Ground mustard

The Mystery of the Mustard Family

An archaeological dig turned up eight bottles of mustard powder in one eighteenth-century homestead. Why the condiment love?
Figurine: The Eros terracotta figurine from Tel Kedesh, front and back views 

Source: P. Lanyi; courtesy Sharon Herbert and Andrea Berlin, Tel Kedesh Excavations.

The Archaeological Mystery of Tel Kedesh

Was a well-preserved set of game pieces and other childhood items buried by a young woman before she got married?
Ruins of a Roman aqueduct in Tunisia

Fixing the Aqueduct from Hell

The Roman engineer Nonius Datus thought the project was in good shape when he left Saldae. He would return.
Roman ivory doll from the mid-2nd century AD

Girls and Dolls in the Roman Empire

Analyzing the dolls of elite girls shows that playthings reinforced gendered expectations but also allowed for imaginative play.
Sofia, a skeleton from the Durankulak Necropolis

How the Gender Binary Limits Archaeological Study

One case study demonstrates how contemporary assumptions about gender in ancient societies risk obscuring the larger picture.
Family photo with Heinrich and Sophia Schliemann, 1871

Giving Overdue Credit to Early Archaeologists’ Wives

These women labored alongside their famous husbands to produce world-renowned research.
A collection of rare beer cans

An Archeologist’s Guide to Beer Cans

Here's how to figure out how long it's been since someone left their empties around, only to be dug up later.

How Do Archaeologists Know Where to Dig?

Archaeologists used to dig primarily at sites that were easy to find thanks to obvious visual clues. But technology—and listening to local people—plays a bigger role now.
A coffinette for the viscera of Tutankhamun

Was It Really a Mummy’s Curse?

A slew of mysterious deaths following the opening of King Tut's tomb prompted one epidemiologist to investigate.