4406 entries. 94 themes. Last updated December 26, 2016.

Timeline Outline ViewEra: All Eras   |   Theme: Archaeology

Theme

Circa 2,500,000 BCE – 500,000 BCE
Olduvai Gorge
The First Industrial Complex
Circa 1,800,000 BCE
Fossil skull of D2700. (Click on image to view larger.)
The Oldest Hominin Fossils Found Outside of Africa
Circa 1,650,000 BCE – 100,000 BCE
A flint biface, discovered in Saint-Acheul, France.
Acheulean or Mode 2 Industries
Circa 1,530,000 BCE – 1,510,000 BCE
Ancient footprints at Koobi Fora. Photograph by Brian Richmond. (View Larger)
The Earliest Preserved Footprints of Our Ancestors
Circa 1,500,000 BCE
Five bone tools excavated in Swartkrans, South Africa, once used by Parantrhopus robustus for foraging purposes. Photography by Jim Di Loreto and Don Hurlbert, Smithsonian Institution. (View Larger)
Early Humans Make Bone Tools
Circa 1,500,000 BCE – 790,000 BCE
Scorched stone tools excavated in 2004 at Gesher Benot-Ya-aqov, in Israel, provide evidence for the existence of early hearths. Photograph by Chip Clark, Smithsonian Institution. (View Larger)
The Earliest Hearths
Circa 1,400,000 BCE
Carved flint.
The Earliest Flint Tool Found in Europe
Circa 1,200,000 BCE
The petite jaw suggests the oldest-found European was probably female.
The Earliest Human Remains from Western Europe
Circa 500,000 BCEEarly Humans Process Elephant Carcasses for Food Circa 500,000 BCE
Example of nearly 500,000 year-old hafted spear tips from Kathu Pan 1. Photo by Jayne Wilkins. (Click on image to view larger.)
Early Humans Hunt with Stone-Tipped Spears
Circa 400,000 BCE – 350,000 BCE
A sample of geothite, or brown ochre. (View Larger)
The Earliest Use of Pigments
Circa 350,000 BCE – 325,000 BCEThe Earliest Synchronic Use of Bifacial and Levallois Technology Outside Africa Suggests that the Technology Evolved Independently in Multiple Locations Circa 132,000 BCE – 98,000 BCE
Photocredit: James Di Loreto, & Donald H. Hurlbert, Smithsonian Institution. (View Larger)
The Earliest Known Forms of Human Adornment
Circa 130,000 BCE
Stone tools found on Crete dating back over 130,000 years suggest that prehistoric civilizations took to the sea much earlier than previously thought. (view larger)
The Earliest Evidence of Sea Voyages
Circa 100,000 BCE
Ablone shell containing red ochre rich mixture. Image by Grethe Moell Pedersen. (Click on image to view larger.)
The Earliest Paint Workshop
Circa 75,000 BCE – 73,000 BCE
Early Attempt to Record Information or Early Art?
Circa 75,000 BCE
Sediments containing ancient mattresses at Sibudu Caves.  Photo by Lyn Wadley. (Click on image to view larger.)
At Sibudu Cave, the Oldest Known Early Bedding and Use of Medicinal Plants
Circa 68,000 BCE
Stone tools (segments) with adhesive from Sibudu Cave.  Segment with red ochre visible to the naked eye as well as microscopic views of red ochre and plant gum on the tool. (Click on image to view larger.)
From Sibudu Cave: the Earliest Known Creation and Use of Compound Adhesives, Suggesting Complex Cognition
Circa 59,000 BCEThe Earliest Sewing Needle, Made of Bone Circa 49,000 BCE – 43,000 BCE
A bone tool known as a lissoir, possibly used to prepare animal skins. Image courtesy of the Abri Peyrony and Pech de l'Azé I Projects. (Click on image to view larger.)
Neanderthals Made the First Specialized Bone Tools in Europe
Circa 39,000 BCE
Molar found in Denisova Cave of the Altay Mountains in Southern Siberia. (Click on image to view larger.)
The Denisova Hominin, a Third Kind of Human
Circa 38,000 BCE – 33,000 BCE
The Venus of Schelklingen.
The Earliest Known Examples of Figurative Art
38,000 BCE
The introduction of sturdy shoes led weaker toes.
The First Sturdy Shoes are Invented
Circa 37,000 BCE
Detail of the
The Oldest Cave Painting
35,000 BCE
Lembobo bone or tally stick. (Click on image to view larger.)
