Vampires, pirates, ghost ships, skeletons—if it isn't Halloween, it can only be one thing: National Geographic News's annual lineup of our most popular archaeology coverage.
| || || 10. "Extraordinary" Ancient Skeletons Found|
Several graves dating as far back as the early Stone Age—complete with the dog-tooth jewelry and sitting woman seen in these pictures—were discovered during extensive digs in central Germany, archaeologists announced this fall.
| || || 9. "Vampire" Exorcism Skull Found in Italy|
The partial body and skull of a plague victim show her jaw forced open by a brick—a medieval exorcism technique used on suspected vampires—a forensic archaeologist explained in March.
| || || 8. Blackbeard Pirate Relics, Gold Found|
A sword guard, tiny gold pieces, and a coin are among newfound artifacts from a shipwreck off North Carolina—shown in exclusive pictures. The discoveries, announced in March, add to evidence that the ship belonged to the pirate Blackbeard.
| || || 7. World War II "Samurai Subs" Found—Carried Aircraft|
Two advanced Japanese "samurai subs" were found off Pearl Harbor in February and announced in November—including a stealth aircraft-carrying submarine and a supersleek vessel engineered for utmost speed.
| || || 6. Huge Pre-Stonehenge Complex Found via "Crop Circles"|
Given away by crop circle-like formations, the pre-Stonehenge site surprised archaeologists with temple ruins, dozens of burial mounds, and two huge tombs that are among "Britain's first architecture," experts said in June.
MORE MOST-VIEWED OF 2009
| || || 1. Gold Rush-Era "Ghost Ship" Wreck Found|
With boots thrown hastily on deck and cooking utensils scattered, the last moments of the crew aboard the gold rush-era paddleboat A.J. Goddard are preserved in the ship's recently found wreck, archaeologists announced in November.
Top Ten Discoveries of 2009: Nat Geo News's Most Viewed
Top Ten Photo Galleries of 2009: Nat Geo News's Most Viewed
Top Ten Space Finds of 2009: Nat Geo News's Most Viewed