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The year 1996 in archaeology involved some significant events.
- Preliminary survey of Buckton Castle in the north west of England.
- Large-scale, wide-scope horizontal excavations begin at Daepyeong, a large Mumun Pottery Period settlement in Korea (continued until early 2000).
- Excavations near Bogazköy by the Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft begin (continued until 1999).
- First excavation of medieval drain at Paisley Abbey in Scotland.
- July: Mass grave of victims of the Battle of Towton (1461) in England.
- July 28: Kennewick Man in the United States.
- August 4: Seaton Carew Wreck in England.
- November 21: Pirate flagship Queen Anne's Revenge (run aground 1718) in North Carolina.
- Herxheim archaeological site, a Neolithic Linear Pottery culture ritual center and mass grave at Herxheim in southwest Germany.
- Ekron Royal Dedicatory Inscription in Israel.
- Lod Mosaic in Israel.
- Croatian Apoxyomenos off the Croatian islet of Vele Orjule.
- Ōfune Site, one of the Jōmon Archaeological Sites in Hokkaidō, Japan.
- January 17- William Lamplough, British archaeologist (b. 1914).
- March 18 - Jacquetta Hawkes, British archaeologist (b. 1910).
- September 23 - Stuart Piggott, British archaeologist (b. 1910).
- November 14 - Martyn Jope, British archaeologist and biochemist (b. 1915).
- December 9 - Mary Leakey, British archaeologist and anthropologist (b. 1913).
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