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Archaeology

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Home page for the NMNH department of Archaeology. Information on North American archaeology, research programs, training programs, collections, online databases, online exhibits, teaching guides/activities, and staff video interviews.

Prehistoric Archaeology Exhibit

Smithsonian Institution Archives
Prehistoric Archaeology exhibit in the Upper Main Hall of the Smithsonian Institution Building, or Castle, featuring a painted vase (A59076-0) from the Marajo culture of Brazil.

Prehistoric Archaeology Exhibit

Smithsonian Institution Archives
Prehistoric Archaeology exhibit in the Upper Main Hall of the Smithsonian Institution Building, or Castle, featuring a painted burial vase (A59073-0) from the Marajo culture of Brazil.

Archaeology, Tombs. March 1924

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives
A.G. Wenley worked for the Freer Gallery of Art from 1924 until his death in 1962. From 1942 to 1962 he was the Director of the Freer Gallery of Art.

This series consists of the field journals created by A.G. Wenley when he accompanied Carl Whiting Bishop on his archaeological expedition to China on behalf of the Freer Gallery from 1924-1926. The journals are typewritten, with photographs and captions depicting the different sites Wenley visited. There are also duplicate copies with annotations on several of the entries.

Southern African field archaeology

Smithsonian Libraries
Title from cover.

Archaeology Alive with Ecology

Smithsonian Libraries

Panamanian archaeology: Pioneering Panama's past

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Arqueología panameña: Los pioneros del pasado en Panamá

Archaeology--2017 Citizen Science Newsletter

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
The Sellman Plantation, located on the SERC campus, is made up of 500 acres of mainly farmland and the historic Sellman House. Citizen Scientists are exploring several active archaeology projects at the plantation. All of the projects study the relationship between the land and the people that lived on it. Videos by Cosette Larash, Maria Sharova, Alison Cawood Music: Positive by AShamaluev https://www.youtube.com/user/AShamaluev/about

Archaeology and Relaxation in Santorini

Smithsonian Magazine

Some time ago, I gazed out from a balcony, peering over potted geraniums to the azure Aegean; it seemed, from my aerie, that I was perched at the edge of the world. And so I was, on edenic Santorini, the southernmost isle of the Cyclades. Its dramatic geography is unique, even in this corner of the classical world, where landscapes of rugged beauty rise up for travelers at every turn. Santorini’s villages cling to red-and-black cliffs, looking out on a nearly enclosed 400-foot-deep lagoon; this deep harbor was formed when a catastrophic volcanic eruption occurred some 3,600 years, creating a massive crater. Lawrence Durrell, the 20th-century expatriate British novelist who spent his childhood on the island of Corfu, once wrote that “It is hardly a matter of surprise that few, if any, good descriptions of Santorini have been written: the reality is so astonishing that prose and poetry, however winged, will forever be forced to limp behind.”

I happened to have a copy of Durrell’s The Greek Islands at my side as I took in the vista of sea and sky on that serene evening, anticipating one of the sunsets for which this island is renowned. The meal was ambrosial as well. A friendly taverna owner served swordfish drizzled in sage-infused olive oil; a plate of perfect cherry tomatoes (the island is famous for its tomatoes); a ripe peach sliced and garnished with fresh mint; a slice of walnut pie and a dollop of Greek yogurt with honey. And let me not neglect to mention the wine: Santorini’s volcanic soils produce notable vintages, whites especially, dry, citrusy and delectable. The vineyard owners are welcoming and knowledgeable; later in our stay here, we would spend a day bumping along dusty roads in our rented Jeep, strolling rows of grapes and tasting the offerings.

