1981 in archaeology
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The year 1981 in archaeology involved some significant events.
- June: Owen Beattie of the University of Alberta begins the 1845–48 Franklin Expedition Forensic Anthropology Project (FEFAP) on King William Island to trace Franklin's lost expedition.
- Late ice age tools found in inland Tasmania.
- Full photographic survey of the wreck of the Breadalbane in the Northwest Passage.
- David Burgess-Wise - Automobile Archaeology (Cambridge, England: Patrick Stephens Ltd).
- Derek Roe - The Lower and Middle Palaeolithic Periods in Britain (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul).
- Ceremonial decorated bronze Celtic Agris Helmet found in a cave near Agris in southwestern France.
- Wreck of RMS Republic (1903) located off Nantucket by Captain Martin Bayerle.
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- Colin Renfrew is elected to the Disney Professorship of Archaeology in the University of Cambridge.
- June 12 - Film Raiders of the Lost Ark, featuring fictional 1930s archaeologist Indiana Jones, is released.