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Preview: About.com Archaeology: Most Popular Articles

About.com Archaeology: Most Popular Articles



These articles are the most popular over the last month.



Published: Mon, 20 Feb 2017 11:11:42 +0000

 



The 10 Most Important Aztec Gods and Goddesses

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

The top ten of the 200 Aztec gods and goddesses recognized by scholars include the most famous and the important figures of the Aztec religion.



What Is History, Anyway? A Handful of...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Drop in on a collection of quotes from historians--some professional, some decidedly not--trying their hand at defining the dark art of history.



An Aztec God of Fertility and Patron of Warriors

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Tonatiuh (pronounced Toh-nah-tee-uh) was the Aztec sun god. This deity had both a positive and negative aspect.



Did European Solutrean Upper Paleolithic People...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

The Solutrean-Clovis connection suggests that at least some of the first people in North America were direct descendants of European Solutreans.



Why Does Our Modern Calendar Use Christian...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

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When Did People Begin Using and Controlling Fire?

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

The discovery of fire was one of the earliest discoveries of humans, letting us add light, warmth, security, and companionship into our lives.



How did we ever manage to domesticate so many...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

This annotated animal domestication table lists the dates and places that scholars have discovered about when over 30 animals were domesticated



Multiregional Hypothesis

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

The Multiregional Hypothesis argues that our earliest hominid ancestors radiated out from Africa and Homo sapiens evolved from several different groups of Homo erectus in several places throughout the world.



The Long History of Humans Taming Plants on...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

A collection of plant histories, when and where humans domesticated them, with a table of dates and places and links to the stories themselves.



Interested in a Career in Archaeology? Read...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Have you always dreamed of being an archaeologist, but don't know how to become one? Here's how you can get started exploring that dream job.



Considering a Career in Archaeology? Read These...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

What kind of job can I get in archaeology? Does it pay well? What is a typical day like? An FAQ for aspiring archaeologists.



Who Were the First People Who Arrived in the...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Pre-Clovis is the name archaeologists have given to the oldest and now fairly well-established human occupations of the Americas.



How the Dog Came to Be Domesticated

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

When and where the partnership of dog and humans first occurred is currently under considerable debate.



What Do the Discoveries of Neanderthal and...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

The Out of Africa or African Replacement Hypothesis argues that every living human being is descended from a small group in Africa.



The Creation Myth of the Aztecs Was One of...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

In the 16th century, the Aztecs believed their world had been created and destroyed in violence four times before, and had reason to expect it again.



The Very Opposite of Monocultural Agriculture...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Mixed cropping, also known as inter-cropping or co-cultivation, is a type of agriculture that involves planting two or more of plants simultaneously in the same field.



Did the "Aryans" Exist and Did They Destroy the...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

The flawed and racist Aryan Invasion Myth was developed in the late 19th century to explain the blossoming of the Indus River Civilization.



Tenochtitlan: How a City in a Swamp Became the...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

The Aztec capital city called Tenochtitlan was located a marsh in the middle of a lake surrounded by mountains--a place now called Mexico City.



The Legend of Huitzilopochtli, Founding Deity...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Huitzilopochtli was the Mexica god of the sun, war and sacrifice, and the founding patron god of the Aztec Empire



Landscape Archaeology

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Landscape archaeology studies the way people of the past shaped the land around them, consciously or unconsciously.



The Main Belief System and Multi-Deity Universe...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

The Aztecs had a complex set of beliefs, ceremonies and gods, each one overlooking an aspect of human life and responding to the needs of the Aztec people.



Anthropology Defined

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Anthropology is the study of human beings; their culture, their behavior, their beliefs, their ways of surviving; but that's just my opinion. Here is a collection of other definitions.



The Aztec Rain God Tlaloc was Based on a...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

The Aztec rain god, Tlaloc, was one of the most important in the Aztec pantheon, and distantly related to rain gods of other Mesoamerican cultures.



How Cattle Came to Be Domesticated - Perhaps...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

The history of the relationship between humans and cattle is a long and varied one, with at least two and perhaps three domestication events.



Three Cultural Groups which Combined to Make...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

The Triple Alliance was a military and political pact formed by three city-states of the Valley of Mexico, forming what was to become the Aztec Empire.