Image by Phil Dunne / Alamy. Santorini's residents long ago imposed draconian zoning restrictions; their wisdom is a boon to visitors, who will discover, even today, intact whitewashed architecture and churches roofed in cobalt-blue domes. (original image)

Image by Bill Heinsohn / Alamy. Santorini’s villages cling to red-and-black cliffs, looking out on a nearly enclosed 400-foot-deep lagoon; this deep harbor was formed when a catastrophic volcanic eruption occurred some 3,600 years, creating a massive crater. (original image)

Image by Travelib Environment / Alamy. The beaches, many of them black volcanic sand (which absorbs heat: bring thick towels to stretch out on and do not leave home without sandals) are unspoiled and beckoning. (original image)

Image by Dennis Cox / Alamy. Santorini is also home to one of the most significant excavation sites in the Mediterranean, Akrotiri, the ruins of an ancient town, well preserved because, like Pompeii, it was buried in a volcanic eruption. (original image)

Image by Jon Arnold Images Ltd / Alamy. One can easily spend an entire day at the museum in Thera, peering at artifacts, including pottery and jewelry, that vividly evoke the world of a Minoan Bronze Age settlement. (original image)

The beaches, many of them black volcanic sand (which absorbs heat: bring thick towels to stretch out on and do not leave home without sandals) are unspoiled and beckoning; the Aegean is warm and impossibly blue. Tempting as the beaches were—one could easily return there daily for the seaside holiday of one’s dreams— I found that I wanted even more to while away the hours in the narrow streets of our picture-postcard village, Oia. Its residents long ago imposed draconian zoning restrictions; their wisdom is a boon to visitors, who will discover, even today, intact whitewashed architecture; grand 19th-century merchants’ villas; churches roofed in cobalt-blue domes; galleries; small shops where one may search out hand-embroidered tunics or silver bracelets embellished with leaping dolphins; lavender sachets or packets of herbal teas—tisanes—dried and tied in muslin by local farmers.

Santorini is also home to one of the most significant excavation sites in the Mediterranean, Akrotiri, the ruins of an ancient town, well preserved because, like Pompeii, it was buried in a volcanic eruption. (Archaeologists believe, however, that the inhabitants escaped; there has been no evidence uncovered that residents were trapped there.) The nearby Museum of Ancient Thera showcases the artifacts unearthed there; one can easily spend an entire day peering at artifacts, including pottery and jewelry, that vividly evoke the world of a Minoan Bronze Age settlement.

Its essence, however, Santorini’s fundamental attraction is its profound aura of calm. In Oia’s clear air and quiet byways, church bells chime; black-garbed elderly women sit in doorways, shelling fava beans; and chickens cluck in the kitchen gardens. It seems that there are few places in the world where time stands still—but this is one of those rare refuges.

Remodeled Highlights of Latin American Archaeology Hall

Smithsonian Archives - History Div
An exhibit case containing artifacts from Mexico on display in the newly remodeled "Highlights of Latin American Archaeology Hall."

The hall (Hall 23) is the first permanent exhibit hall to be completely renovated since the building was opened to the public in 1910. The renovation was begun in 1951 as part of the Institution's Exhibits Modernization Program and "presents man's cultural development from his earliest known beginnings in Latin America to the high civilizations of the Inca, Aztec, and Maya."

Department of Prehistoric Archaeology Storage, 1911

Smithsonian Archives - History Div
There are several photos of office spaces and Museum cases in this location.

The Department of Prehistoric Archaeology storage in the National Museum of Natural History on January 15, 1911. There are artifacts sitting on top of a table in the foreground.

fragments, archaeological

National Museum of American History

Prehistoric Archaeology Exhibit in the Castle

Smithsonian Institution Archives
Also known as 2962.

See also Record Unit 95, Box 41, Folder 4.

Prehistoric Archaeology exhibit in Upper Main Hall (above Great Hall) of the Smithsonian Institution Building, or Castle, showing ethnological and archeological specimens. An immense painted Tsimshian housefront, acquired from the Northwest Coastal Indians for display at the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition in 1876, is visible on the west wall at the back of the room. Numerous busts populate the tops of exhibit cases. Spears and bows and arrows from various tribes are decoratively grouped in patterns on the walls.

Underwater Archaeology Exhibition Tour for National Associates

Smithsonian Archives - History Div
Featured in TORCH, Summer 1972

Mendel L. Peterson, Curator of the National Museum of History and Technology, now the National Museum of American History, Division of Historic Archeology guiding National Associates members on tour of the underwater archeology exhibits, April 22, 1972. This tour was a part of the three day "Weekend at the Smithsonian" program attended by 56 National Associates members.

Cobble Rocks from Archaeological Dig

Anacostia Community Museum
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