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5 Biggest Archeological Discoveries From the Past Decade

These five incredible archeological findings changed what we know about the world—and even re-wrote history

The opening of a royal tomb made of stones built into a mound is shown in Pylos, Greece.

A human jawbone in Israel, buried treasure in an Ancient Greek tomb and a 110 million-year-old mummified dinosaur in an Alberta mine are just some of many archaeological discoveries of the last decade. Archeology buffs, read on!

Ancient Greek civilization

After decades of searching, Greek-American archaeologist Elena Korka unearthed the mythical city of Tenea in the Peloponnese region of southern Greece. Korka’s excavation revealed homes, temples, a marketplace—known as an agora in Greek—and more than 200 coins, which were thought to have been built by Trojan prisoners of war around 12th-13th-century BC. “It’s like an iceberg and we’re just hitting the tip,” Konstantinos Lagos, Korka’s colleague, told the BBC. “It’s going to keep giving interesting findings for the next 100 years.

Spanish Stonehenge

A group of large stones known as the Dolmen de Guadalperal in Spain is shown

A harsh drought in the summer of 2019 fully exposed the Dolmen de Guadalperal, which was submerged beneath a man-made lake in the Valdecañas Reservoir for nearly 60 years. Known as the Spanish Stonehenge, the 4,000 to 7,000-year-old Dolmen de Guadalperal is a megalithic monument comprised of 144 standing stones—some of which soar over six feet tall—that formed a sun temple and burial ground.

Dinosaur fossil

A dinosaur fossil from the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, Alberta is shown

An enormous 18-foot-long mummified dinosaur weighing nearly 3,000 pounds and dating back 110 million years was found in a mine 17 miles north of Fort McMurray, Alberta, back in 2011. Known as a nodosaur, this prehistoric plant eater is the best-preserved fossil of its kind ever found. The dinosaur’s heavy body armour and scaly skin were still intact. The stunning herbivore now resides at the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller.

Ancient Greek tomb

Two royal tombs that date back 3,500 years were unearthed between 2017 and 2019 during an excavation near the ancient Palace of Nestor in the town of Pylos in the south of Greece. Spearheaded by a husband-and-wife team, Jack Davis and Sharon Stocker from the University of Cincinnati, the findings shed light on the roots of European culture and the relationship between the Mycenaeans and the Minoans. Among the treasured artifacts found were weapons, armour, gold jewellery, amethyst, carnelian and amber.

Oldest human fossils

An upper jawbone––complete with several relatively well-preserved teeth––found in a cave on Israel’s Mount Carmel, is believed to belong to the oldest modern human found outside of Africa. The discovery changes previously held beliefs about the evolution of homo sapiens, and suggests that modern humans may have left Africa as many as 100,000 years earlier than previously thought.

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Image Credit: Violeta Meletis/Alamy Stock Photo