How did an Egyptian pharaoh rejuvenate after a demanding year? The annual Opet festival at Luxor was dedicated to renewing the semi-divine ruler’s lifeforce, but mortals will also benefit from a visit to the temple, as Matthew Symonds reveals. When it came to keeping up with the neighbours, Luxor temple never really stood a chance. […]
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A Tuscan challenge Modern archaeology cannot turn a blind eye to its importance in contemporary society. There is a huge and growing appetite for visiting archaeological sites as global tourism grows at an extraordinary pace. So, although my European Research Council project under the Tuscan sun does not envisage a popular archaeological outcome for our […]
When the Spanish conquistador Hernando Pizarro arrived at Pachacamac, Peru, in January 1533, he had before him one of the jewels of the Inca Empire. ‘We arrived,’ he wrote, ‘in this city thathat seems very old because most of the buildings are in ruins.’ Archaeological research at the site has since vindicated his judgement.
As the Inca state expanded, the inhabitants of Pachacamac, Peru, found themselves on the receiving end of the imperial experience. By then, Pachacamac was already a venerable city presided over by a powerful local god. In our cover feature we explore how the Incas sensed an opportunity and encouraged pilgrimages to the site from across […]
Today, a network of subterranean passages spreads out from under the world’s first cathedral, in Rome. Within the tunnels are remnants of Roman buildings dating from the Republic to the 4th century AD. The challenges associated with piecing together this remarkable jigsaw puzzle mean that the remains have never been studied as a group – until now.
A trip to Crete allows Rachel Glaves to delve into the fact and fiction of Knossos. Knossos is hardly an unsung site. Indeed, this archaeological gem comes with a mythology that almost rivals that of Troy. It is no coincidence that Heinrich Schliemann, the maverick investigator of Troy, had designs on Knossos, before being famously […]
There are dowsers, whose hazel wands will tremble, not only for water, but also for gold and bronze and iron, even for bones or an urn-full of human dust. Archaeologists have used these mysteriously gifted persons as the truffle-hunter uses his dog or his learned sow, to nose out the buried treasures of ancient cemeteries… […]
Frisians and their North Sea Neighbours: from the 5th century to the Viking age John Hines and Nelleke IJssennagger (eds) Boydell & Brewer, £75 ISBN 978-1783271795 Review by: Catherine Hills Early medieval Frisia had a complicated history. Broadly speaking, it occupied the coastal regions of what are now the Netherlands and north-west Germany. Close connections […]
Megadrought and Collapse: from early agriculture to Angkor Harvey Weiss (ed.) Oxford University Press, £53 ISBN 978-0199329199 Review by: Kyle Harper In the study of the human past, the battle between those who believe in the primacy of environmental causes in the rise and fall of civilisations, those who believe in the pre-eminence of social […]
What is it? This ancient Mesopotamian sculpture known as the ‘ram in the thicket’ is actually a ‘goat in a tree’. The goat is rendered in impressive detail, as it reaches up to eat leaves on high branches – a common sight along the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The sculpture was made […]
At first, they came by sea, carrying cargoes of broken objects destined to be deposited at the world’s earliest known maritime sanctuary. Their destination was Keros, a small island in the heart of the Cyclades, which offered little in the way of natural resources to detain the voyagers after they had made their observances. But […]
A fresh approach to a celebrated collection On 18 October 2018, the new Albukhary Foundation Gallery of the Islamic World will open its doors to visitors at the British Museum. CWA was invited to take a look behind the scenes as installation of the objects was under way. How do you tackle a subject as […]