Curiosity

Top 10 Archaeological Finds of the 21st Century

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by: Martha Barksdale
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Tour guides in Rampasasa, Indonesia, often claim that four-feet-tall Victor Jehabut is a descendant of Homo floresiensis, dwarf cave-dwellers who roamed Flores Island 160,000 years ago.
AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim

Our ancestors didn't come and go from this planet without leaving evidence of their existence, and it's up to archaeologists to make sense of the random bones, clay tablets, tools, buildings and other items our forebears left behind. While these items from the past have generally fascinated contemporary humans (sometimes not -- the mother of one of the discoverers burned some of the Dead Sea scrolls as fuel), it is only in recent years that we have had the resources and technology to give these artifacts their rightful place in history.

Archaeologists have been busy during the first decade of the 21st century, making discoveries in expected spots, like Jerusalem, and in unexpected places such as Ground Zero in New York City. Some of these discoveries, such as the fact that chimpanzees may have created tools on their own, give us a new way of looking at ourselves. Other findings, such as ancient writing in Jerusalem and earthworks on the Irish Hill of Tara, show us that some places have been important for thousands of years.

In this article, we'll explore 10 of the most important finds of the 21st century. Keep reading to find out about these discoveries, including why hobbits may or may not have a life outside of "The Lord of the Rings" and why "Sex and the City's" Carrie Bradshaw might have felt at home in the Stone Age.

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