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CWA 89

Excavations are exposing the insatiable appetite for self-promotion displayed by the owner of a modest late Roman villa estate at Gerace, Sicily. There, Philippianus delighted in having his monogram stamped on tiles and even included it in his bathhouse decor. Was he aping contemporary elite fashion in Rome? Our cover feature explores how fieldwork is […]

Excavating a Phoenician shipwreck off the coast of Gozo, Malta

The Phoenicians occupied the coast of the Levant for over 1,000 years, but knowledge of their trade network and practices remains elusive. In 2007, an ancient wreck containing a large cache of ceramic containers was discovered off Malta. This ship proved to be one of only a handful of known Phoenician vessels. Since 2014, further […]

CWA 88

It sounds more like Hollywood than archaeology: thousands of life-size sculpted soldiers, brandishing real weapons and faithfully guarding an emperor’s tomb for millennia. Yet the terracotta warriors are no special effect. These soldiers are believed to have been individually crafted, capturing an army on the cusp of the Bronze and Iron Ages. The resources and […]

New Book Reviews in CWA 81

The Great Paleolithic War by David J Meltzer It all started with a simple, but extremely contentious, question: were humans present in the Americas during the Pleistocene? Before Ice Age people were confirmed in Europe during the 1850s, few scholars ventured such bold proclamations. But, with the location of a few stone tools and skeletal remains, […]

CWA 81

At their peak in the 4th century AD, the people who built Teotihuacan in Mexico ruled an empire every bit as impressive as that of Rome on the other side of the world. Yet we don’t even know their name, nor why they mysteriously abandoned their colossal capital city in the 7th century AD, some […]

Sicily: Touring Persephone’s island

In the early morning, when the light is right, one can see Sicily from Gozo. Though Malta, Gozo, and Sicily share strong cultural connections, each has its own unique character. Sharon Sharpe concludes our Mediterranean jaunt with a tour of Persephone’s island. We fly into Catania, in the shadow of Mount Etna, on the east coast of […]

Gozo

From Malta, we now travel to its sister-island Gozo, where Nadia Durrani encountered two new major restoration projects. In Maltese, Gozo is known as Għawdex (pronounced ‘audesh’), which translates as ‘joy’. And indeed, Gozo is a joyous place. One of the three main islands of the Maltese archipelago, it is a 25-minute ferry ride from Malta. […]

Richard Hodges travels to… Malta

  Queen Elizabeth, on a recent visit to Malta, offered the comment that the island appeared to be overbuilt. Indeed, it is. Thriving economically, it is a very different island today to the one Her Majesty knew in the 1940s. Malta has embraced the EU, and benefited from its inclusion. It has turned its size […]

CWA 78

In February 1221, the Mongols unleashed one of the most devastating attacks on the medieval world. Led by Genghis Khan’s son, Tolui, they sacked the great Silk Route city of Merv, in modern-day Turkmenistan, laying waste to anything they could not carry away, and slaughtering tens of thousands. As one contemporary author put it, this was a ‘great disaster, the […]

The Mediterranean in History by David Abulafia (ed.)

Nine chapters, each by a different authority, tackle succeeding eras from early prehistory more than 3,000 years ago to the ‘globalized Mediterranean’ of the 21st century – though it ends just before the sad plight of refugees who risk their lives on these dangerous waters today. Each section is deftly stitched together and commented on by the editor, who concludes with his own […]

Richard Hodges travels to … The Island of Lampedusa, Italy

Flying south of Agrigento, the blue begins, even on All Saints’ Day. An Ionian light, it is the ravishing glory of the Middle Sea. I went to Lampedusa in the footsteps of Pope Francis and political grandees, conscious that this minuscule Italian outpost had borne a heavy burden as it grappled with the lives and accursed deaths of […]

Great Excavations: Zammit at the Ħal-Saflieni Hypogeum

The dig  The Hypogeum Ħal-Saflieni was discovered in 1902 when builders, working on a new housing development, fell through its roof. The huge underground structure is carved out of the soft rock that lies beneath the town of Paola, on the outskirts of Valetta on Malta. Despite initial attempts to deny the discovery, so as not to hinder building work, the find […]

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