December 19, 2008
Lost cities, baffling pyramids, and ancient graveyards are just some of the mysteries covered in National Geographic News's most viewed archaeology stories of 2008.
| 10. Inca Skull Surgeons Were "Highly Skilled"|
Dangerous skull surgery was commonly and successfully performed among the Inca, likely as a treatment for head injuries suffered during combat, a May study found.
| 9. Ancient "Lost City" Discovered in Peru?|
Stone ruins discovered in Peru this past January could be the ancient "lost city" of Paititi, according to claims that sparked serious but cautious responses from experts.
| 8. New Pyramid Found in Egypt: 4,300-Year-Old Queen's Tomb|
Long buried by deep sands, the once five-story-tall pyramid is a testament to a pharaoh's reverence for his mother, experts said in November.
| 7. Alexander the Great's "Crown," Shield Discovered?|
An ancient Greek tomb once thought to have been that of Alexander's father is more recent than thought and may contain treasures belonging to Alexander himself, experts said in April.
| 6. Mystery Pyramid Built by Newfound Ancient Culture?|
The Huapalcalco pyramid in central Mexico may be the work of a previously unknown culture of ancient people, the Huajomulco, archaeologists said in December.
| 5. Rare Egyptian "Warrior" Tomb Found |
Feathered arrows lying near a well-preserved coffin suggest that the mummy inside, when alive, may have been a mercenary for an Egyptian king, experts said in February.
| 4. Stonehenge Was Cemetery First and Foremost|
From the start 5,000 years ago, the site was a burial ground—perhaps for prehistoric rulers—and it remained so for centuries, a May study said. ALSO SEE: related photos and maps.
| 3. Maya May Have Caused Civilization-Ending Climate Change|
A satellite program designed to improve environmental policies in Central America found evidence of ancient, self-induced climate change—offering lessons on how to combat today's warming.
| 2. Great Pyramid Mystery to Be Solved by Hidden Room?|
A sealed space in Egypt's Great Pyramid may help solve a centuries-old mystery: How did the ancient Egyptians move two million 2.5-ton blocks to build the ancient wonder?
| 1. Portal to Maya Underworld Found in Mexico?|
An underground labyrinth filled with stone temples and pyramids, found in August, likely relates to Maya myths of the afterlife, archaeologists said.
ALSO SEE: Most popular National Geographic News stories of 2008 >>