-3rd Century

File:Sea island survey.jpg
Sea Island survey diagram 窥望海岛之图 was first written of by the Chinese mathematician Liu Hui during the Three Kingdoms era (220–280 CE). Credit: Liu Hui.{{free media}}
The Pyramid of the Moon is one of several monuments built in Teotihuacán apparently in the 3rd century BC. Credit: Hajor.{{free media}}

A Sea Island survey diagram shown on the right was first written of by the Chinese mathematician Liu Hui during the Three Kingdoms era (220–280 CE).

"Jastorf (La Tène) culture [3rd to 1st century BC] with bronze and iron technology. Rich building evidence in downtown Bremen."[38]

"Many of the coins found at Heracleion date to the time of King Ptolemy II, who ruled Egypt from 283 to 246 B.C."[28]

-4th Century

This is a diagram that shows the operational principles of the dioptra. Credit: Nerijp.{{fairuse}}
Ptolemaic coins are from the submerged Heracleion. Credit: World Imaging.

A 3rd century BCE dioptra in the image at the right is an astronomical and surveying instrument, a sighting tube if fitted with protractors, it could be used to measure angles.

Numerous finds from the [Thonis-Heracleion] site have indicated that the city's period of major activity ran from the 6th to the 4th century BC,[42] with finds of pottery and coins appearing to stop at the end of the 2nd century BC.[31] Goddio's finds have also included incomplete statues of the god Serapis and the queen Arsinoe II.[43] No more than 5% of the city's area was explored by the archaeologist.[31]

-5th Century

File:The Parthenon in Athens.jpg
The Parthenon, Athens Greece, photo taken in 1978. Credit: Steve Swayne .{{free media}}

Edzná is a Mayan archaeological site in the north of the Mexican state of Campeche.

The Gran Acropolis is on the right.

Edzná was already inhabited in 400 BC (2400 b2k).

Apparently construction on the Parthenon is dated to have begun in 447 BC (2447 b2k) and was completed in 438 BC (2438 b2k) although decoration continued until 432 BC (2432 b2k).

"The fifth-century B.C. historian Herodotus writes that the Temple of Heracles [in Thonis (Heracleion)] was a refuge for runaway slaves. Herodotus notes that if a slave took refuge there and had the “sacred marks” set on them it would not be lawful for the slave’s original owner to claim them."[28]

-6th Century

This is the Babylonian Map of the World Imago Mundi, the oldest known world map, dated to 6th century BC Babylonia. Credit: Artaxiad.
File:Kroisos stake Louvre G197.jpg
Croesus at the stake is on Side A from an Attic red-figure amphora, ca. 500–490 BC. Credit: Myson.{{free media}}
File:British Museum gold coin of Croesus.jpg
Gold coin of Croesus, the Lydian, around 550 BC, is from modern Turkey. Credit: BabelStone.{{free media}}
File:Alkaios Sappho Staatliche Antikensammlungen 2416 n2.jpg
One of the earliest surviving images of Sappho, from c. 470 BC. Credit: Brygos Painter.

The map on the right shows Assyria, Babylonia and Armenia.

Croesus, 595 BC – c. 546 BC, was king of Lydia for apparently 14 years: from 560 BC until his defeat by the Persian king Cyrus the Great in 546 BC, or 547 BC. He issued gold-silver alloy coins as on the left.

Based on the pottery shown in the image on the right, Croesus was burned to death.

"Sappho of Eresos" is shown center holding a lyre and plectrum, and turning toward a bearded man with a lyre partially visible on the left.

-7th Century

File:Amulet to ward off plague.jpg
An Amulet to ward off plague is inscribed with a quotation from the Akkadian Erra Epic. Credit: .
Esarhaddon, king of Assyria, has his portrait on a stone stele, dated after 671 BC. Credit: Maur.{{free media}}
File:Black basalt monument of king Esarhaddon. It narrates Esarhaddon's restoration of Babylon. Circa 670 BCE. From Babylon, Mesopotamia, Iraq. The British Museum, London.jpg
Black basalt monument of king Esarhaddon narrates Esarhaddon's restoration of Babylon. Circa 670 BCE. From Babylon, Mesopotamia, Iraq. The British Museum, London. Credit: Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin FRCP(Glasg).{{free media}}

Amulet in the image on the right dates from 800 BC-612 BC for warding off plague.

Esarhaddon, portrayed on a stone stele, dated after 671 BC on the right, apparently ruled Assyria between 681 – 669 BC.

The black basalt monument of king Esarhaddon on the left narrates Esarhaddon's restoration of Babylon, ca. 670 BCE, from Babylon, Mesopotamia, Iraq, now in The British Museum, London.

