In what is becoming somewhat of a tradition on Baring the Aegis, let's have a look at the most important or simply stunning achaeological discoveries in 2016, in sequence.

Ancient Minoan city of Knossos far larger than previously assumed (January)
Archaeologists working on the Greek island of Krete have uncovered artifacts and structures that suggest the ancient city of Knossos was bigger and richer than previously thought. Exploration revealed considerable growth in the size of the settlement during the early Iron Age and also growth in the quantity and quality of its imports coming from mainland Greece, Cyprus, the Near East, Egypt, Italy, Sardinia and the western Mediterranean.

Statues depicting Artemis and Apollon found on Krete (February)
Two small sized sculptures (approx 0.54cm height), one of Artemis made of copper and a second of her brother Apollon made of marble, were unearthed at the archaeological site of Aptera, Chania on the Greek island of Krete. Both statuettes were probably imported from artistic centers outside Krete in order to decorate the altar of a Roman luxury residence. First estimates date both of the statuettes to the late 1st - early 2nd century AD.

Ancient text on a second Thermopylae battle discovered (April)
Fragments of an ancient Greek text telling of an invasion of ancient Hellas by the Goths during the third century A.D. were discovered in the Austrian National Library. Researchers used spectral imaging to enhance the fragments, making it possible to read them. The analysis suggests the fragments were copied in the 11th century A.D. and are from a text that was written in the third-century A.D. by an Athens writer named Dexippus. During Dexippus’ life, Hellas (then already part of the Roman Empire) and Rome struggled to repel a series of Gothic invasions.

Greek archaeologists announce the discovery of Aristotle's tomb (May)
Archeologist Kostas Sismanidis has stated there are strong indications that a peculiar ancient tomb found in the area of Stagira, in central Macedonia, is the tomb of the Aristotle. The announcement has been met with skepticism from the scientific and archaeological communities.

Exquisite mosaic of Hercules' labours uncovered in Cyprus (July)
The mosaic was found by the Larnaca Sewage Board staff, who were opening a canal for the waste to pass, when they discovered the work. The mosaic dates back to the 2nd century AD and is made up of five sections, depicting all of Hercules' labours between them. The mosaic is evidence that Ancient Kition--on which modern Larnaca was built--played an important role in establishing Roman culture in Cyprus.

Huge ancient ship graveyard found off Greek islands (July)
A joint Greek-American archaeological expedition found 23 ancient wrecks around the small Fourni archipelago inJune, confirming the Greek site is the ancient shipwreck capital of the world. The 23 shipwrecks add to 22 other wrecks identified in September 2015, bringing the total to 45. An international team surveyed the Bulgarian waters of the Black Sea and found the wrecks astonishingly preserved due to the anoxic conditions (absence of oxygen) of the Black Sea below 150 metres.

Human burial found in the middle of sacrificial altar at Mt. Lykaion (August)
During an excavations at the sanctuary of Zeus at Mt. Lykaion, located in the southwestern tip of Arcadia, a human burial with an East-West orientation was found and excavated in the middle of the altar and next to a platform carved into the rock. The skeleton, in the supine position and in an excellent state of preservation, was deposited in a narrow trench some 1.52 meters in length, created within the embankments of the ash and burnt earth. Needless to say, the media went nuts.

Marble statues of Aphrodite unearthed at Petra (September)
Two Roman marble statues representing Aphrodite/Venus were found recently at Petra, an ancient desert city in Jordan. The statues date to the second century AD. The statues were found to be nearly complete, with the heads and most of the bodies recovered, and archaeologists identified the standing figures as the goddess Aphrodite. She was also known to the Romans as Venus, but was more commonly identified by her Greek name in the eastern half of the empire where Petra was.

Archaeologists connect ancient Corinth's inner and outer harbours (December)
Greek and Danish archaeologists investigating Lechaion’s harbour areas are finding that the town appears to have been much more important than previously thought. In the course of three excavation seasons, they have delineated major offshore structures, a monumental entrance canal and several inland canals connecting at least four harbour basins. In total, the area is greater than 500.000 m2 – bringing it on par with other major harbour towns of the age, such as Athens’ harbours in the Piraeus and Roman Portus.

Here is to hoping for another succesful year of archeological discoveries in 2016!