Archaeology is the closest thing we have to a time machine. Instead of using flux capacitors, however, archaeologists rely on technology like ground-penetrating radar, scanning electron microscopes, DNA sequencing, and of course, the good-old-fashioned shovel. Equipped with the right tools and techniques, the work of these scientists allows us to reconstruct the past and imagine things as they once were.
Years from now, when we look back on the year that was 2020, archaeology won’t be the first thing that comes to mind. But that’s not to say it wasn’t a good year for this important scientific discipline, and these 12 discoveries were among the most compelling.