Marine and estuary sediments contain a variety of uncultured archaea whose metabolic and ecological roles are unknown. De novo assembly and binning of high-throughput metagenomic sequences from the sulfate–methane transition zone in estuary sediments resulted in the reconstruction of three partial to near-complete (2.4–3.9 Mb) genomes belonging to a previously unrecognized archaeal group. Phylogenetic analyses of ribosomal RNA genes and ribosomal proteins revealed that this group is distinct from any previously characterized archaea. For this group, found in the White Oak River estuary, and previously registered in sedimentary samples, we propose the name ‘Thorarchaeota’. The Thorarchaeota appear to be capable of acetate production from the degradation of proteins. Interestingly, they also have elemental sulfur and thiosulfate reduction genes suggesting they have an important role in intermediate sulfur cycling. The reconstruction of these genomes from a deeply branched, widespread group expands our understanding of sediment biogeochemistry and the evolutionary history of Archaea.