Archaeology Timeline

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  • c. 1780
    First scientific archaeological excavations attributed to US President Thomas Jefferson.
  • 1819
    C. J. Thomsen of the Danish National Museum first uses the Three-Age System of Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age to organise its collection.
  • 1822
    Champollion announces decipherment of hieroglyphic writing.
  • 1828
    First excavations begun at Clava Cairns.
  • 1828 - c. 1990
    Ongoing excavations at Clava Cairns.
  • c. 1850 - 1913
    Excavations are ongoing at the Skara Brae site.
  • c. 1860
    Frank Calvert, then Heinrich Schliemann beginning in 1871 CE, excavate at the site of ancient Troy.
  • 1876
    Heinrich Schliemann begins excavating at Mycenae.
  • 1900 - 1905
    Sir Arthur Evans excavates at Crete, discovering the palace at Knossos and naming the civilization "Minoan".
  • 1902 - 1914
    The Ishtar Gate excavation is underway and lead by Robert Koldewey.
  • 1913
    Skara Brae site is plundered by unknown parties.
  • 1920
    English archaeologist Sir Leonard Woolley excavates at Ur (in modern-day Iraq).
  • 1922
    English archaeologist Howard Carter discovers the tomb of Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun.
  • 1927
    Professional excavation and preservation efforts begin at Skara Brae under V. G. Childe and J.W. Paterson.
  • 1930
    The reconstruction of the Ishtar Gate is completed at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, Germany.
  • c. 1960
    Beginnings of processual archaeology, a scientific approach to questions and designing of models to suggest answers and test theories, in the US.
  • c. 1970
    The Sweet Track found during peat excavations, Somerset, Britain.
  • Aug 1984
    Lindow Man discovered at Lindow Moss, a peat bog in Cheshire, England.