PORTUGAL: The wreck of a 400-year-old Portuguese ship dating to the golden age of the European spice trade was located near the mouth of the Tagus River, 15 miles west of Lisbon. The ship appears to have sunk after returning from India with its cargo of valuable spices and Asian artifacts. During a preliminary survey of the wreck site, divers documented peppercorns, 9 bronze cannons engraved with the Portuguese coat of arms, Chinese porcelain from the Wanli period (1573–1620), and cowrie shells, which were often used as currency.


Top 10 Discoveries of 2018
ARCHAEOLOGY’s editors reveal the year’s most compelling finds

A Dark Age Beacon
Long shrouded in Arthurian lore, an island off the coast of Cornwall may have been the remote stronghold of early British kings

What Sank San Diego?
Was it a German torpedo, a mine, or saboteurs that sent this imposing World War I ship to the bottom of the Atlantic?

The Maya Animal Kingdom
Captive big cats might be key to understanding ancient Mesoamerica’s complex network of culture and commerce

Cambodia's Cave of Bridges
A vast mountainside cave in the midst of lush farmland conceals at least 70,000 years of Southeast Asian prehistory

February 23, 2019
​​Christianne Henry,
formerly of the Walter's Art Museum, Baltimore​

Hatshepsut:  Daughter of Amun-Re, Pharaoh of Egypt


To promote archaeological inquiry and public understanding of the material record of the human past to foster an appreciation of diverse cultures and our shared humanity.

Christianne Henry is an independent scholar in the field of Egyptology with a Masters Degree from the Johns Hopkins University. She attended the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Institut für Ägyptologie, in Munich, Germany, taking graduate courses in Egyptology. Her undergraduate degrees include a B.A. in Near Eastern Studies/Egyptology from Johns Hopkins University, and a B.A. in French Studies from Towson University. 

As Head of the Library at the Walter’s Museum, Henry has extensive experience with all aspects of preparing materials for exhibition and producing the museum’s publications.  Her many visits to Egypt have given her a unique perspective on Egyptian history.  She recently taught an OLLI course on Egypt’s significant queens. 

University of North Florida, 
Social Sciences Building 51 ​​​

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FLORIDA: A long-lost shrine dedicated to Nuestra Señora de La Leche y Buen Parto at the Mission Nombre de Dios in St. Augustine may finally have been located. The important religious structure was built by Governor de Hita y Salazar in 1677 and damaged by a British attack in 1702. It was eventually rebuilt nearby. During the 1950s, a local priest who was also an amateur archaeologist rediscovered the original building’s foundations, but they were quickly reburied and the location was forgotten for decades.


MEXICO CITY, MEXICO—According to a BBC News report, a temple dedicated to the god Xipe Totec has been discovered in central Mexico at the site of Ndachjian-Tehuacan by a team of National Institute of Anthropology and History archaeologists. Xipe Totec, god of fertility and regeneration, is usually depicted wearing sandals, a loincloth, and the skin of a sacrificed human. The site is thought to have been constructed by the Popolocas between A.D. 1000 and 1260, before they were conquered by the Aztecs.

The almost perfectly preserved remains of “Ötzi the Iceman” may give us a glimpse into medicines practiced by prehistoric peoples. We know that “Ötzi” carried a medical kit with him – his own portable pharmacy with over ten different plant products that could heal and cure. Discoveries about ancient medical techniques may be possible by studying Otzi’s singular case.

Amazing forensic science has recovered much detail about Otzi’s life. This lecture explores the medical evidence, including material technology he carried with vital medical and bioarchaeological data. This is research conducted under the auspices of National Geographic and the Institute for EthnoMedicine where Hunt is also a Research Associate in Archeoethnobotany. Hunt has filmed several documentaries (2008, 2010) for National Geographic on Otzi and is currently involved in a third production (2015). 

Worship of Xipe Totec later spread throughout Mesoamerica. Accounts of rituals dedicated to the god suggest people were sacrificed through combat or shot with arrows on one platform, and then skinned on another platform, which conforms to the layout of the newly discovered temple. Priests are then said to have worn the skins in rituals. Sculptures found in the temple include two large skull-like figures carved from imported volcanic stone, and a torso measuring about 31 inches long. A right hand is shown hanging from the figure’s left arm, perhaps representing the skin of a sacrificed person. The written sources also say a green stone would have been placed in a hole in the statue’s belly during ceremonies. To read in-depth about archaeology in Mexico City, go to “Under Mexico City.”

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 He is also a National Lecturer for the Archaeological Institute of America, as well as an elected Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. He is the author of nearly 20 published books including the best-seller Ten Discoveries That Rewrote History, Alpine Archaeology, and most recently, Hannibal. He has a lifelong love of the Alps, having lived there for several months each year since 1994.

January 26, 2019
Patrick Hunt, Professor at Stanford University
Timely Remedies: The Ancient Medicine of Otzi the Iceman


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Temple Dedicated to Xipe Totec Discovered in Central Mexico
Thursday, January 3, 2019


This lecture will explore the rise of Hatshepsut--king’s daughter, king’s sister, king’s wife—who ultimately became pharaoh of Egypt.  Declaring herself as the offspring of Egypt’s supreme deity, she seized control of one of the ancient world’s greatest kingdoms. 

Award-winning archaeologist, author, and National Geographic grantee Patrick Hunt earned his Ph.D. in Archaeology from the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, and has taught at Stanford University for 25 years. Patrick directed the Stanford Alpine Archaeology Project from 1994 to 2012, and has continued project-related fieldwork in the region in the years since. His Alps research has been sponsored by the National Geographic Expeditions Council, and he frequently lectures for National Geographic on Hannibal and the European mummy nicknamed Ötzi the Iceman.