Issue 13

Albania

Albania

Over the years there have been several magic moments during my digging career. Trowelling down to reveal my first mosaic in a Wiltshire Roman villa was possibly the first; peeling back the dirt to expose a brightly painted ninth-century abbot in a crypt at San Vincenzo al Volturno was simply breath-taking. Now I have another […]

Merida

Merida Spain

John Crookshank on Roman Spain, with a focus on Mérida

Review: The Artifice of Beauty

From the cover stares a glamorous European face with incongruous Egyptian make-up. But let us not judge a book by its cover. Or maybe, in this case, we should, since this book is all about looks and the way we humans have primped, pampered, and perfumed ourselves over the millennia. And the frontispiece is fairly […]

Review: The Maya

This is the seventh edition of Coe’s Maya, a readable and enjoyable richly illustrated introduction to the New World civilisation. Here, the Yale Professor of Anthropology presents an updated text that offers new evidence, gleaned over the past decade, since, as Coe points out ‘hardly a week goes by without the announcement of a new […]

In Search of the Red Slave

In 1703, Robert Drury, aged 16, was shipwrecked on the south coast of Madagascar. For the next 13 years he was a slave on the island, a ‘red’ slave because the people of Madagascar saw the skin colour that today we call ‘white’ as being ‘red’. Eventually he was able to escape and hitched a […]

First Farmers

Professor of Archaeology at the Australian National University, Peter Bellwood, has written a book that is both important and stimulating. He brings together a wide range of disparate data to examine the origins of agriculture and why different societies took up farming. This is a huge project – as he acknowledges in his opening line: […]

Persian Fire

A global superpower attacks a small ‘rogue state’. The superpower – arrogant, self-righteous, supremely confident – swaggers in. It is bound to win. It always does. Its military doctrine is based on ‘overwhelming force and mastery of data’. But – incredibly, against the odds, against reason – the ‘terrorists’ fight back. And the resistance, bitter […]

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