Archaeologists of Reddit, what are some latest discoveries that the masses have no idea of?

It's difficult to talk about things that have been found in the field, but not formally published. The act of publishing is where all the background information, theoretical models, data collection, and analysis go to offer interpretations of finds found in the field. Like, you may have found a tomb, but you can't say much more than it is a tomb, the location, and a general overview of the contents without sitting down and doing the analysis of the mortuary goods, the skeletal remains, and the soils and then comparing all of that to other known excavated tombs to find similarities and differences on a regional, temporal, and/or cultural scale.

So as a rule, archaeologists tend not to talk about things they found in the field until they've had a chance to do all that work and get a publication either in the process of being published (review and edit stage) or the publication is scheduled to come out soon in the next issue of a journal.

There's a lot more work that goes into archaeology than many people realize. It's not just digging in the dirt, giving what you find a cursory glance, and making broad sweeping proclamations about the past. There's radiocarbon samples, ceramic sherds, chert/obsidian, bones, metal, fibers, soil, pollen, faunal remains, floral remains, etc. that can and is tested to inform us about the dates of occupation, where clay or chert/obsidian sources are located, the DNA of a person or the stable isotope value that indicates where they grew up, the sources of metals, what plants or animals make up the preserved fibers, chemical signatures in the soil that may indicate certain kinds of activity, the types of plants being grown nearby, and the animals and plants people consumed. It's a monumental undertaking to do archaeology.

That being said, I could talk about some recent work that I've done and presented on at a conference if anyone is still interested.

/r/AskReddit Thread