What Do Archaeologists Mean by BP, and Why Do...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Archaeologists use the term 'BP' to mean 'years before humans began to screw up the atmosphere by testing nuclear devices'.



Why Don't Archaeologists Use the Term...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Cro-Magnons are what scholars now call Anatomically Modern Humans or Early Modern Humans, our near-ancestors who started us down the path to modernity



Egypt's Gorgeous Deir el Bahri Temple Was Based...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Hatshepsut's Deir el-Bahri (also spelled Deir el-Bahari) is one of the most beautiful temples in Egypt, built by the architects of Queen Hatshepsut.



Top 10 Things to Know About the Aztecs

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Short list of the main facts and aspects of Aztec culture



Why Don't Scholars Agree on the Dates for...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Figuring out the calendar dates of the ancient pharaohs and the rest of the Mediterranean communities of the Bronze Age is tougher than it seems.



What Is a Hominin and How Is It Different from...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Learn more about the Homininae subfamily, including Hominini (humans and their ancestors), Panini (chimps), and Gorillini (gorillas).



The Secret Innovations and Inventions of...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

This collection of ancient farming includes core concept definitions, archaeological research into ancient farming, and special farming techniques.



2 Million Years of Humans on the Planet - What...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Modern human beings are the result of millions of years of evolution. But not just physical evolution:



Who doesn't want to be an archaeologist when...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Not all archaeologists are professors at college. There are many different allied jobs associated with archaeological investigations.



What was Life in Europe Like Before Farming?

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

The Mesolithic period in European history includes the history of the complex hunter-gatherers who developed the technology to cultivate crops.



Why Scholars are Certain the Inca Kept Records...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

By the 16th century, the Inca empire ruled much of South America, and they did it all without a written language. Did the quipu keep their records?



Chetro Ketl Holds the Key to Tree-Ring Dating...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Chetro Ketl is a Great House in the Chaco Culture National Historical Park of New Mexico, important for the pioneering use of the tree ring dating method.



Monumental Architecture: The Public Nature of...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Monumental architecture refers to large man-made structures of stone or earth, made by the people and for the people beginning about 12,000 years ago.



What Human Evolution Took Place During the...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

The Lower Paleolithic period (2.7 million to 200,000 years ago) is marked by the first evidence of what scientists consider human behaviors.



When Was the Chicken Domesticated? And Who Gets...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

The history of chickens and when they were domesticated is something of a puzzle, but most likely it was about 8,000 years ago in Thailand.



Was the Upper Paleolithic the Height of...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

The Upper Paleolithic period saw great changes in the world as Homo sapiens became the only hominid running around on our planet.



Natufian Hunter-Gatherers were Ancestral to...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

The Natufian culture is the name given to the sedentary hunter-gatherers living in the Levant region of the near east ~2,500 and 10,200 years ago.



What Is the Oasis Theory?

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

The Oasis Theory is a core concept in archaeology, referring to one of the main hypotheses about the origins of agriculture.



The Mythology of the Aztecs and the Founding of...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

This page describes the mythical and archaeological origins of the Aztec people, and the founding of their capital city of Tenochtitan



An Introduction to the Inca Writing System...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

The quipu (also spelled khipu or quipo) is the only known precolumbian information system in South America: it has yet to be fully deciphered.



Why Would Anybody Try to Domesticate a Goat?

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Beginning about 10,500 years ago, Neolithic people started keeping goats, for their milk, meat, dung, wool... but maybe not their sweet natures.



The Collapse of Angkor - The End of the Khmer...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

The end of the Khmer Empire (or Angkor civilization) came about as a direct result of the civilization's inability to adapt to an extended drought brought about by climate change.



What Occurred During the Middle Paleolithic...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

The Middle Paleolithic period (ca 200,000 to 45,000 years ago or so) is the period during which Archaic humans including Homo sapiens neanderthalensis appeared and flourished all over the world.



Which Society Cultivated Wheat First?

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Wheat was one of the very first crops domesticated by our ancestors, some 10,000 years ago in southeastern Turkey.



Who Were the Ancient American Civilizations...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Both North and South America were populated when the Europeans arrived in the late 15th century--and their civilizations were vast and sophisticated.



How does somebody who wants to be an archaeolog...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Want to gain experience in archaeology? Thinking about a career or just looking for some interesting things to do with your summer vacation? Then the field school is for you.



