Protecting the Roman Empire: fortlets, frontiers, and the quest for post-conquest security Matthew Symonds Cambridge University Press, £75 ISBN 978-1108421553 Review by: David J Breeze First, a declaration of interest: I read a draft of this book, and several of my illustrations appear in it. I do not think that either aspect will affect how […]
Author: Current World Archaeology
How did Romans drive around an ancient city? Was it just a free-for-all? Subtle traces worn into the streets of Pompeii by passing carts suggest not. What do they tell us about the city’s complex traffic systems?
How did Romans drive around their cities? While Classical authors had plenty to say about the coarse manners of the muleteers using the streets, they were less interested in setting down the rules of the road. Was it just a free-for-all? Subtle traces worn into the streets of Pompeii by passing carts suggest otherwise. Our […]
What is it? This exquisitely carved ivory plaque from the ancient Assyrian site of Nimrud, near Mosul in Iraq, is one of several inlays that once adorned the back of a wooden chair or couch. Measuring 26cm × 12cm, the plaque features a woman in a long, Syrian-style dress with loose, beaded sleeves and a […]
Roman Artefacts and Society: design, behaviour, and experience Ellen Swift Oxford University Press, £85 ISBN 978-0198785262 Review: Matthew Fittock Offering a fresh approach to Roman material culture studies, this book shows how design theory can help us understand the interplay between object design, production, and function, and how this reflects changes in social behaviour and […]
The Power of Place: rulers and their palaces, landscapes, cities, and holy places David Rollason Princeton University Press, £41.95 ISBN 978-0691167626 Review by: Stuart Brookes The central theme of this enthralling and beautifully produced book is that rulers designed the worlds around them to send messages of power. In the case of palaces, such a […]
Golden Kingdoms: luxury arts in the ancient Americas Joanne Pillsbury, Timothy Potts, and Kim N Richter (eds) Getty Publications, £50 ISBN 978-1606065488 Reviewed by: Lucia Marchini To this day, gold remains a symbol of luxury and quality. The precious metal was much coveted in early modern Europe too, particularly when Christopher Columbus reached Central America […]
The Dutch East India Company was one of the most powerful companies on the planet. Now the wreck of a fully laden ship bound for the East Indies is providing a glimpse of how this state within a state prospered.
The Etruscans: lost civilizations Lucy Shipley Reaktion Books, £15 ISBN 978-1780238326 Reviewed by: Andrew Selkirk Who were the mysterious Etruscans? Lucy Shipley, who is now one of the whizzkids at Andante Travels, wrote her doctoral thesis on Etruscan pottery, and here, in the latest instalment of Reaktion’s series on ‘Lost Civilizations’, she sets out to […]
Giza is one of the most celebrated archaeological sites in the world. Although it is revered for its spectacular pyramids, research over the last few decades has shed light on a living community that grew up to service the dead. In our cover feature we examine their role in dispatching the deceased on a voyage […]
Archaeology: the whole story Paul Bahn (ed.) Thames & Hudson, £24.95 ISBN 978-0500292761 Review by: Lucia Marchini Guiding the reader through 4 million years of archaeology, this new book covers major sites and discoveries across the world, offering a broad overview of different periods on a global scale. It could be described as an encyclopaedic […]
Roman Frontier Studies 2009 N Hodgson, P Bidwell, and J Schachtmann (eds) Archaeopress, £90.00 ISBN 978-1784915902 Review by: Matthew Symonds Every three years students and scholars of Roman frontiers gather to discuss the latest discoveries and thoughts. A lasting memento of these meetings is usually issued a few years later in the form of a […]