Archaeologists have uncovered more than 300 clay figurines depicting male and female forms, as well as human-bird hybrids, at Koutroulou Magoula, a Neolithic settlement in central Greece. Ranging from 3-4cm to 10-12cm in length (about 1-4.5in), the models were scattered all over the 4ha site (nearly 10 acres), with some recovered from the foundations of [...]
As the aeroplane circled to land at Athens international airport, I half expected to see a riot on the runway. The hysteria in the press immediately after the first failed spring election in Greece seemed to be paving the way for the end of the world as we have known it. Six months earlier, I [...]
David Stuttard British Museum Press, £9.99 ISBN 978-0714122724 They had come to the hilltop to make sacrifice. Now, on this day of days when the world was balanced between light and darkness, the king-priests of Elis had climbed the wooded slopes above Olympia to make their offerings to Kronos, one of the most primeval and [...]
John Bintliff Wiley-Blackwell, £29.00 ISBN 978-1405154192 John Bintliff, a lecturer and archaeologist, has produced a panoramic labour of love that illuminates the development of Greek culture and its central role in the birth of modern civilisation. This ambitious but readable compendium covers a period beginning 400,000 ago and running up to the early 20th century. [...]
Review by Dexter Findley This impressive app, Greece: History and Culture, acts as a virtual encyclopedia for Greece’s past, from its most recent early 20th century troubles right back to the far-distant Palaeolithic era. Users will find a wealth of information on time periods, places and events, accessible through many intuitive points of entry. The [...]
As we crossed from Marmaris to Rhodes, the hydrofoil skimming through the hammered blue seas, my thoughts turned to one of my favourite books, Lawrence Durrell’s Reflections on a Marine Venus. Few writers are better at capturing the magic of the Mediterranean than Durrell, who was born a century ago this year. Here is a [...]
On the letters page of CWA 52, Martin Davie asked for more information about Thera. Well, Martin, I may just be able to help. As many of you will know, I am devoting my semi-retirement from Current Archaeology to writing a History of the World – well, isn’t that what everyone does in their retirement? – [...]
Forget London 2012. What about Olympia in 388 BC? Archaeologist Neil Faulkner has just published a new book that attempts to reconstruct the lived experience of the ancient games. So what were they really like?
Following his articles on the tomb of Philip II and the ceremonial centre at Vergina, Andrew Selkirk now investigates Pella, the commercial capital.
In 1855, the young French archaeologist Léon Heuzey found the remains of a magnificent palace, concealed under a ruined chapel. The village nearby was called Palatitsia, a name that hints at its former regal glory. Could this be the palace of the ancient Macedonian kings? In issue #50 Andrew Selkirk told the story of how the tomb of Philip II of Macedon – father to Alexander the Great – was discovered here. Now, he returns to examine the rest of the site and shares its secrets with us.
Results of the excavations at Knossos surpassed all expectations. Evans revealed a vast palace complex of Middle Bronze Age date , 1300 rooms connected by a network of corridors…
Taking a bulldozer to open an ancient monument is not usually recommended. But, in 1977, that is exactly what Manolis Andronikos did. After considerable debate, he had come to the conclusion that the Great Mound at Vergina was actually the site of Aegae, the religious capital of Macedonia where Philip II, father of Alexander the [...]
In this beautifully illustrated new compendium of ancient Greek material culture, Richard Neer spans 2,350 years of art history from the Bronze Age to the Hellenistic Period. His clear chronological approach makes this stunningly comprehensive volume an invaluable reference tool, and along the way the reader is treated to fascinating insights on literature, language, politics, [...]
Olive trees thrive on poor soil where little else will grow, which means land that would otherwise be barren can produce food. This realisation triggered a true agricultural revolution – but when and where did it take place? Colin Renfrew and Evi Margaritis believe the clues were grown on Crete.
Post excavation analysis of the finds from Professor Colin Renfrew’s excavations on the island of Keros are beginning to throw new light on the enigmatic rituals of the Aegean Bronze Age. The puzzle that Professor Renfrew and his colleagues on the Cambridge-Keros project have been seeing to resolve is not just why the island was [...]
Crete is well-connected by ferry to a number of the islands that lie close by. So if you want to go somewhere really off the beaten track, here are a few suggestions: be prepared for very simple accommodation and a chance of adventure, however. If you take the Piraeus ferry north from Kisamos at the [...]
We live in a city-centric world. When we think of the scattered islands of the Aegean, we think of them as remote and peripheral, places of retreat where we can ‘get away from things’. To the Ancients it was not so. In the Bronze Age, the Islands and the sea-routes that linked them were the [...]
The Blue Guides have come under new ownership. Many readers of Current Archaeology will know and cherish the Blue Guides which have taken over from Baedeker as being the constant companion of the archaeology enthusiast. Originally they were an offshoot of the Hachette’s Guides Bleu, but then they were taken over by Benn under whom [...]
Most people today probably think Marathon has something to do with the Ancient Greek Olympics. In fact, there was no marathon race at the Olympics. Nor is there any reliable ancient account for a run from Marathon to Athens (a distance of 26 miles) to bring news of the victory of 490 BC. What the [...]