1881 in archaeology
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The year 1881 in archaeology involved some significant events.
- March - Augustus Pitt Rivers finds palaeolithic flints in concreted gravels of the Nile terraces near Thebes.
- The birch bark Bakhshali manuscript, incorporating perhaps the earliest known use of mathematical zero, is unearthed near Bakhshali in British India.
- John Evans - The Ancient Bronze Implements, Weapons and Ornaments of Great Britain and Ireland.
- H. A. Fletcher - "The archaeology of the west Cumberland iron trade". Transactions of the Cumberland & Westmorland Archaeological Society 5:5–21.
- Possible earliest use of the term "Industrial archaeology" in the English language.
- January 24 - Frances Stackhouse Acton, English botanist, archaeologist, artist and writer (born 1794)
- June 21 - Ferdinand Keller, Swiss archaeologist (born 1800)