United States: The World Trade Center ship

Not long after sunrise on 13 July 2010, two archaeologists descended a long aluminium ladder into a 25-ft deep pit immediately south of the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan. The archaeologists made this descent, as they and their colleagues had many mornings before over the previous months, to monitor the lumbering activities of a […]

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Boat found at base of World Trade Center

Astonishingly, given the devastating events that took place at New York’s World Trade Center on 11 September 2001, archaeologists working at the site have found a substantial depth of undisturbed archaeological deposits lying underneath the remains of the iconic twin towers. They include the remains of a Revolutionary-War-era ship that was probably sunk deliberately on […]


Brian Fagan Digs Deeper

The esoterica of kelp forests Kelp forests are near ubiquitous along the West Coast of North America, as anyone who has sailed or paddled a small boat knows only too well. Kelp grows at an astonishing rate, as much as 0.9m a day, offers rudimentary shelter from ocean swells, and, most important of all, is […]


Postcard from Chicago

Chicago is a very European city. With the wind whipping up Lake Michigan, it feels like Geneva on an autumnal day until you look back to the forest of extraordinary skyscrapers that make up the heart of this city. More European still are the elegantly tended flower beds that line the main streets, and belong […]

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We are all Neanderthal

The long-standing debate about the relationship between humans (Homo sapiens) and Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis) has just taken an unexpected twist with the discovery that some humans have genes in common with our extinct hominid cousins. Some anthropologists have always argued that this was the case, but on the questionable evidence of similarities in skull and […]


Brian Fagan Digs Deeper

Freezing on Kodiak My travels sometimes take me to relatively exotic places, like a recent brief stay on Kodiak Island, Alaska, which is a hotbed of archaeological research. Some of the earliest maritime societies in the arctic flourished here 7,500 years ago, not as early as at Anangula out off Umnak Island in the central […]


Steel Manufacture, America’s Metal

The first ever excavation of a cementation steel furnace in America – in Trenton, New Jersey – is throwing new light America’s growing self-sufficiency as a manufacturing nation. Dating from between 1745 and 1750, this is one of fewer than 20 such furnaces known to have been built in 18th century North America to turn […]


Digging Deeper

In Brian Fagan’s latest instalment of all things archaeological that are both exotic and entertaining he worships Maya macaws, reveals the oldest evidence for humans in America, and gets dirty with Maya farmers.


In the Land of Lincoln

The 16th president of the USA is much written about; now, excavations in Salem, Illinois, are revealing new secrets about his early life.

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