Ice Age art is as awe-inspiring as it is perplexing, an astonishing and unprecedented explosion of human creativity. Much of what we thought we knew has been radically revised in the light of new findings and scientific advances. Palaeolithic specialist Paul Pettitt adroitly explores the latest discoveries, as outlined in the new edition of Paul Bahn’s classic book, Images of the Ice Age.
In the 1st millennium AD, Ethiopia was home to the major civilisation of Aksum, described by a contemporary as one of the four greatest kingdoms on earth. Yet what came before Aksum? Up on the Tigray highlands, archaeologists have found intriguing evidence for the little known ‘pre-Aksumite’ culture that flourished in the 1st millennium BC. In addition to a limestone temple, they have uncovered what appears to be an elite house or palace.
A palace and a temple, this time from the 1st millennium AD, are the subjects of our third feature: ‘Stories from the Silk Road’. When Ed Keall first visited Iran in the 1960s, he embarked on an archaeological venture that has been more than 50 years in the making. Ed unfurls the tale of his discoveries, and of the reality of excavating in Iran during turbulent political times.
From Iran, we then hurtle across time and space to Egypt’s New Kingdom (16th-11th centuries BC), and then back again into the modern era. Using cutting-edge CT scanning, Zahi Hawass and radiologist Sahar Saleem, have virtually unwrapped a host of mummies. But what mysteries have they helped to solve?
Our travel section visits three archaeologically diverse areas: Albania, Italy, and finally the UAE. Other highlights include a conversation with best-selling author and archaeologist Brian Fagan on the occasion of his 80th birthday.
This is my last issue as Acting Editor. I hope you have enjoyed reading the magazine as much as I have enjoyed editing it. Next issue, we welcome back your regular editor, Caitlin McCall.
ETHIOPIA: Before Aksum Excavating Ethiopia’s earliest civilisation
ICE AGE ART: Redrawing the past How to explain Ice art? The latest thinking and discoveries explored
EXCAVATING IRAN: Stories from the Silk Road Uncovering a Persian castle and fire temple
Multiple roots for early farming
Qatar’s crowded desert gets more crowded
Fourni’s vast collection of wrecks
Deep sea rediscoveries
Caribbean cave colonial encounters
Disease in motion along the Silk Road
NEWS: SPECIAL REPORT
Preserving Italy’s heritage and responding to the August 2016 earthquake
Game-changing excavations at Ban Chiang
ALBANIA Richard Hodges races hydroelectric construction at Gramsh
ROME A tour around the Italian capital with Andrew Selkirk
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES David Millar takes us past Dubai’s snazzy shops and futuristic architecture to explore the rich heritage of the Emirates
On the occasion of his 80th birthday, we talk with the archaeologist and indefatigable author, Brian Fagan
Solving Egyptian mummy mysteries in Scanning the Pharaohs by Zahi Hawass and Sahar Saleem
plus reviews of:
The Tale of the Axe: How the Neolithic Revolution Transformed Britain by David Miles
Wonderful Things: A History of Egyptology – Volume 2: The Golden Age, 1881-1914 by Jason Thompson
Stone by Stone: Exploring Ancient Sites on the Canadian Plains by Liz Bryan
Cod and Herring by James H Barrett and David C Orton (eds)
The Destruction of Memory directed by Tim Slade
Napoleon’s horse, Suleiman’s tomb, and Kublai Khan’s palace
Neil Faulkner muses on unknown unknowns in the archaeological record
The extraordinary tale of King Idrimi’s statue