-8th Century

File:Nimrud lens British Museum.jpg
This image is a photo of the Nimrud lens in the British museum. Credit: Geni.
File:Nimrud lens edge on.png
On edge image of the Nimrud lens shows its plano- (left edge) convex (right edge) shape. Credit: Dimitris Plantzos.{{fairuse}}
File:Prothesis Dipylon Painter A517.jpg
Dipylon Vase of the late Geometric period, or the beginning of the Archaic period, is dated c. 750 BC. Credit: Dipylon Master.{{free media}}
File:Sargon II and dignitary.jpg
Sargon II, King of Assyria is depicted here with a dignitary. Credit: Jastrow.{{free media}}
File:Elissa Statut.jpg
This is a statue of Elissa, Queen of Carthage. Credit: Emna Mizouni.{{free media}}

Nimrud lens is plano-convex, Neo-Assyrian, from the North West Palace, Room AB, dated to 750–710 BC, discovered by Austen Henry Layard at the Assyrian palace of Nimrud, in modern-day Iraq.[44]

The ""Loupe of Sargon," a piano-convex rock-crystal lentoid [was] excavated by Layard at Nimrud in the 1850s [on the right].28 The object is oval (40 x 35 mm) and of uneven thickness (max. th. 22.5 mm) [centered and including the maximum convexness as shown edge-on in the image on the left. Its focal length has been calculated at 112.5 mm. Its nominal magnification is about 2 x but, owing to its imperfect surface, it would be useless as a tool."[45]

This Dipylon Vase on the right is apparently from the late Geometric period, or the beginning of the Archaic period, c. 750 BC (2750 b2k). Prothesis scene is exposure of the dead and mourning.

The low-relief from the L wall of the palace of Sargon II at Dur Sharrukin in Assyria (now Khorsabad in Iraq) is apparently dated to c. 716–713 BC. It is the image on the left.

In the center is an image of the upper portion of a statue of Elissa, Queen of Carthage, apparently from the early 8th century or late ninth century.

"The founding of the Phoenician colony of Toscanos would have come a bit later; its earliest levels (Strata I/II) would date from the years 805–780 cal BC.6"[46]

-9th Century

King Jehu of the Kingdom of Israel bows before Shalmaneser III of Assyria. Credit: Chaldean.

In 842 BC the Kingdom of Israel and the Phoenician cities sent tributes to Shalmaneser III. The image on the right is from the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III and depicts King Jehu of the Kingdom of Israel bowing before Shalmaneser III of Assyria.

Carthage was founded in 814 BC.[47]

"The recent radiocarbon dates from the earliest levels in Carthage situate the founding of this Tyrian colony in the years 835–800 cal BC,4 which coincides with the dates handed down by Flavius Josephus and Timeus for the founding of the city."[46]

The "dates for the founding of Carthage coincide with dates established for the Phoenician colony of Morro de Mezquitilla, which situate the most ancient occupation levels (Strata B1a and B2) in the years 807–802 cal BC.5"[46]

The "founding of the first Phoenician colonies at the end of the ninth century coincides with the radio-carbon chronology attributed to the most ancient Phoenician imports recorded in the indigenous Portuguese settlements and in the south of Spain, like Acinipo, Alcáçova de Santarem or Cerro de la Mora.7"[46]

-10th Century

File:Psusennes I mask.jpg
Gold burial mask is for Pharaoh Psusennes I, discovered 1940 by Pierre Montet. Credit: José-Manuel Benito.{{free media}}
File:Mask of Amenemope1.jpg
Burial mask is for Pharaoh Amenemope, currently in the Cairo Museum. Credit: tutincommon (John Campana).{{free media}}

The 10th century BC is equivalent to 3,000 to 2,900 b2k.

On the right is the burial mask for the Pharaoh Psusennes I exhumed from Tomb III at Tanis (Nile delta). The material used is gold (different pieces were assembled using nails). The eyebrows and eye shadows are lapis lazuli. The eyes are glass paste. There is a cobra on the forehead. The ritual beard is braided to symbolize the death of the sovereign. It is kept in the Egyptian Museum of Cairo. Dynasty is the XXI, dated to c. 1039 BC-990 BC.

In the left image is the burial mask for pharaoh Amenemope of the 21st Dynasty of Egypt, dated to 1001 – 992 BC or 993 – 984 BC.

-11th Century

-12th Century

The stelae of Ptolemy VIII is from the temple of Heracleion. Credit: World Imaging.

Thongs-Heracleion's legendary beginnings go back to as early as the 12th century BC, and it is mentioned by ancient Greek historians. Its importance grew particularly during the waning days of the Pharaohs.[48]

"Until very recently the site had been known only from a few literary and epigraphic sources, one of which interestingly mentions the site as an emporion, just like Naukratis."[49]

The city was mentioned by the ancient historians Diodorus (1.19.4) and Strabo (17.1.16). Herodotus was told that Thonis was the warden of the Canopic mouth of the Nile: Thonis arrested Alexander (Paris), the son of Priam, because Alexander had abducted Helen of Troy and taken much wealth.[49][50]

Heracleion is also mentioned in the twin steles of the Decree of Nectanebo I (the first of which is known as the 'Stele of Naukratis'), which specify that one tenth of the taxes on imports passing through the town of Thonis/Herakleion were to be given to the sanctuary of Neith of Sais.[49] The city is also mentioned in the Decree of Canopus honoring Pharaoh Ptolemy III, which describes donations, sacrifices and a procession on water.[48]

-50th Century

File:Dolmen Guadalperal Verano 2019.jpg
Due to the low water level of the Valdecañas Reservoir, the Doldal de Guadalperal is fully visible. Credit: Pleonr.{{free media}}

The "Dolmen of Guadalperal [dubbed] the “Spanish Stonehenge,” the monument is a circle of more than 100 standing rocks dating back to 7,000 years ago."[51]

"Originally constructed from granite that was likely transported from miles away, the stones are porous and already falling over, cracking, and eroding."[51]

The "dolmen’s most notable feature is a large stone that marks its entrance and features a squiggly line. Some believe it is a map of the Tagus River, which would make it one of the oldest maps on Earth."[51]


  1. Archaeology of Scandinavia will eventually show it to have been occupied 40,000 b2k.

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External links

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