Archeology Boom

July 14, 1971

Report Outline
Wide Range of Recent Discoveries
Development of Archeological Research
Aims and Methods of Modern Archeology

Wide Range of Recent Discoveries

Surging Interest in Archeology on All Continents

A jawbone fragment discovered in Africa indicates that man-like creatures existed a million and a half years earlier than previously supposed. In France, man's earliest known habitation, a temporary hunting camp 300,000 years old, has been unearthed. In Israel, archeologists have uncovered the first physical evidence of Roman crucifixions. In Egypt, an ancient shrine visited by Queen Cleopatra has been discovered. In Greece, the court where Socrates was tried and condemned to death has been found. These are only a few of many dramatic archeological finds in recent years.

New knowledge of the distant past is thus being unearthed on an unprecedented scale. The tempo of activity reflects the surging interest in archeology as a basic tool in man's quest for self-understanding. From artifacts and fossils, he is trying to piece together a portrait of his ancestry from the dim recesses of prehistory. His painstaking efforts also shed further light on events that have taken place since the dawn of recorded history.

Recent discoveries and new thinking about old ones are beginning to challenge many hallowed concepts—including those concerning the origins of man, the birth of civilization and the migration of ancient man from the Old World to the New. The vast and constantly growing body of archeological knowledge has led to specialization of a high order. Archeologists draw heavily on the physical sciences, including biology, physics, computer technology and zoology, in their work. The influx of new methods, while placing great demands on scholarship in the study of ancient artifacts, has helped to whet the interest of a rising generation of scholars.

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