The Oldest Known Mathematical Artifact
Circa 33,000 BCE
A flute, found in the hills west of Ulm Germany, that is believed to be 35,000 years old.
The Earliest Musical Instruments
Circa 33,000 BCE
37mm long, 7.5 gram figurine, made from mammoth ivory is some 35,000 years old. It is one of the oldest pieces of art ever found.  Photo: Universität Tübingen. (Click on image to view larger.)
The Earliest Known Carving of a Mammoth
Circa 32,000 BCE – 30,000 BCE
Fighting rhinos and horses. Detail from one of the most important panels of Chauvet.  It contains twenty animals including rhinoceroses and horses. (Click on image to view larger.)
Probably the Earliest Extensive Collection of Paintings
Circa 32,000 BCE – 28,000 BCE
Wild flax fibers discovered in Dzudzuana Cave. (View Larger)
Making Materials from Flax Fibers
Circa 30,000 BCE
The 'Lion Man,' preserved in the Ulmer Museum in Ulm, Germany. (View a full-scale image.)
The Earliest Zoomorphic / Anthropomorphic Sculpture
Circa 30,000 BCE – 29,000 BCE
The
The Earliest Sculpture of a Horse
29,000 BCE – 25,000 BCE
The Venus of Dolní Věstonice. (View Larger)
The Oldest Known Ceramic Figurine
Circa 28,000 BCE – 21,000 BCE
Photocredit: Chip Clark, Smithsonian Institution. (View Larger)
Some of the Earliest Tools for Sewing Garments
25,000 BCE – 20,000 BCEThe Ishango Bone, Possibly One of the Oldest Calendars Circa 25,000 BCE
A modern replica of the Venus of Lespugue. (View Larger)
The Earliest Representation of Spun Thread
Circa 24,000 BCE – 22,000 BCE
The Venus of Willendorf. (View Larger)
The Venus of Willendorf
24,000 BCE
The oldest known portrait of a woman, sculpted from mammoth ivory during the last ice age around 26,000 years ago.  Photograph: Graeme Robertson for The Guardian. (Click on image to view larger.)
The Earliest Portrait
Circa 23,000 BCE
The Venus of Brassempouy. (View Larger)
One of the Earliest Known Realistic Representations of a Human Face
Circa 23,000 BCE – 12,000 BCE
Artist rendition of dwelling in Mezhirich, Poland, made of mammoth bones.  Source: Dolní Věstonice Museum. (Click on image to view larger.)
Perhaps the Oldest Surviving Architecture
Circa 21,000 BCE – 16,000 BCE
Fish hooks made of shell found in the Jerimalai Cave in East Timor. (Click on image to view larger.)
The Oldest Fish Hooks and Evidence of Paleolithic Offshore Fishing
Circa 20,000 BCEDiscoveries in Brazil Could Predate the Arrival of the Clovis People in the Americas Circa 18,000 BCE
Two of the 20,000 year-old pottery fragments found in the Xianrendong Cave in China.  Photo by AFP/Science/AAAS. (Click on image to view larger.)
The Oldest Known Pottery
Circa 16,000 BCE
Photocredit: Chip Clark, Smithsonian Institution. (View Larger)
The Earliest Surviving Pottery From Japan
Circa 15,300 BCE
Painting of a dun horse from Lascaux Cave. (Click on image to view larger.)
The "Sistine Chapel" of the Upper Paleolithic
Circa 13,500 BCE – 11,200Hunter-Gathers Were Living At Buttermilk Creek, Texas, as Early as 15,000 Years Ago Circa 12,800 BCE – 8,500 BCE
Winnemucca Lake petroglyphs. (Click on image to view larger.)
North America's Earliest Rock Art
Circa 12,000 BCE
'The Sorcerer' is one name for this cryptic painting found in the Trois Frères in France by Henri Breuil. Photocredit: Encyclopaedia Britannica(View Larger)
"The Sorcerer"
Circa 12,000 BCEMore than 5000 Flint Tools Are Found in Biggar, Scotland Circa 11,000 BCE
Flutings at Rouffignac.  Both children and adults created cave art known as finger flutings in the French caverns of Rouffignac roughly 13,000 years ago. Credit: Jessica Cooney / Leslie van Gelder. (Click on image to view larger.)
