My favorite 'whoops' stories of the year involving archaeology.
A British couple were arrested on an international warrant in the Caribbean for stealing antiquities from Egypt.
It turned out that they had 'smuggled' this Nefertiti ash tray out of the country.
Zahi Hawass has confirmed that it was an important piece of Egypt's cultural property, and is launching a campaign for its restitution and repatriation.
Relic thieves? All we took from Egypt was a cheap souvenir, says couple thrown into cells - Daily Mail.
The police and teams of forensic archaeologists combed through a former children's home at Haut de la Garenne in Jersey, convinced that they had found skulls which indicated a gang involved in pedophilia who then murdered their victims.
They found part of the skull - clearly the remains of some poor child - and began to excavate the site.
Context turned out to be key when carbon dating failed; the skull fragment was found in a layer with Victorian bricks and a penny from 1851.
Oh, and the former children's home, someone finally realised, is a few hundred meters from the Neolithic of La Pouquelaye de Faldouët or the Faldouët Dolmen. You can guess the rest.
REVEALED: the truth about the Jersey skull - Spiked (April 2008)
which in November finally led to
Jersey police to call off murder inquiry at Haut de la Garennne children’s home - The Times