The 21st century has been filled with a variety of astounding historical and archeological finds, although Earth still holds many secrets. With each new discovery, we become that much closer to understanding the backstory of modern civilization and what life was like for our ancestors. Archeologists examine evidence of early human existence, carefully mapping where artifacts might be found before digging, preserving and studying. As archeological technology improves the way digs are processed and items are collected, more and more amazing finds are being properly recognized as significant historical artifacts.
In 2009, archeologists discovered another circle of stones—only about a mile away from the famous Stonehenge structure. The next year, researchers found yet another henge half a mile away, this time made from wood. In 2005, German scientists uncovered the earliest known mass grave of a nuclear family, which included two parents and two children they believe perished in a massacre more than 4,600 years ago. During the 1920s, archeologists believed they'd found the oldest modern human to have worn shoes. However, it wasn't until 2009 that technology confirmed specimen Tianyuan 1 did in fact fashion a form of foot protection to his feet 40,000 years ago. What is left yet to be discovered? Only time will tell. For now, check out the amazing archeological finds rendering some of our best pictures of the past.