We think of chemical weapons as one of the horrifying features of modern warfare. We might assume that it all started with the First World War. But did it?
Our cover feature investigates the gruesome evidence of a stack of bodies discovered inside a siege tunnel at the ancient Syrian frontier city of Dura-Europos. How did they come to be here? Using ‘CSI’ techniques, Simon James’ stunning conclusion is that around 20 Roman soldiers were gassed to death by their Persian enemies. Turn to page 20 for the full and unexpected story of Romans versus Persians.
From the terrifying we then move to the sublime with an article on the archaeology of the beatific Caribbean island of Carriacou. The excavators describe it as an