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The year 1985 in archaeology involved some significant events.
- April - Engine of SS Xantho (sunk 1872) recovered off Western Australia.
- June 21 - 1928 Scania truck (sunk 1936) recovered from Fryken in Sweden.
- September - British Vickers Wellington IA medium bomber N2980 (crashed 1940) recovered from Loch Ness in Scotland.
- Sagalassos (Turkey) surveyed.
- July 20 - The main shipwreck site of the Spanish galleon Nuestra Señora de Atocha (which sank in 1622) is found 40 miles (64 km) off the coast of Key West, Florida by treasure hunters who soon begin to raise $400 million in coins and silver.
- September 1 - The shipwreck of the RMS Titanic (1912) in the North Atlantic is located by a joint American-French expedition led by Dr Robert Ballard (WHOI) and Jean-Louis Michel (Ifremer) using side-scan sonar from RV Knorr.
- October 13 - A hoard of coins of the Durotriges tribe is found in the rampart of Castle Rings, Wiltshire, England, an Iron Age hill fort, by a metal detectorist.
- Autumn - Rogozen Treasure: In the village of Rogozen, Vratsa Province, Bulgaria, tractor driver Ivan Dimitrov discovers 65 silver vessels in his garden. In 1986 archaeologists will discover a second hoard consisting of 100 vessels near the spot. Archaeologists date the treasure to the 5th-4th centuries BCE.
- Wrecks of three Spanish Armada ships driven ashore in Autumn 1588, La Lavia, La Juliana, and Santa Maria de Vison, found at Streedagh Strand, north of Rosses Point on the west coast of Ireland.
- Shipwreck of Greek merchant ship of about 400 BCE found off Ma'agan Michael.
- Scar boat burial, Orkney.
- The Middleham Jewel, a 15th century pendant, found on a pathway at Middleham Castle in Yorkshire (England).
- The oldest known representation of a cannon, a stone relief sculpture dated 1128, is discovered carved in the walls of Cave 149 of the Dazu Rock Carvings in Dazu, Chongqing, China.
- Discovery of a Roman amphitheatre at Guildhall, London.
- Theresa A. Singleton (ed.) - The Archaeology of Slavery and Plantation Life.
- Ruins of Nan Madol in Micronesia declared a protected historic landmark.
- April 11: Olga Tufnell, English archaeologist of the Near East (born 1905)
- April 18: Gertrude Caton Thompson, English archaeologist of Africa (born 1888)
- December 5: A. Ledyard Smith, American archaeologist of the Americas (born 1901)
- December 18: Theresa Goell, American archaeologist of the Near East (born 1901)
- "SS Xantho - Western Australian Museum". Western Australian Museum. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
- Alfred, Randy (2008-02-09). "September 2, 1985: Hey, Everyone, We Found the Titanic". Wired. Retrieved 2011-11-03.
- Ballard, Robert D. (December 1985). "How We Found the Titanic". National Geographic. 168 (6): 696–718.
- "The Spanish Armada in Sligo". Retrieved 2012-11-21.
- Birch, Steven; McElvogue, D. M. (1999). "La Lavia, La Juliana and the Santa Maria de Vison: three Spanish Armada transports lost off Streedagh Strand, Co Sligo: an interim report". International Journal of Nautical Archaeology. 28 (3): 265–276. doi:10.1111/j.1095-9270.1999.tb00836.x.
- "The Shipwreck at Ma'agan Mikhael (ca. 400 BC.)". ΣΑΜΑΙΝΑ. Archived from the original on 2012-03-30. Retrieved 2011-08-13.
- "Viking Dig Reports". BBC. Retrieved 2011-11-03.
- "Magic, Medicine and the Middleham Jewel". www.english-heritage.org.uk. Retrieved 5 June 2017.
- Haw, Stephen G. (July 2013). "The Mongol Empire: the first 'gunpowder empire'?". Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society. 23 (3): 441–469. doi:10.1017/S1356186313000369.
- "London's Roman Amphitheatre - Guildhall Galleries - City of London". www.cityoflondon.gov.uk. Retrieved 18 June 2017.