CWA 18 was published in August 2006 and contained features on the rock-cut churches of Lalibela in Ethiopia, the forthcoming display in…
High in the mountains of northern Ethiopia, the site of Lalibela is one of the most important pilgrimage places of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Lalibela is famed for its 11 medieval churches, all of which are hewn into the rock. These exceptional buildings are said to have been built during the 25 year reign of King Lalibela - with more than a little help from the angels. But archaeologists question miracles; and here, David Phillipson, Professor of African Archaeology at Cambridge, introduces us to the wonders of Lalibela and offers a new interpretation of its chronology and creation.
What has life been like for an archaeologist in the former Soviet Union, living through the dramatic changes of the past 20 years? Vladimir Kerasev comes from Uzbekistan, and here he lifts the iron curtain from his story - of training in the old Soviet style and his frantic attempts to scratch a living as an archaeologist since then. He concludes with a look at his home city of Tashkent, destroyed in an earthquake in 1966, and his own efforts to rescue some archaeology in the face of Soviet-style rebuilding. And in the process he uncovers a strange mystery: where was the original Tashkent?
Though the Soviet Union aimed for equality between all men, Ancient Egypt certainly did not. Two hundred years after the Great Pyramid at Giza was built, the most high ranking of governmental officials were buried in a cemetery behind the massive enclosure of the step pyramid of Zoser, 10 miles south of the Great Pyramid. This became one of the more fashionable cemeteries of the Old Kingdom. It is currently under excavation by Professor Karol Mysliwiec whose article leads us into the tombs of a grand vizier and an important priest.
Although the treasures of Tutankhamun are in the Cairo Museum, some of the other material - the notes and diaries of excavator Howard Carter - are in the Griffith Institute, at Oxford. Sadly, only a rather small proportion of Tutankhamun's treasure has been fully published: how can this process be expedited? The solution is to make all Howard Carter's notes available on the web, where they will be available to everyone. Here Jaromir Malek describes this ambitious project, where everyone can be their own Tutankhamun expert.
Our next feature also deals with objects that would otherwise not be seen by the public. The British Museum's new gallery space, Room 2, is a temporary place for key items from galleries under refurbishment that would previously have been banished to storage.
In Books we take the lid off the Da Vinci Code and teach you how to read hieroglyphs, and we also have postcards from Mark Horton who writes from Siraf in Iran, and from Richard Hodges who sends news from the Greek and Albanian banks of Lake Prespa.