Pre-Historic Art Created by Children at the Cave of a Hundred Mammoths, Rouffignac
Circa 11,000 BCE
Ice age carving of two reindeer swimming.  It is carved from the tip of a mammoth tusk and shows a female reindeer swimming ahead of a male reindeer. (Click in image to view larger.)
The Swimming Reindeer
Circa 10,500 BCE
Spear thrower carved as a mammoth.  Source: The British Museum. (Click on image to view larger.)
The Mammoth Spear Thrower
10,000 BCE
Perhaps the Oldest Map in the World
Circa 9,500 BCE
The Göbekli Tepe, Turkist for 'Potbelly Hill,' is the oldest discovered structure for religious worship. (View Larger)
The Earliest Surviving Human-Made Place of Worship
Circa 9,300 BCE – 9,175 BCEFood Storage Preceded Plant Domestication in the Jordan Valley Circa 8,500 BCE – 7,200 BCEFort Rock Sandals: The Oldest Surviving Shoes Circa 8,000 BCE
In Mesopotamia Neolithic Tokens are Developed for "Concrete" Counting
Circa 7,000 BCEThe Earliest Known Fermented Beverage Circa 6,600 BCE
In China, Possibly the Earliest Attempt at Writing
Circa 6,200 BCE
A  wallpainting, located in Catal Hoyuk, that might be the earliest landscape painting yet discovered, or a map. (View Larger)
A Wallpainting that Could be a Landscape or a Map
Circa 6,000 BCE
Bos primigenius (auroch). (Click on image to view larger.)
Domestication of the Aurochs, Ancestors of Domestic Cattle
Circa 4,700 BCE – 4,200 BCE
The remains of the settlement made of two-story houses near the town of Provadia. (Click on image to view larger.)
The Earliest Prehistoric Town in Europe
Circa 4,200 BCE
Balloy, Paris Basin. Plan of the central part of the settlement with  long houses of the Villeneuve-Saint-Germain culture superimposed by  graves and long barrows of the Cerny culture. (Click on image to view larger.)
The First Settlements in the Paris Basin
Circa 4,000 BCE
From National Geographic. (View Larger)
The Earliest Known Winery
Circa 3,750 BCEThe Earliest Precursors to Writing in Egypt are Rock Drawings Circa 3,600 BCE – 3,200 BCE
One Theory of the Origins of Egyptian Hieroglyphs
Circa 3,500 BCE
The Botai culture originated from the Akmola province of Kazakhstan, highlighted in green. (View Larger)
Horse Domestication Revolutionizes Transportation, Communication, and Warfare
Circa 3,500 BCE
The Areni-1 shoe. (View Larger)
The Oldest Known Well-Preserved Leather Shoe
Circa 3,500 BCE – 3,350 BCE
Bronocice clay pot showing wheeled cart. (Click on image to view larger.)
The Earliest Images of a Wheeled Vehicle
Circa 3,320 BCE – 3,150 BCE
Ivory tags from tomb U-j.
The Earliest Known Egyptian Writing
Circa 3,300 BCE
Model of Ötzi the Iceman in exhibit at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology.
The First Prehistoric Human Ever Found with his Everyday Clothing and Equipment
Circa 3,200 BCE – 2,900 BCE
Cuneiform Writing in Mesopotomia Begins at Uruk in Association with the…
Circa 3,200 BCE
One of the Earliest Surviving Examples of Narrative Relief Sculpture and…
Circa 3,200 BCE – 3,000 BCE
A side-view of the Warka Vase, before the invasion of Iraq. (View Larger)
One of the Earliest Surviving Works of Narrative Relief Sculpture, Looted…
3,200 BCE
Seal impression with the name of Narmer from Tarkhan.
The Earliest Inscription Written in Hieratic
Circa 3,000 BCE – 1,200 BCE
Hammurabi (1792-1750 BCE), the most famous of the early Babylonian kings. (View Larger)
Education in the Bronze Age in the Middle East
2,800 BCEPavlopetri: the Oldest Submerged Town Site Circa 2,620 BCE – 2,500 BCE"The Seated Scribe" or "Squatting Scribe" Circa 2,600 BCE
The world’s oldest datable mathematical table, from Shuruppag, c. 2600 BCE.  The first two columns contain identical lengths in descending order from 600 to 60 rods (c. 3600–360 m) and the final column contains the square area of their product.
