It’s been another fascinating and prolific 12 months in archaeology, with discoveries - ranging from a multi-million pound medieval gold hoard to a lost Roman city, a “missing link” in human evolution and a prehistoric erotic figurine - coming thick and fast from the four corners of the globe.
They’ve been made by all from hard-working heritage experts, after years of slaving at the archaeological coal-face, to fluky amateurs on their very first treasure hunt.
Here we give our run down of what we believe are the top ten major discoveries of 2009. All of them have enriched our knowledge of the past in some way – either by offering fascinating glimpses of past civilizations, or challenging preconceived notions about ancient history or opening up a heated debate that has seen important questions asked, if not always answered.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies