Issue 11



Richard Hodges reports from Florence where changes to the entrance of the Uffizi have caused a stir

Looting of the Iraq Museum Baghdad

A s the recent elections have shown, there are few items more controversial than the war in Iraq. Do we see it as being an unnecessary and aggressive war? Or do we see it as a noble attempt to rid Iraq of a hated tyrant? For archaeologists, the catalyst in this debate is the looting […]

Horses of St Mark’s

In 1204, the Venetians, leading the Fourth Crusade, decided to postpone their attack on the infidel, and turned aside to sack the greatest city of Christendom, Constantinople. This proved extremely profitable, and among the loot that the Venetians carried home with them were four magnificent bronze horses which had stood in the Hippodrome. These they […]

Quest for the Shaman

‘This book is a quest for evidence of shamanism’ write co-authors Professors Miranda and Stephen Aldhouse-Green. And yet, before their quest even begins they have a hard time defining what they mean by ‘shamanism’. Indeed, they point out that one scholar has argued that the notion of shamanism is an entirely invented academic tradition, even […]

Painted Buddhas of Xinjiang

After 30 long years in negotiation with the authorities, the photographer Reza was finally granted permission to visit and photograph inside a series of caves hidden under the mountains of Xinjiang in former East Turkmenistan. The reason for his persistence is that the caves are adorned with an extraordinary bonanza of Buddhist art. Reza has […]

Enemies of Rome

Many believe that Rome was glorious, and that Rome brought civilisation – law, architecture, literature, a better lifestyle – into the Barbarian darkness of the conquered people. But was this really so? Philip Matyszak presents the alternative view. His book tells the story of the growth and eventual demise of Rome from the perspective of […]

Ajanta Caves

This book is beautiful. Indeed, author Benoy Behl describes his work as a ‘labour of love’. With over 200 illustrations, 189 of which are in full-colour, this is the most comprehensive publication of the Buddhist art from the Ajanta caves in western India. The exquisite paintings and sculptures from the World Heritage Site caves range […]

Hunnu Tombs in Mongolia

And now for the reviewers ultimate challenge: how to review a book written in two languages, neither of which the reviewer understands. One of the languages is, I think, Korean – the book certainly comes from Korea. The other language is written in Cyrillic script which looks like Russian, but having struggled with it with […]

Graeme Barker Wins Dan David Prize

Graeme Barker, the Disney Professor of Archaeology at Cambridge, has just won a $500,000 prize awarded by the Dan David foundation. The Dan David prize awards three annual grants of US$ 1 million to those involved in developing and advancing world knowledge. Prizes are offered in three time categories: the Present, Past and Future, and […]

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