Did the Aztecs Really Think Cortes was the...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

The Aztec god Quetzalcoatl, the Feathered Serpent, is one of the most famous pre-Columbian deities, worshiped by many different Mesoamerican cultures.



Bloodletting Rituals allowed Maya Nobles to...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Bloodletting rituals and sacrifices were a widespread practice among the ancient people of Mesoamerica; royal Maya used them to speak to their gods.



Pre-Pottery Neolithic: The First Farmers of the...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

The Pre-Pottery Neolithic (abbreviated PPN) is the name given to the people who first developed farming in the Levant and Near East.



Did Climate Change Cause PrePottery Neolithic...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

The traditional history of farming begins some 12,000 years ago, in the hilly flanks of the Zagros Mountains of southwest Asia



RCYBP - Radio Carbon Years Before the Present

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

RCYBP (Radio Carbon Years Before the Present and abbreviated in many different ways) is a shorthand reference to the uncalibrated date recovered from carbon 14 dating.



The Domestication Process of the Eggplant from...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Eggplants were likely first domesticated somewhere in southeast Asia, probably China or India, but post-domestication improvement is well-documented.



Is Your Cat Truly Domesticated? According to...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

The modern day cat was permanently domesticated about 4000 years ago, in Egypt; but archaeologists say it may have been closer to 10,000 years ago.



Klasies River Caves - Middle Paleolithic South...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

What does it mean to be human? Archaeological excavations at one of the earliest Homo sapiens site on the planet, the Klasies River Caves site in South Africa, teach us about our ancestors.



Chatelperronian Transition to Upper Paleolithic

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

The Chatelperronian period ca 40,000-33,000 years ago, is usually associated with Neanderthals, and bears evidence of some kind of interaction with African newcomers to Europe.



Archaeology of the Islamic Empire - Towns,...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Settlements of the Islamic empire range from single desert palaces to trade centers to villages to towns and great cities; here is a sample.



What are the Steps of Evolution in Human Stone...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

In 1969, archaeologist Grahame Clark defined a workable system for understanding the evolution of stone tools that is the basis for much of lithic studies today.



The Three Sisters - Traditional Intercropping...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

The Three Sisters were what Native American groups called the combined intercropping of maize, beans and squash.



Were There Really Only Eight Founder Crops in...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Eight founder crops made up the core of new agriculture on our planet--but recent scientific research has shown it wasn't that straightforward.



How Did the Wild Boar Become the Sweet Domestic...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Our modern domestic pig (Sus scrofa) was developed from the ferocious wild boar in two very distant places in the world: Turkey and China.



Chaco Canyon: The Architectural Heart of the...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Chaco Canyon is one of the best known archaeological regions in North America: architectural beauty matched to the arid and forbidding landscape.



What is the Importance of the Maya book known...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

The Popol Vuh, often dubbed the Bible of the Maya, narrates the creation myth of the Maya Quiché of Guatemala and the Story of the Hero Twins.



If You Could be a Viking, Would You Be a...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Viking society was highly stratified, with three distinct classes, from slave to aristocracy; and clearly defined professions that described life.



How Can Archaeologists Tell if an Animal is...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

The mechanism of domestication is an evolutionary one, and very slow; archaeological evidence for domestication of a particular animal is subtle.



Chalchiuhtlicue

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Chalchiuhtlicue was the Aztec goddess of running water as well as the patron of navigation and childbirth



Ochre is the First Pigment Known to Have Been...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

The natural yellow-red-brown pigment known as ochre was humankind's first paint pot, used by our hominid ancestors nearly 300,000 years ago.



What You've Always Wanted to Know about Otzi...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

The Iceman is the name of a 5,300-year-old human body discovered high in the Swiss/Italian Alps in 1991.



What is the Evidence for a 6th Century Fog in...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

The dust veil of AD 536 was a period of a year to 18 months when the world experienced some kind of calamity, based on historic and tree ring records.



A Beginner's Introduction to the Islamic...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

The Islamic Civilization is in reality a mosaic of wide variety of cultures, from North Africa to the western periphery of the Pacific Ocean, and from Central Asia to sub-Saharan Africa.