The First Securely Datable Mathematical Table in World History
Circa 2,500 BCE
The Abu Salbikh Tablet Lost in the Iraq War
Circa 2,500 BCE – 1,250 BCEThe Origins of Glassmaking Circa 2,500 BCE
Detail from wall of tomb of Prince Kaninisut showing scribes in seated position. Please click on image to view larger image.
The Sitting Posture of Egyptian Scribes and How They Stored Papyrus Rolls.
2,500 BCE – 2,250 BCE
Ebla Tablet
The Palace Archive of Ebla, Syria
Circa 2,500 BCEOne of the Oldest, Largest & Best Preserved Vessels from Antiquity Circa 2,500 BCE
Photo of wharf at low tide, Wadi al-Jarf
The World's Oldest Harbor
2,500 BCE
One of many papyrii found at Wadi al Jarf.  Thought to be the oldest known papyrii from Egypt.
The Earliest Known Egyptian Papyri
Circa 2,300 BCE
The Urra=hubullu, currently preserved at the Louvre Museum in Paris. (View Larger)
The Earliest Known Dictionaries
Circa 2,291 BCE – 2,254 BCE
MS 5106 of the Schoyen Collection, a brick printing block with a large loop handle from the period of Naram-Sîn. (View larger)
The Earliest Printing was Stamped into Soft Clay in Mesopotamia
2,112 BCE – 2,004 BCE
A reproduction of one of the oldest known Mesopotamian medical texts, dating from the Ur III period. (View Larger)
One of the Oldest Known Ancient Mesopotamian Medical Texts
2,100 BCE – 2,050 BCE
The Code of Ur-Nammu.
The Oldest Known Tablet Containing a Legal Code
Circa 2,000 BCE – 1,700 BCE
Sides A (left) and B (right) of the Phaistos Disc. (View Larger)
"The World's First Typewritten Document" - James Chadwick
Circa 1,900 BCE – 1,700 BCE
Plimpton 322 (View Larger)
The Most Famous Document of Babylonian Mathematics
Circa 1,900 BCE – 700 BCEProbably the Most Ancient Surviving Fermented Beverages Circa 1,800 BCE – 1,600 BCEAncient Babylonian Algorithms: The Earliest Programs Circa 1,760 BCE
The upper part of the stele containing the Code of Hammurabi. (View Larger)
The Code of Hammurabi
Circa 1,600 BCE
Sumerian medical tablet (2400 BC), ancient city of Nippur.  Lists 15 prescriptions used by a pharmacist.  Library of Ashurbanipal.
The Largest Surviving Medical Treatise from Ancient Mesopotamia
Circa 1,550 BCE – 1450
Two Egyptian scribal palettes preserved in the British Museum. (View Larger)
Egyptian Scribal Palettes with Ink Wells and Brushes
Circa 1,500 BCE – 1912How the Inca Quipu System of Mathematical Record-Keeping Worked Circa 1,500 BCE
EA 5645 of the British Museum: the Words of Khakheperresoneb written on a wooden writing board. (View Larger)
A Wooden Writing Board Containing Text of the Words of Khakheperresoneb
Circa 1,500 BCEThe Proto-Sinaitic Inscriptions, the Earliest Evidence for Alphabetic Writing 1,500 BCE – 300 BCESurvey of Ancient Libraries and Archives in the Near East Circa 1,490 BCE – 1,390 BCEOne of the Earliest Known Examples of Writing in Europe Circa 1,450 BCE – 1953Linear B and its Decipherment: Records of Mycenaean Civilization Circa 1,450 BCE
An ancient Egyptian wooden drawing board inscribed with a picture of Thutmose III. It is preserved in the British Library as EA 5645. (View Larger)
Wooden Drawing Board with a figure of Thutmose III
1,417 BCE – 1,379 BCEThe Oldest Surviving Water Clock or Clepsydra 1,391 BCE – 1,353 BCEThe Earliest Bookplates, or Ex-Libris 1,375 BCEThe Uluburun Shipwreck Circa 1,360 BCE – 1,330 BCE
ME E29785 of the British Museum: A letter from Burnaburiash, a king of the Kassite dynasty of Babylonia, to Amenhotep IV. The tablet is one of the Amarna Letters. (View Larger)
Archive of Egyptian Diplomatic Correspondence Written in the Diplomatic…
Circa 1,300 BCE – 1,000 BCE
One of the twelve tablets--of the 1200 discovered by Austen Henry Layard in Ninveh--upon which the Epic of Gilgamesh was recorded. (View larger)
The Epic of Gilgamesh, Probable Source of Aspects of Biblical and Homeric…
