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Archaeological Photo Essays

Archaeology Photographs


Lyuba the Baby Mammoth

Close Up of Lyuba in St. Petersburg Laboratory
Photo credit © Florent Herry
In May 2007, a baby woolly mammoth was discovered exposed on the Yuribei River in Yamal Peninsula of Russia, by a nomadic reindeer herder named Yuri Khudi. This photo essay discusses some of the intensive research and questions surrounding this momentous discovery.

National Geographic Expedition Week 2009

Piers Gibbon with Tsantsa in the Quito Amazonia Museum.
© Diverse Productions, Ltd
Ah, well, you can't win them all. NatGeo's Expedition Week 2009 was not as fabulously scientific as the 2008 version, but there were still some interesting things to think about that developed out of the week-long video extravaganza.

Olmec Glyphic Puzzle: Cascajal Block

Cascajal Closeup: Earliest Writing in Americas?
Science (c) 2006
The Cascajal Block is a huge block of limestone with ancient carvings on it--and it may or may not e an example of Olmec writing from the early formative period of central America. This photo includes some close up images of the markings.

Podcast Essay: Society for American Archaeology Meetings

Natalia Slobodina, University of Alaska
Kris Hirst (c)2005
An audio and visual tour of what the Society for American Archaeology meetings are like, with commentary and slides of attendees to the 2005 Salt Lake City meetings.

Royal Tombs of Aksum

In 1998, the now-late archaeologist Stuart Munro-Hay contacted me and asked if I would move his wonderful website on the history of excavations at Axum to my website. I was happy to be able to do so. The present feature is an update of that project I built from Munro-Hay's website, in that it is in a new format, with some additional figures. I hope he would approve.

Shell Beads and Behavioral Modernity

The two perforated Nassarius gibbosulus from the Mousterian layers of Skhul, Scale = 1 cm.
Image courtesy of Drs. Marian Vanhaeren and Francesco d'Errico
This photo essay of shell beads recovered from ancient Homo sapiens sites illustrates how shel beads are a key piece of evidence about the transition between the Middle and Upper Paleolithic, and addresses some of the issues of behavioral modernity, and ultimately what it means to be human.

Site Restoration at Gran Quivira

Restoration in Progress at Kiva F, Gran Quivira
Marc LeFrancois, photographer
During the Summer of 2004, architectural conservator Marc LeFrançois oversaw the restoration of the building known as Kiva F at Gran Quivira, the ancient ruins of a pueblo city in central New Mexico.

Solstice at Stonehenge

Man Stands on Stones 2, 1, 30 and 29 of the Bluestone Circle
Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images
One of the few times people can actually get into the Neolithic stone circle called Stonehenge is on the summer and winter solstices, and there is almost always a professional news photographer out there taking images. Here are photos take from the last few years.

Spectacles and Spectators: A Photo Essay on the Maya Plaza

Nunnery Quadrangle Plaza, Uxmal
Esparta Palma
Recent investigations by Takeshi Inomata studying the role of plazas in Maya festivals led me to put together this photo essay of the plazas of some of the more famous Maya sites. Photos include those of Tulum, Tikal, Copan, Bonampak, Uxmal, and Calakmul.

The Art of Mesopotamia

Mesopotamian Cylinder Seal, circa 2350-2150 BC
University of Pennsylvania's Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
A handful of images of Mesopotamian art and archaeology, objects currently on loan to the Beijing Museum from the University of Pennsylvania's Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

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