This year was had no shortage of archaeological discoveries and ARTnews reported on most of the notable and exciting finds in the field.

There have been pressing finds related to current events, among them, the discovery of a “significant” palace door threshold in the ancient Iraqi city Nimrud after the area was destroyed by ISIS, as well as a 3,400-year-old city that emerged in the TigrisRiver as a result of the climate crisis. There were culturally significant treasures such as the ancient mosaics unearthed at the tomb of St. Nicholas who was the inspiration for SantaClaus and the rediscovery of a sprawling pre-Hispanic mural.

Others have offered a bigger glimpse into past cultures such as the ruins of a 5,000-year-old house in China, the discovery of an ancient Maya city, the unveiling of Iron Age rock art beneath a house, and a 2,100-year-old text written by a Spanish tribe previously thought to be illiterate.

While these have all been important, there are a selection that stood out among the rest. Below is a look at the 12 archaeological finds that are likely to have an impact not just this year, but on our understanding of human history for years to come.