When was the Common Bean Domesticated? And Who...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

The common bean's colorful past includes two domestication events: one in the Andes mountains of South America, and one in central Mexico.



How Many Times Do You Need to Domesticate Sheep?

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Sheep (Ovis aries) are among the earliest animals ever domesticated, developed and descended from the wild mouflon more than 10,000 years ago.



The Ancient Uses of Asphalt - 40,000 Years of...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Bitumen is a naturally-occurring organic byproduct of decomposed organic materials used by humans for many very useful things for the past 40,000 years.



Clovis May Not Have Been First in the Americas,...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Clovis refers to mobile big game hunters who roamed the Americas hunting elephants and bison for a very brief time 12,000 years ago.



Why We Shouldn't Call Mexico's Ancient...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

The name Aztec is a simply the incorrect term to define the ancient inhabitants of the city of Tenochtitlan or the inhabitants of the Valley of Mexico.



Did an Ice-Free Corridor Serve as an Early...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Since at least the 1930s, the Ice Free Corridor hypothesis has been an accepted human colonization route for the American continents.



Australopithecus

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Australopithecus is one of several species of hominins who may or may not be Homo sapiens direct ancestor.



Stone Boiling: How Did We Make Soup Hot Without...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Stone boiling is what archaeologists and anthropologists call the cooking method where you put hot rocks into liquid, as a way of getting your soup hot. This method dates at least to Middle Paleolithic Period.



How did Vikings make their livings?

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Over the 250 years of the period called the Viking Age, the economics of the people known as the Vikings changed and adapted, and sometimes failed.



What Great Leap Forward does the Levallois...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Levallois is the name archaeologists have given to a distinctive flint knapping technique, which makes up part of the ancient Acheulean and Mousterian artifact assemblages.



Some of the Earliest Colonists to America...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

The Pacific Coast Migration Model is a theory concerning the original colonization of the Americas that proposes that people entering the continents followed the Pacific coastline



Who were the human species known as the...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

The Denisovans are a recently discovered human species, who lived (at least) in what is today Siberia and colonized the southeast Asian islands and China.



Tezcatlipoca

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Tezcatlipoca was the Aztec god of night, north direction and patron deity of Aztec kings



10 Things to Know About the Vikings

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

The ancient Vikings were undoubtedly raiders: in that the History Channel series is correct. But they were so much more interesting than television tells us...



A 430,000 year old key to human evolution

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Deposits in the Sima de los Huesos site in Spain contain 28 hominid individuals, who together represent evidence of human speciation.



Post-Processual Archaeology

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Post-Processual Archaeology is...



A Kiva Holds a Special Importance to Ancient...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

A kiva is a ceremonial structure used by ancient and modern Puebloan societies through the American southwest



Processual Archaeology

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Processual Archaeology is the study of process, that is to say, investigations of the way humans do things, and the way things decay.



How the Iron Age Kingdom of Aksum Flourished in...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

The Kingdom of Aksum (first through sixth centuries AD) was one of the most powerful kingdoms in sub-Saharan Africa, connecting with Rome and Egypt.



Who Were the First Farmers of Europe and How...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

The Linearbandkeramik Culture (LBK) is the name given by German archaeologist F. Klopfleisch in 1884 to the first true farming communities in central Europe.



Complex Hunters and Gatherers

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Complex hunter-gatherers or affluent foragers, are hunter-gatherers with benefits.



Cenotes are Deep Pools, and Crucial Maya...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Cenotes are sacred geological formations found in the Yucatan peninsula and the only place where the ancient Maya could obtain freshwater.



What are the Hilly Flanks in Agriculture?

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Hilly Flanks is a geographic term describing a specific set of environmental conditions, and in archaeology it refers to a theory about the origins of agriculture



The Curly-Nosed Maya Rain God Chaac Had Ancient...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Chaac was the Mayan god of rain, storms, water and lightning. Masks of the god's face called Chaac Masks are carved on many Maya temples.



What Do Archaeologists Mean When They Call a...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

Simple human societies of the past developed into more and more complex societies, for a variety of reasons and characterized by a variety of traits.



Need Ideas for a Research Paper? Pick a Topic...

2017-02-20T11:11:42Z

The hardest thing a student does is pick a research paper topic. Archaeology, two million years of human behavior, is an excellent starting place.