Here Live Science takes a look at 10 of the biggest archaeology discoveries that emerged this year. As in past years it was difficult to narrow this list to only 10.

A Bronze Age megalopolis in Israel a cachette of the priests near Luxor Egypt and a massive ancient wall in western Iran are just a few of the many incredible archaeological stories that came to light in 2019.

Here Live Science takes a look at 10 of the biggest archaeology discoveries that emerged this year. As in past years it was difficult to narrow this list to only 10.


The year started off with a heady discovery. Archaeologists found 17 decapitated skeletons their heads resting between their owner's legs or feet in a 1700-year-old Roman cemetery in the village of Great Whelnetham in Suffolk England. 

Their skulls appear to have been removed from their heads after death. The incisions through the neck were postmortem and were neatly placed just behind the jaw Andy Peachey an archaeologist with Archaeological Solutions the company responsible for excavating the cemetery told Live Science. An execution would cut lower through the neck and with violent force and this is not present anywhere.

No grave goods were found with the headless individuals though their bones were in good shape suggesting the individuals were well-nourished. A few of the individuals had tuberculosis which was common in farming communities 

On Oct. 11 2019 archaeologists in Egypt announced a plethora of discoveries in the Valley of the Kings where royalty were buried some 3000 years ago. In the western valley they found a workshop complex where workers manufactured material for the tombs. There were workshops for coloring pottery manufacturing furniture and cleaning gold among many others. They also found a room dug into the valley that was used for mummification complete with the remains of linen rope and other materials left over from mummification. They also found a piece of wood with two prongs that may have been used like a forklift to move furniture. 

Archaeologists also found new examples of ostraca (pottery with writing on it) that reveal records left behind by the Valley of the Kings workers. They found an area used to bake bread and store food and water. They also found two female mummies near the tomb of the powerful female pharaoh Hatshepsut. To have so many finds made in one year is astonishing and may pave the way for more discoveries in 2020.