Author: Emma Watts-Plumpkin

Merida

Merida Spain

John Crookshank on Roman Spain, with a focus on Mérida

Maya, The

This is the seventh edition of Coe’s Maya, a readable and enjoyable richly illustrated introduction to the New World civilisation. Here, the Yale Professor of Anthropology presents an updated text that offers new evidence, gleaned over the past decade, since, as Coe points out ‘hardly a week goes by without the announcement of a new […]

Artifice of Beauty, The

From the cover stares a glamorous European face with incongruous Egyptian make-up. But let us not judge a book by its cover. Or maybe, in this case, we should, since this book is all about looks and the way we humans have primped, pampered, and perfumed ourselves over the millennia. And the frontispiece is fairly […]

Persian Fire

A global superpower attacks a small ‘rogue state’. The superpower – arrogant, self-righteous, supremely confident – swaggers in. It is bound to win. It always does. Its military doctrine is based on ‘overwhelming force and mastery of data’. But – incredibly, against the odds, against reason – the ‘terrorists’ fight back. And the resistance, bitter […]

First Farmers

Professor of Archaeology at the Australian National University, Peter Bellwood, has written a book that is both important and stimulating. He brings together a wide range of disparate data to examine the origins of agriculture and why different societies took up farming. This is a huge project – as he acknowledges in his opening line: […]

In Search of the Red Slave

In 1703, Robert Drury, aged 16, was shipwrecked on the south coast of Madagascar. For the next 13 years he was a slave on the island, a ‘red’ slave because the people of Madagascar saw the skin colour that today we call ‘white’ as being ‘red’. Eventually he was able to escape and hitched a […]

Oetzi Under Threat

Researchers suspect the corpse of Oetzi, the 5,000-year-old mummy frozen in the Italian Alps might have been contaminated by bacteria since its discovery in 1991.   X-rays have shown up light patches on Oetzi’s skeleton. These seem to be bubbles in the bones that could be caused by bacteria, said Eduard Egarter Vigl, who is […]

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