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The year 1931 in archaeology involved some significant events.
- Athens Charter for the Restoration of Historic Monuments adopted at the First International Congress of Architects and Technicians of Historic Monuments.
- 23 May–1 October: Discovery and subsequent excavation of human artefacts at Vogelherd Cave in Germany, including Upper Paleolithic figurines (under direction of Gustav Riek).
- Chinese prehistorian Jia Lanpo and archaeologist Bian Mienmien join the ongoing excavations at Peking Man Site in Zhoukoudian, China.
- University of Pennsylvania project at Piedras Negras, Guatemala begins (lasts to 1939).
- Excavation of tomb of Hemaka at Saqqara in Egypt is begun by Cecil Mallaby Firth.
- Tunnelling into Great Pyramid of Cholula in Mexico is begun by Ignacio Marquina.
- Alfonso Caso begins eighteen-year project at Monte Albán, Oaxaca, Mexico.
- International project at Samaria begins (lasts to 1935).
- Prima nave of the Nemi ships is recovered.
- 29 December: Calakmul rediscovered by Cyrus L. Lundell
- French archaeologist Henri Breuil visits the Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian, China and confirms the presence of stone tools
- George Florescu discovers Vlad III Dracula's tomb in Snagov Monastery
- The remains of 450 infants and 150 dogs dated to 165 BC–150 BC are found at the Athenian Agora; the infants are subsequently found to have died from meningitis and other natural causes
- W. D. Caröe - The Importance of the Historical Buildings of Cyprus.
- C. F. C. Hawkes - "Hillforts". Antiquity 5 pp. 60–97.
- 13 September - Brian Dobson, British archaeologist notable for work on Hadrian's Wall and the Roman Army (died 2012)
- 30 October - Giancarlo Ligabue, Italian palaeontologist, discoverer of Ligabueino (died 2015)
- 21 November - Lewis Binford, American archaeologist known for his development of processual archaeology (died 2011)
- Alfred Maudslay, explorer, archaeologist and writer of accounts of the ruins of the Maya civilization (b. 1850)
- "Mystery of the 450 ancient Greek dead babies solved: Remains discovered at bottom of well reveal macabre tradition 2,000 years ago". Daily Mail. London. 2015-06-15. Retrieved 2015-06-26.
- "Lives Remembered: Brian Dobson, Archaeologist and noted authority on". The Independent. 3 August 2012. Retrieved 12 March 2017.
- "In memory of Giancarlo Ligabue". www.ligabuemagazine.it. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
- Gamble, Clive (17 May 2011). "Lewis Binford obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 March 2017.
- Merwin, Keith. "Alfred P. Maudslay". Institute of Maya Studies. Retrieved 12 March 2017.