From ancient footprint art to a 'lost golden city' –  here's the top archaeological discoveries of 2021

THIS year has produced some pretty amazing archaeological discoveries and we've rounded up four of the best.

From ancient footprint art to a 'lost golden city', these 2021 finds may just blow your mind.

The 'Golden City of Luxor'

Back in April, archaeologists announced an Ancient Egyptian city had been uncovered after 3,000 years.

Experts hailed it the most "important discovery since the tomb of Tutankhamun".

The 'Golden City of Luxor' became the “the largest” ancient city ever found in Egypt.

Famous Egyptologist Zahi Hawass announced that the city had been discovered near Luxor, home of the Valley of the Kings.

As well as the the city streets and evidence of buildings, lots of artefacts and even skeletal remains have been discovered.

The 'Golden City of Luxor' was mentioned in ancient texts, which led many experts to try and search for it over the years.

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Roman ceremonial chariot

This Roman chariot was found "almost intact"Credit: AFP

Back in February, news broke that a 2,000-year-old Roman chariot had been discovered "almost intact" on the outskirts of the doomed city of Pompeii.

The ceremonial carriage was found at a villa close to the walls of the ancient metropolis, which was buried during a volcanic eruption in 79AD.

Italian archaeologists say the important historical discovery has "no parallel" in the country.

It was found in the portico to stables where the remains of three horses were unearthed in 2018, including one still in its harness.

Pompeii was buried in boiling lava when Mount Vesuvius erupted killing between 2,000 and 15,000 people.

Europe's oldest known map

At the start of 2021, researchers suggested this stone slab dating back to the Bronze Age may represent Europe's oldest map.

Intricate carvings on the piece of rock, known as the Saint-Bélec Slab, depict an area of western Brittany, France, according to scientists.

The 2m by 1.5m (6.5ft by 5ft) artefact is believed to date from the early Bronze Age, between 1900 BC and 1650 BC.

Researchers say this makes the fragmented stone the oldest 3D map of a known region in Europe.

The Saint-Bélec Slab was unearthed from an ancient burial mound in Finistère, western Brittany, by local archaeologist Paul du Chatellier in 1900.

He speculated that the markings represented a shapeless human, or perhaps an image of a beast.

The slab was set aside in Chatellier's home and apparently forgotten about for a century before it was rediscovered in 2014.

New 3D surveys of the artefact suggest that it features a map of the local area engraved thousands of years ago.

Ancient hand and footprint art

This could be the oldest example of immobile art consisting of hand and footprints.

It was found in Tibet and researchers dated it somewhere between 169,000-226,000 years ago

That would mean we had some creative ancestors back in the middle of the Ice Age.

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