Four of the top 10 archaeological discoveries of the year were made by BU academics, according to Archaeology Magazine.
The magazine has published its list of the top discoveries of 2021, with four BU projects included.
BU’s Professor Matthew Bennett and Dr Sally Reynolds worked with an international team to help uncover the earliest evidence of human activity in the Americas, a discovery which changed the timeline on human movement in the Americas. Footprints found at White Sands National Park in New Mexico were excavated and dated by the team to over 23,000 years ago.
Professor Bennett and Dr Reynolds also had a second discovery on the list, with their work alongside Guangzhou University in China in uncovering the oldest example of immobile art in the world. Hand and footprints made by children were found immortalised in rock in Tibet and were thought to have been left between 169,000 and 226,000 years ago.
BU Post-Doctoral Researcher Dr Clément Nicolas worked, alongside a French team, to identify an ornate Bronze Age stone slab, excavated in France in 1900, which was revealed to be the oldest known map in Europe. The carved slab from Saint-Bélec dates from the early Bronze Age (2150-1600 BCE).
Experts at the university also worked on the discovery of mass graves in Lebanon, found to be those of 13th Century Crusaders. Dr Richard Mikulski and Dr Martin Smith were part of the team to discover the mass graves within the dry moat of Sidon Castle, with skeletal remains showing a large number of weapon injuries from swords, maces and arrows.
Professor Mark Gillings, Head of the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, said, "This is a fantastic result, and a clear reflection of the international significance of the archaeological research that is taking place here at BU and the dedication and commitment of the research teams involved. As a Head of Department, I could not be more proud."
Other discoveries on the list include a rare boundary marker found in Rome, and a settlement buried in Sand in Luxor, Egypt, believed to be one of the largest ancient Egyptian cities ever unearthed.