National Geographic rounds up its favorite archaeological finds of 2009, from vampire corpses to pirate booty:
8. Blackbeard Pirate Relics, Gold Found
A sword guard, tiny gold pieces, and a coin are among newfound artifacts from a shipwreck off North Carolina–shown in exclusive pictures. The discoveries, announced in March, add to evidence that the ship belonged to the pirate Blackbeard.
7. World War II "Samurai Subs" Found–Carried Aircraft
Two advanced Japanese "samurai subs" were found off Pearl Harbor in February and announced in November–including a stealth aircraft-carrying submarine and a supersleek vessel engineered for utmost speed.