Issue 24

Archaeology is an adventure, archaeology is entertaining, but archaeology is also capable of rocking our basic perceptions of the past and consequently of who we are.
Folsom, in North America, is one such revolutionary site. Before 1927 there was no evidence that humans co-existed with prehistoric animals in North America. To many, it was unthinkable that anyone had set foot in America in the ancient past. However, excavations in 1927 revealed human artefacts mixed with the bones of long-gone creatures. In one swoop Folsom proved the long antiquity of humans in America. This major site was left for 70 years until David Meltzer returned in the late 1990s. David discovered yet more at Folsom – and about the remarkable people who dug there in the 1920s. Here we tell of his work.
Saudi Arabia also tends to be thought of as a wholly modern land. What else is there aside from the rich modern cities spawned by the relatively recent oil boom? In fact, Saudi Arabia has a long and varied occupation history. In the mid-1960s an archaeological survey was launched, which led to the discovery of tens of thousands of known archaeological sites. Michael Rice and his colleagues were brought on board to create a raft of new Saudi museums to showcase the country’s heritage. On page XX Michael Rice looks back on his path-breaking work in the Kingdom.
Thereafter we face up to the enduring human question of our nascent origins. Who were our ancestors? A jaw and a skull belonging to the earliest known modern humans to arrive in Europe have recently been found deep within a cave in the Romanian Carpathian Mountains. These remains show certain traits that suggest modern humans mixed with the local Neanderthals. It seems we are all slightly more Neanderthal than previously believed. Write in and let us know your thoughts.
Postcards come from Richard Hodges who visited the monastery of San Sebastiano in Alatri, Italy; and from intrepid reader, Philip Wharmby, who writes of a recent visit to West Africa. Our Diary Section includes a look at the forthcoming British Museum Terracotta Army exhibition, CWA’s trip to Malta, and a celebratory report on the 50th anniversary of Denmark’s leading archaeology magazine, SKALK. Finally, our back-page features insights on the vast Abassid site of Samarra in Iraq.

CWA 24

CWA 24 was published in July 2007 and contained articles on the Palaeoindian site of Folsom -North America’s most famous site,  the ancient, pre-Islamic, history of Northern Arabia, the discovery of Europe's oldest modern humans in the Romanian Carpathian Mountains and finally,  a profile of the forthcoming British Museum Chinese Terracotta Army exhibition.     […]


Alatri, Italy

Richard Hodges visits the monastery of San Sebastiano with Lisa Fentress to investigate its date


City of the Sharp-Nosed Fish

City of the Sharp-Nosed Fish Peter Parsons Weidenfeld and Nicholson, £20.00 While wandering through the gloomy, overstuffed galleries of Cairo’s Egyptian Museum in a bit of a daze, like so many before me, I was startled to come upon a single cabinet of mummy portraits of ancient Egyptians who lived in the four centuries of […]


God’s Gold

God’s Gold Sean Kingsley, John Murray, £25.00 (HB), £9.99 (PB)  In AD 70, the Roman Emperor Titus finally conquered the Jews and carted off a huge treasure from the Temple at Jerusalem back to Rome. There he celebrated a magnificent triumph, melting down much of the treasure and using it as bullion. From the proceeds […]