Features

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Secrets of the dolmens: Discovering lost masterpieces by ancient artists of the Iberian Peninsula

Rock-art specialists George Nash and Sara Garcês reveal spectacular prehistoric paintings hidden in the burial chambers of central-north Portugal. Thousands of late prehistoric burial-ritual sites litter the Atlantic façade of Europe, most dating to the 5th millennium BC, when first Neolithic and then Bronze Age pastoralists tended the fertile plains and valleys. These societies were […]

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Byzantine Ephesus: Life in the city after Empire

The grand architectural monuments of Ephesus attest to its glory days as a sophisticated metropolis of the Roman Empire. But what happened when the Empire ended in the 4th century AD? Following recent excavation, Sabine Ladstätter and Michaela Binder reveal new evidence of life in the city during the turbulent days of Byzantine rule. Visitors […]

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Lapa do Santo: Decapitation and ritual in ‘the Saint’s rock shelter’

Inside Lapa do Santo, excavations are revealing the complex burial practices of an early Archaic community. André Strauss tells CWA about the grisly finds. Body mutilation, decapitation, defleshing, and possible cannibalism: these chilling descriptions seem more appropriate for a serial killer’s to-do list than for an archaeological project report. But as queasy as they might […]

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An Etruscan puzzle: Investigating the monumental tomb of Grotte Scalina

This highly unusual Etruscan tomb is linked to the Macedonian court of Alexander the Great and, a millennium later, proved a magnet for medieval pilgrims. But does it have one last secret to reveal? Vincent Jolivet and Edwige Lovergne investigate. Tarquinia, about 100km north of Rome in the Lazio region of Italy, was one of […]

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The Caspian Gates

The ‘Gates’ at Dariali Gorge, set amid the spectacular mountain scenery of modern Georgia, was a place of legend. It features in a wider range of ancient and medieval sources than any other mountain pass, yet it has long been ignored by archaeologists. Dariali Gorge was a place of legend. It was in the dramatic […]

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Excavating Iran: Stories from the Silk Road

When Ed Keall first visited Iran, at the age of 24, little did he realise that he was about to embark on an archaeological venture – involving a Persian castle and a fire temple – that has now been 50 years in the making.   In 1962, I took an adventurous trip to Iran to […]

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Ice Age Wonders

Ice Age art represents an astonishing explosion of human creativity. But what does it all mean? Much of what we thought we knew has been radically revised in the light of new findings and advances. Paul Pettitt turns to the new edition of Paul Bahn’s Images of the Ice Age to reveal the latest.   […]

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Before Aksum: Excavating Ethiopia’s Earliest Civilisation

In the 1st millennium AD, Ethiopia was home to the great civilisation of Aksum, one of the world’s first Christian kingdoms. But what came before Aksum? A joint Ethiopian-German project near Wuqro in the Tigray highlands is uncovering unprecedented finds and revealing a fascinating picture, as Steven Matthews and Saskia Büchner explain. The mighty civilisation of Aksum, […]

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Lawrence of Arabia’s War

The Great Arab Revolt Project With the CWA-backed Great Arab Revolt Project at an end after ten years’ work on the deserts of southern Jordan, we asked Co-director Neil Faulkner – also Editor of our sister magazine Military History Monthly – for some concluding thoughts   In 2006, here in the pages of CWA, we […]

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Conserving Merv

Today the ancient cities of Merv lie in a sleepy Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999. It is protected by the Turkmenistan Ministry of Culture, and since 2001 we have been working closely with them and their local park staff to support their management and conservation of this outstanding site. The standing earthen architecture at Merv […]

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The mystery of Naukratis

Revealing Egypt’s international port From the late 7th century BC, the Nile Delta port of Naukratis was the world’s gateway to Egypt. Yet, despite early archaeological research at the site, it has languished in the shadows. Who lived there, how did the port operate, and what (sometimes salacious) secrets remained hidden? Alexandra Villing and Ross […]

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LiDAR

LiDAR – or Light Detection And Ranging – is a form of laser-scanning, initially used in meteorology. Over the past decade or so, archaeologists have begun routinely to use the technology, drawn to its ability to capture extraordinarily accurate, high-resolution, 3D data. It works by using light sensors to measure the distance between the sensor […]

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