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The Coolest Historical Discoveries of 2017

December 12, 2017 in History

By Sarah Pruitt

Parchment found in Israel that was being processed for writing. (Credit: Casey L. Olson and Oren Gutfeld)

Amazing discoveries came to light nearly every single month in 2017. Take a chronological journey back through 15 of the year’s most intriguing historical events, from archaeological finds and fascinating DNA evidence to newly uncovered documents that change our understanding of history.

Parchment found in Israel that was being processed for writing. (Credit: Casey L. Olson and Oren Gutfeld)

Archaeologists discovered a new Dead Sea Scrolls cave

In February of 2017, researchers in Israel announced they had discovered jars, wrappings, ties and other artifacts relating to the Dead Sea Scrolls—the famous cache of manuscripts that includes the oldest known copies of Biblical texts—in a previously unidentified cave at Qumran in the West Bank. First discovered back in 1947 after looters had helped themselves to many of the ancient manuscripts, the Dead Sea scrolls were thought to be hidden in 11 caves; this one is the 12th, and the first to be discovered in 60 years.


The renovated Edicule of the Tomb of Jesus (where his body is believed to have been laid) at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City of Jerusalem. (Credit: Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images)

The church containing Jesus’ tomb reopened to the public

In the summer of 2016, officials at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem’s Old City—where it is believed that Jesus’ body was laid after his death but before his resurrection—finally agreed to let a team of experts begin the first renovation and restoration of the church since 1810. The Holy Sepulcher has been a Christian pilgrimage site since its construction in the fourth century A.D. In March of 2017, it reopened to the public after the $3 million restoration, welcoming thousands of pilgrims and clergy members within its ornate walls.

Richard Hunter and a sauropod track in the Walmadany area in the Dampier Peninsula, Western Australia. (Credit: Damian Kelly)
Richard Hunter and a sauropod track in the Walmadany area in the Dampier Peninsula, Western Australia. (Credit: Damian Kelly)

Paleontologists in western Australia found the world’s largest dinosaur footprint

Dubbed “Australia’s own Jurassic Park,” a stretch of some 15 miles of the Daimler Peninsula in Australia’s Kimberley region is home to the world’s most diverse array of fossilized dinosaur tracks. Among the tracks left by 21 different kinds of dinosaurs in the once-wet sands of a river delta some 130 million …read more

Source: HISTORY

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