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The year 1961 in archaeology involved some significant events.
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- April 24 - Swedish warship Vasa, sunk on her maiden voyage in 1628, is recovered from Stockholm harbor.
- November - Start of one-year excavation of Malik by Iranian archaeologists.
- Helge Ingstad and Anne Stine Ingstad begin excavation of Viking artifacts at L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland, first archaeologically confirmed evidence of Pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact.
- INAH project dredges artifacts from the Sacred Cenote at Chichen Itza.
- Start of excavations at Çatalhöyük by James Mellaart.
- First underwater archaeology at Alexandria carried out by Kamal Abu el-Saadat.
- M. J. Aitken - Physics and Archaeology.
- Glyn Daniel - The Idea of Prehistory.
- Alan Gardiner - Egypt of the Pharaohs.
- January 5 - Italian sculptor Alfredo Fioravanti signs a confession in the United States consulate in Rome stating that he was part of the team that forged the Etruscan terracotta warriors in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Chemical tests performed in 1960 had already proven that the statues were forgeries.
- Ken Dark, English Roman archaeologist