Articles: Archaeology and History

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A Tale of Two Cities

It’s generally thought that religion contributed to political and social unification in ancient times, but research in southern Mexico indicates that wasn’t always the case.

A Time of Desperation

Research in Belizean caves has revealed paleoclimate data indicating the Maya suffered a series of droughts from the seventh through tenth centuries. The research also shows how the Maya beseeched their gods to end the droughts, the latest of which coincided with their collapse.

Science in America's National Parks

A century ago, Congress created the national park system — and ended up preserving some of the best research sites in the world.

The Dean Of Texas Archaeology

Dee Ann Story became an archaeologist when men dominated the profession. Nonetheless, she made an indelible mark as an excavator, preservationist, and teacher.

Reading the Writing on Pompeii’s Wall

To better understand the ancient Roman world, one archaeologist looks at the graffiti, love notes and poetry alike, left behind by Pompeians.

Can Archaeology Save the Environment?

Archaeologists are in the unique position of studying the relationship between humans and their environments over millennia. Consequently, a number of them believe their work should inform current environmental debates.

Examining the Mysteries of the Hopewell

Archaeologists' concept of the Fort Ancient site has changed over the years. The recent discovery of several unusual features there continues to puzzle them.

The Bransfords of Mammoth Cave

A century and a half ago a Kentucky family began offering tours of an underground empire that would become famous throughout the world. Today a great-great-grandson carries on the tradition.

Historians Fight to Save Cleveland’s Ore Unloaders

CLEVELAND, OH—It may seem hard to imagine now, but Cleveland’s four Hulett automatic ore unloaders used to mount a mesmerizing show on the lake front, west of downtown. From 1912 until 1992, these 96-foot behemoths lumbered along the shore, leaning forward and sinking their jaws into the bellies of Great Lakes ships, taking 17-ton bites of iron ore and spitting them into nearby rail cars.