Category: Blog

Read what our roving reporters are discovering as they search the world for the latest archaeology news

Neil Faulkner thinks aloud: What is the meaning of movement (part 1)

It is one of the most obvious observations we are routinely required to make. We uncover an artefact: say a fragment of Mycenaean pot on a Late Bronze Age site in Sicily. So we have evidence of ‘trade’. No, we don’t. Trade is an economic process (exchange) and a social relationship (between buyer and seller). And, in this instance, […]

Chris Catling comments on… Folk Tales, Sleep, and Protecting Antiquities

Some of our favourite ‘fairy stories’ go back to the Bronze Age, if not before, according to the authors of a paper published in the Royal Society Open Science journal. Sara Graça da Silva and Jamshid J Tehrani wanted to test the hypothesis that the ‘canonical’ folk tales of different cultures might have had a common origin among speakers of proto-Indo-European, and […]

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Chris Catling on… Crusader poo, Dick Whittington’s loo, and dirty graffiti

Spending a crusader penny To most of us, lavatories are ‘yuck’, but to archaeologists they can be gold – especially if you can get a research grant to study their contents. Biological anthropologist Dr Piers Mitchell of Cambridge University has been doing just that, having a good dig around in the 900-year-old ‘soil’ from a […]

Interview: Dr Zahi Hawass in his own words

Egypt’s former Minister of State for Antiquities Affairs fell into archaeology by chance, yet it came to dominate his life. Dr Zahi Hawass talks to CWA about how he discovered his passion for his country’s rich heritage, and why it remains undiminished to this day.

Cham temples and warships

Charles Higham on… Cham temples and warships

Swanning around Older readers will recall the television career of Sir Mortimer Wheeler, and his enormous impact on budding young archaeologists through the programme Animal, Vegetable, Mineral? Chaired by Glyn Daniel, it involved three panellists being challenged by a museum through the middleman and fixer David Attenborough to identity a range of objects from its […]

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Archaeology as cultural diplomacy

UK, Iraqi, and Iranian archaeologists are uniting for the sake of preserving world heritage. Is this, Roger Matthews asks, a model for future international relationships in areas of conflict? While diplomatic and political relations between the UK and Iran falter, and UK politicians continue to place obstacles – including an isolationist policy of visa issuance […]

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Chris Catling on… Modern mind, ancient art, and Neolithic matchsticks

The modern mind The British Museum’s (superb) current exhibition is called ‘Ice Age Art’ – though some say it might be more accurate to call it Upper Palaeolithic Interstadial (Warm Period) Art, but you can see why they went for a title with a bit more pizzazz. To promote the exhibition, the BM has a […]

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Charles Higham: New finds with an old – very special – trowel

Non Ban Jak will soon be slumbering again in the heat of the dry season here in Northeast Thailand. The huge mound rises above the rice fields, demarcated by two moats and banks. Excavations here began last year and revealed, for the first time in such a site, house foundations, rooms, floors, and even a […]

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The Manhattan Project

Tom St John Gray reports on the legacy of the atomic bomb: is it heritage, horror, or both?

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Ice Age Art: arrival of the modern mind

We may not know exactly how they looked, we certainly do not know how they sounded. But the art of our earliest ancestors speaks as eloquently to us today as it did to their contemporaries, transcending the tens of thousands of years between them and us. According to the new exhibition at the British Museum in London, […]

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Chris Catling on… Mythical beasts, bones, and mystery lines

Unicorn lair found North Korea seems to live in a parallel universe where truth is concerned. Even the name – Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) – is one that cannot be taken without a large dose of salt. Various events in the life of the former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il would surely send […]

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A Passion for Roman Pottery

Rei Cretariæ Romanæ Favtores More than 150 archaeologists from 24 different countries gathered in Catania, Sicily, to share their interest in, their knowledge of, and their uncertainties about Roman pottery. Philip Kenrick reports on the Rei Cretariae Romanae Fautores (Devotees of Roman Pottery), which met for its 28th International Congress in September 2012. The RCRF […]

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