Spending a crusader penny To most of us, lavatories are ‘yuck’, but to archaeologists they can be gold – especially if you can get a research grant to study their contents. Biological anthropologist Dr Piers Mitchell of Cambridge University has been doing just that, having a good dig around in the 900-year-old ‘soil’ from a […]
Egypt’s former Minister of State for Antiquities Affairs fell into archaeology by chance, yet it came to dominate his life. Dr Zahi Hawass talks to CWA about how he discovered his passion for his country’s rich heritage, and why it remains undiminished to this day.
Swanning around Older readers will recall the television career of Sir Mortimer Wheeler, and his enormous impact on budding young archaeologists through the programme Animal, Vegetable, Mineral? Chaired by Glyn Daniel, it involved three panellists being challenged by a museum through the middleman and fixer David Attenborough to identity a range of objects from its […]
UK, Iraqi, and Iranian archaeologists are uniting for the sake of preserving world heritage. Is this, Roger Matthews asks, a model for future international relationships in areas of conflict? While diplomatic and political relations between the UK and Iran falter, and UK politicians continue to place obstacles – including an isolationist policy of visa issuance […]
The modern mind The British Museum’s (superb) current exhibition is called ‘Ice Age Art’ – though some say it might be more accurate to call it Upper Palaeolithic Interstadial (Warm Period) Art, but you can see why they went for a title with a bit more pizzazz. To promote the exhibition, the BM has a […]
Non Ban Jak will soon be slumbering again in the heat of the dry season here in Northeast Thailand. The huge mound rises above the rice fields, demarcated by two moats and banks. Excavations here began last year and revealed, for the first time in such a site, house foundations, rooms, floors, and even a […]
Tom St John Gray reports on the legacy of the atomic bomb: is it heritage, horror, or both?
We may not know exactly how they looked, we certainly do not know how they sounded. But the art of our earliest ancestors speaks as eloquently to us today as it did to their contemporaries, transcending the tens of thousands of years between them and us. According to the new exhibition at the British Museum in London, […]
Unicorn lair found North Korea seems to live in a parallel universe where truth is concerned. Even the name – Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) – is one that cannot be taken without a large dose of salt. Various events in the life of the former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il would surely send […]
Rei Cretariæ Romanæ Favtores More than 150 archaeologists from 24 different countries gathered in Catania, Sicily, to share their interest in, their knowledge of, and their uncertainties about Roman pottery. Philip Kenrick reports on the Rei Cretariae Romanae Fautores (Devotees of Roman Pottery), which met for its 28th International Congress in September 2012. The RCRF […]
Water, ritual, and function I am writing this column on an aeroplane heading from Christchurch in New Zealand to Singapore, then on to Bangkok for the second season of excavations at Non Ban Jak. As is usual with all my Thai digs, I have no idea what will turn up as we go deeper into […]
The dogs of archaeology Dogs have long been used in police work and truffle hunting, and their ability to find people buried beneath the snow of an avalanche has saved many a life, but now their acute sense of smell is being used by archaeologists in Australia to help them find ancient graves. A black […]
During a recent visit to Mycenae – as a guest speaker with Swan Hellenic – my wife Polly and I were amused by the overheard conversation of another couple, clearly American tourists who, I hastily add, were not from our cruise. Rather overweight and clearly feeling the heat, the lady sat on a large rock […]
Every year I make a cake for 3D Archaeological Society’s Christmas Dinner themed on a place we have visited during our long weekend away during the summer. Last year’s cake was of Skara Brae following our fabulous trip to Orkney and this year, after many requests from those that went to Malta with me on this years tour, I […]
Congratulations to our friend and regular columnist Charles Higham who has been awarded the British Academy’s the prestigious Grahame Clark Medal at a ceremony at Carlton House in London yesterday evening. The medal, given biennially to recognise outstanding achievements in the study of prehistoric archaeology, is testament to the huge contribution Charles has made to […]
This archaeological cake was sent to us by Dr Judy Bischoff, Research Coordinator at the US National Park Service. She had it made for the retirement party of a colleague, Trinkle Jones, who had been an archaeologist with the Service for 34 years, until April 2011. It shows the National Park Service badge, and a selection of […]
Our friends over at Current Archaeology frequently print pictures of amazing archaeological cakes sent in by their readers, so we were very excited to see this culinary creation with a distinctly international flavour. Sent in by the proud father of its creator, a professional archaeologist who modestly asked to remain anonymous, the cake depicts the famous ‘death […]
Hannah Snell combined her passion for archaeology with her love of Roman architecture during her summer months excavating with the team from the Apolline Project in Italy. Here she tells CWA about her experience of digging a Roman bathhouse on the north slope of Vesuvius. We have all heard about Pompeii and Herculaneum, but the […]
Singapore is a 21st-century success story. But, asks Tom St John Gray, at what cost to its heritage?