Circa 1,292 BCE – 1,069 BCE
A self-portrait of the scribe Sesh, arms raised in the presentation of a papyrus scroll and possibly a writing palette. Preserved in the Schoyen Collection as MS 1695. (View Larger)
Self-Portrait of an Egyptian Scribe with his Autograph Signature
1,250 BCE – 1,100 BCEAnalysis of Pollen Grains Proves that Drought Caused the Collapse of Civilization in the Soutern Levant 1,209 BCE – 1,208 BCE
The Merneptah Stele (View Larger)
The Only Ancient Egyptian Document that Mentions Israel
Circa 1,200 BCE – 1,050 BCE
The Earliest Chinese Inscriptions that are Indisputably Writing
Circa 1,200 BCE – 1,045 BCE
A bronze guang, or ritualistic wine vessel, of the Shang dynasty. (View Larger)
The Earliest Chinese Inscriptions in Bronze
Circa 1,000 BCE
The Oldest Known Evidence of the Phoenician Alphabet
Circa 1,000 BCE
A shard of ancient pottery found in the Elah Fortress, bearing Proto-Canaanite script which might compose the earliest known Hebrew inscription. (View Larger)
Possibly the Earliest Hebrew Inscription
Circa 950 BCE
The Gezer Calendar
Circa 950 BCE – 600 BCEThe Cascajal Block, the Earliest Precolumbian or Mesoamerican Writing Yet Discovered Circa 800 BCEA Pulley Depicted in a Bas-Relief from Nimrud, Assyria 776 BCEThe First Olympic Games Take Place Circa 740 BCE
The ancient Greek wine jug bearing the Dipylon inscription.
One of the Two Oldest Records of the Greek Alphabet
Circa 740 BCE – 720 BCE
The Cup of Nestor. (View Larger)
One of the Two Oldest Known Examples of Writing in Greek
668 BCE – 627 BCE
Knowledge as Power: King Ashurbanipal Forms the Earliest Systematically…
Circa 650 BCE – 600 BCEThe Constitutional Law of Dreros: The Earliest Surviving Greek Law on Stone 604 BCE – 562 BCE
Pieter Bruegel the Elder, The tower of Babel, ca. 1556
Construction of the Etemenanki Ziggurat, Later Known as The Tower of Babel
604 BCE – 562 BCE
(View larger)
The Tower of Babel Stele
Circa 604 BCE – 562 BCEA Nebuchadnezzar II Babylonian Cylinder Sets an Auction Record Circa 600 BCE
The larger of the two silver scrolls, discovered in 1979 at Ketef Hinnom, which have been deemed the oldest suriving texts from the Hebrew bible. (View Larger)
The Oldest Surviving Texts from the Hebrew Bible
600 BCE – 267 CEMore than 10,000 Stone Inscriptions Were Excavated from the Ancient Agora of Athens 586 BCE
Destruction of Solomon's Temple
Circa 570 BCE – 550 BCEOne of the Earliest Latin Inscriptions in Rome Circa 550 BCE
The Yinqueshan bamboo strips, the earliest manuscript of Sun Tzu's 'Art of War,' on exhibition in a Chinese museum. (View Larger)
The Oldest Known Work on Military Strategy
Circa 550 BCEThe Greek Origin of Monumental Roman Stone Inscriptions Circa 550 BCEA Block Printed Gold Magic Amulet from Ancient Greece or Asia Minor 535 BCE
Disappearance of the Ark of the Covenant and the Ten Commandments
522 BCE – 486 BCE
The Behistun Inscription. (View Larger)
The "Rosetta Stone" of Cuneiform Script
509 BCE – 457 BCEThe Persepolis Administrative Archives Circa 500 BCE
Paper in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica
Circa 500 BCEThe Pyrgi Tablets: Bilingual Etruscan and Phoenician Text Inscribed in Gold Circa 450 BCE – 420 BCE
King Darius I
The Royal Road
Circa 400 BCE
The Pronomos Vase from Naples shows the performers of a Greek satyr play. (View Larger)
The Pronomos Vase: Pictorial Evidence for Theatre in Ancient Greece
Circa 350 BCE – 250 BCEThe Lead Tablet Archives of the Athenian Cavalry Circa 350 BCE – 250 BCEWriting on Lead Tablets in Antiquity Circa 350 BCEProbably the Earliest Surviving Papyrus of a Greek Text 334 BCE – 330 BCEThe Earliest Datable Appearance of the Serif in Stone Inscriptions 300 BCE – 68 CE
A column of the Copper Scroll found in Cave Three.
