What was it like for a barbarian to become Roman? In the book that I am writing in my retirement, or semi-retirement, on how Greece and Rome became predominant, I have reached one of the most interesting chapters, – and one of the most difficult to write: that of the golden age of Rome in […]
Read what our roving reporters are discovering as they search the world for the latest archaeology news
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, […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Tom St John Gray reports on the legacy of the atomic bomb: is it heritage, horror, or both?
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, […]
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 […]