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Tag archives for Archaeology

Ever Dreamed of Being an Archaeologist?

Growing up, I was obsessed with Indiana Jones—and today, I’m lucky enough to be an archaeologist who digs regularly in Egypt. Now, I get to help others live out the dream with GlobalXplorer. Here are some of their stories.

Threads That Speak: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Inca

One of the great mysteries of ancient Peru is that the Inca did not have a system of writing, but communicated with a system of strings tied with knots. For the first time, centuries-old knotted textile accounting records known as quipus were found buried with well-preserved organic material. They were found at the archaeological site of Incahuasi, the base of operations for the Inca expansion along Peru’s southern coast.

Entrepreneurship and Empowerment Is Saving this Important Archaeological Site

Pachacamac is one of the longest inhabited ancient settlements in the Americas. An important religious center, the vast complex is today just 30 miles outside of the Lima, the most populous city in Peru. As a result, Pachacamac faces the threat of invasion and exploitation. Creating business opportunities and related education opportunities for the community encourages the local people to take ownership of the site and protect it from destruction. Through efforts with the Sustainable Preservation Initiative (SPI), the community now builds futures and saves pasts for its residents.

This Peruvian Beach Town Has 3,500 Years of Cultural Continuity

Archaeologist and National Geographic explorer Gabriel Prieto returned to his hometown of Huanchaco, Peru to tell the story of its 3,500 years of cultural continuity and involve the local community in discovering their past.

How 3-D Imaging Helps Archaeologists Preserve the Past

Archaeologist and National Geographic explorer Luis Jaime Castillo and archaeologist Carlos Wester are determined to protect the cultural heritage at the pyramid complex of Chotuna-Chornancap, which was built by the Sicán, or Lambayeque, over a thousand years ago on the north coast of Peru. Using photography to produce 3-D models of the excavations and where water damage might occur allows them to help preserve the sites.

High-Resolution Satellite Imagery at the World’s Fingertips

A little over a hundred years ago, American explorer Hiram Bingham captured the world’s attention when his account of his expedition to Peru made the cover of National Geographic magazine in 1913. Relying on local knowledge, he visited the crumbling ruins of Machu Picchu tucked in the forests of the Andes Mountains. He used state-of-the-art…

How New Technology Accelerates the Search for Ancient Sites

Using satellite technology and the power of the crowd, I believe we’ll find and protect an incredible number of ancient sites, which could offer new clues into who we are as human beings.

New Excavation Season Begins at Unusual Egyptian/Nubian Site

Will we be fortunate enough to find another undisturbed burial where we can see exactly how a person was laid to rest?

The Fellowship of the Dig: Life as an Archaeologist in the Field

Crawling in holes, finding old jewelry, eating second breakfast … the similarities are truly fantastic.

An Archaeology Summer Reading List

It’s summertime, which means: summer reading. Specifically, summer reading that sends me to far off places, and lets me daydream of being out on a dig.

Lust for Loot: Collecting Is Driving the Demand for Plunder

Looting in Egypt doubled in 2009-2010, on the heels of global recession, then doubled again following the Arab Spring. It’s a powerful source of income in times of stress, but it only pays because people will buy.

Why I Didn’t Want to Study the Norse World—But I’m Very Glad I Did

Last June, I was lucky enough to be part of a team that located a potential Norse site in eastern Canada, several hundred miles south of where experts expected one to be. This site, Point Rosee, has gone viral and is featured in a two-hour Nova special, Vikings Unearthed (watch it now). So I need…

The Recovery of Tromelin Island

Islands can have strange histories but few are more obscure than that of Tromelin Island of the Îles Éparses in the Western Indian Ocean.

Putting TED2016’s Biggest Ideas to Work for Archaeology

The cross-pollination of ideas that happens at TED is priceless, and as the recipient of this year’s TED Prize, several talks inspired new ideas about my own big project.

What Went Through My Head When I Found Out I Won the 2016 TED Prize

People in some of the most dangerous areas on Earth are risking their lives to protect ancient sites. What if we all could lend a hand?