The Dead Sea Scrolls
Circa 300 BCE
Several of the Guodian Chu Slips. (View Larger)
The Guodian Chu Slips: "Like the Discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls"
Circa 300 BCE
A vertical, columnar stone inscription roughly six inches long. Image: Boris Beltrán/Science. (View Larger)
The Earliest Known Examples of Maya Script
Circa 300 BCE – 350 CEThe Musawwarat Graffiti Archive Circa 275 BCEA "Wild" or "Eccentric" Papyrus of the Iliad Circa 250 BCEThe Foundation of Paris Circa 250 BCEThe Earliest Evidence of a Water-Driven Wheel 215 BCE – 210 BCE
One of three excavation pits of the Terracotta Army. (View Larger)
The Terra Cotta Army, An Early Example of Assembly Line Production
196 BCE – 1822The Rosetta Stone: Key to the Decipherment of Egyptian Hieroglyphs Circa 175 BCE
A Taoist text preserved on silk and discovered in Mawangui in 1973.
The Mawangui Silk Texts
Circa 150 BCE – 100 BCE
The Earliest Surviving Analog Computer: the Antikythera Mechanism
Circa 50 BCE – 25 CEThe Oldest Surviving Manuscript of Latin Poetry 41 BCE
Sling-bolts, or bullets, engraved with a winged lightning-bolt on one side, and the words 'take that' on another. Circa fourth century BCE Athens. (View Larger)
Humorous Inscriptions on Lead Sling-Bolts (Sling Bullets; Slingshot) Reflect…
30 BCE – 25 CE
The Portland Vase. Shown is the first of two scenes. (View Larger)
The Portland Vase: Classical Connoisseurship, Influence, Destruction &…
Circa 25 CEThe Oldest Sculptural Group Found in France 41 CE – 54 CEThe Ostia Synagogue: the Oldest Synagogue in Europe Circa 50 CE – 250 CE
The Alexamenos Grafitto. (View Larger)
Probably the Earliest Surviving Image of the Crucifixion: A Graffito
Circa 50 CEThe Role of the "Ordinator" and "Sculptor" in Producing Roman Stone Inscriptions Circa 50 CEThe Mensa Isiaca or Bembine Table of Isis 69 CE – 79 CERoman Inscriptions on Lead Pipes Were Made from Common Text Stamps Circa 75 CE
A fresco of a Pompein couple with stylus, wax tablets, and papyrus scroll, preserved in the Museuo Archeologico Nazionale. (View Larger)
Roman Portraits Celebrating Literacy
79 CE
An inscription depicting a contemporaneous politician. (View Larger)
Over 11,000 Wall Inscriptions Survived from Pompeii
79 CE – 2015Discoveries of Greek & Roman Papyri in the Library of the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum, the Only Library Preserved Intact from Graeco-Roman Times Circa 100 CE
Vindolanda Tablet 309, an inventory of wooden goods dispatched dispatched by and to civilians working for the military. (View Larger, with translation.)
The Oldest Surviving Handwritten Documents in Britain
113 CE
The Most Famous Example of Roman Square Capitals
Circa 115 CE – 125 CEThe Library of Celsus at Ephesus 130 CEThe Finest Surviving Example of Roman Monumental Lettering in Britain 132 CE – 135 CEIn the "Cave of Letters" Discovery of Papyri Recording Israel's Second Century Revolt Against Roman Rule Circa 150 CE
Recto of papyrus containing lines from Homer's Illiad, found at Hawara. (View Larger)
The "Hawara Homer"
203 CE – 211 CE
A reconstruction of a portion of the Forma Urbis Romae, showing a section of the Theater of Pompey. (View Larger)
The Forma Urbis Romae, Monumental Stone Map of Ancient Rome
Circa 232 CE
Dura-Europos church.
