Great Archaeological Discoveries Ahead: Photos
Have the most important temples, tombs, pyramids, cities, and civilizations been found? Not at all.
Have the most important temples, tombs, pyramids, cities, and civilizations been found? Not at all, according to Peter B. Campbell, director of archaeology at the Albanian Center for Marine Research. "The greatest age of discovery is happening right now. And the real fun is just about to begin," Campbell said.
Machu Picchu was not known to the outside world until 1911, but what lost cities are awaiting discovery today? Three ancient Mayan cities were recently discovered and researchers say they think more are in the surrounding area.
Decades of underwater research have provided us with a good understanding of our maritime past. But there has been one looming gap: ancient warships. After years of searching, the site of the Battle of the Egadi Islands, the decisive climax to the First Punic War, was discovered off the coast of Sicily. The site has yielded 11 warship rams, as the one depicted in this picture, as well as armament and amphoras (container vases) that were meant to resupply Hamilcar Barca's forces, Hannibal's father.
A small village in Greece might be home to the greatest discovery of the new century. The largest ancient tomb ever found in Greece has been dated to the period of Alexander the Great. A 16-foot lion statue sits atop the tomb and two sphinxes guard an entrance bricked up with granite blocks weighing a ton each. As the excavation progresses, archaeologists have uncovered two incredible female caryatid statues, mosaic floors and three chambers.
The list of findings from the last few years goes on and on and includes Captain Kidd's shipwreck. The wreckage of Quedagh Merchant, the ship abandoned by the 17th century pirate Captain William Kidd as he raced to New York in an ill-fated attempt to clear his name, was found in less than 10 feet of Caribbean seawater by a team from Indiana University.
Unique findings include a Gate to Hell in Hierapoils, in southwestern Turkey, complete with animals that died from getting too close. Known as Pluto's Gate -- Ploutonion in Greek, Plutonium in Latin -- the cave was celebrated as the portal to the underworld in Greco-Roman mythology and tradition.
While 17 new pyramids were discovered in Egypt in 2011 alone, using infrared satellite technology, a previously unknown pharaoh named Woseribre Senebkay and the necropolis of his dynasty were found earlier this year.
There are many unrecorded conquerors, battles and Romeo and Juliets in the vastness of prehistory whose stories are waiting to be told. Prehistoric finds like Hoyo Negro's earliest American, the Hobbit-like species
and insight into the first artists suggest the best stories may await discovery.