The Earliest Christian House Church, With the Most Ancient Christian Paintings
244 CE – 256 CE
A Frescoe found in Dura Europos depicting scenes from the Book of Ester. (View Larger)
Possibly the Earliest Record of Rabbinic Texts & the Earliest Continuous…
Circa 320 CEA Sarcophagus Showing a Greek Physician in His Library August 24, 394 CEThe Latest Known Inscription Written in Egyptian Hieroglyphs Circa 400 CEA Diptych Depicting Roman Orators Holding Papyrus Rolls Circa 500 CE – 600
The theater at Bet She'an. (View Larger)
The Earliest, Most Significant Rabbinic Texts Are Preserved in Stone
649 – 684
A depiction of a constellation from the Dunhuang Chinese Sky. (View Larger)
The Earliest Known Star Atlas
Circa 825A Studio for Royal Mayan Scribes in the Ninth Century 998 – 1030The Oldest Book in Rus', a "Hyper-Palimpsest" of Three Bound Wooden Wax Tablets Circa 1000
The reconstructions of three Norse buildings are the focal point of this archaeological site, the earliest known European settlement in the New World. The archaeological remains at the site were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978.
The First Conclusive Proof that Norsemen Reached North America
Circa 1150 – 1250Jewish Bodies Found in Medieval Well in Norwich, England Circa 1350Routine Everyday Messages Inscribed on Rune-Sticks 1427 – 1479
The Aztec Calendar Stone. (View Larger)
The Aztec Calendar Stone
1444 – 1471Flavio Biondo Writes the First Guidebook to the Ruins of Ancient Rome, Launching the New Archaeology of the Renaissance 1448 – 1458The First Historical Geography 1480"La edifichation de molti pallazi & tempii & altri gradissimi edificii de roma", an Early Printed Guidebook to Rome, Known from a Single Surviving Copy August 1485"A Horse, A Horse, My Kingdom for a Horse." 1510Francesco Albertini Issues the First Guidebook to Ancient and Modern Rome: a New "Mirabilia Romae" 1556Ulisse Aldrovandi's Guide to Ancient Statuary in Rome 1569 – 1570Fulvio Orsini Issues the First Critically Assembled Collection and Edition of Ancient Portraiture 1575François de Belleforest Describes Paintings in Rouffignac Cave 1587 – 1592Agustín's Study of Ancient Coinage: Probably the Earliest Book with Illustrations by a Woman 1624Johannes Meursius Issues the First Guidebook to Athens 1641Ole Worm Issues the First Study of Runestones and Runic Inscriptions 1754Jean-Jacques Barthélemy Achieves the First Significant Decipherment of an Ancient Script: Palmyrene 1758Barthélemy Deciphers the Phoenician Language 1761 – 1763Barthélemy Discovers the Relationship of Egyptian Hieroglypics to Phoenician and Greek 1786Richard Payne Knight Records Early Archaeological Explorations of Ancient Fertility Rites September 22, 1822Champollion Deciphers Egyptian Hieroglyphs 1823The Contributions of Thomas Young Toward Deciphering Egyptian Hieroglyphs 1832Rafinesque Deciphers the Mayan System of Counting 1836Christian Thomsen Founds the "Three-Age" System in Archaeology 1846 – 1849Boucher de Perthes' Pioneering Treatise on the Antiquity of Man 1855Isaiah Deck Describes the Production of Mummy Paper in Nineteenth Century America February 4, 1859Constantin von Tischendorf Discovers and Acquires the Codex Sinaiticus: Controversial and Disputed 1861 – 1864Edouard Lartet & Henry Christy Issue Probably the Earliest Paper on Paleolithic Mobiliary Art 1865John Lubbock's "Pre-Historic Times" is Published 1871 – 1873Heinrich Schliemann Discovers the Ancient City of Troy November 4, 1922Discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamum November 14, 1970UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property 1970 January 1983The 1970 UNESCO Convention is Implemented in U.S. Law 1994The First Use of Virtual Reality in a Museum or Archaeological Context 1997Rome is Reborn on Google Earth 1998The Digital Michelangelo Project 2002Over 500,000 Egyptian Papyri Survive April 6 – April 12, 2003
The National Museum of Iraq
Looting of the National Museum of Iraq
May 12, 2004
An artist's rendition of the Library of Alexandria
The Site of the Original Library of Alexandria is Located
August 12, 2005
Gary Urton with some khipu
The First Intelligible Word from an Extinct South American Civilization?
October 13, 2009The Finest Roman Cameo Glass Vase Discovered February 25, 2014"Unlooting the Iraq Museum": A Summary