Issue 32


Maritime Archaeology

Andrew Selkirk travels to Madrid to discover more on maritime archaeology and trade



Richard Hodges writes from Gettysburg, USA



Specialist archaeological insights on the city of Timbuktu from Prof. Tim Insoll


Out of Eden

Chosen by Charles Higham, a Research Professor in the University of Otago, New Zealand, and an Honorary Fellow of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge. He has been digging in Southeast Asia for the past 40 years. For anyone interested in the broad brush of human prehistory, then it is now essential to become acquainted with archaeogenetics. […]


Review: The Dig

John Preston’s The Dig, a story about the excavation of the Anglo-Saxon site of Sutton Hoo, has now been published in paperback. It captivated me with its elegy for a great excavation, and the troubled and somewhat complex characters surrounding it. Anyone who has read Angus Wilson’s Anglo-Saxon Attitudes (1956) as well as the extraordinary field […]


Remembering Awatovi: Story of an Archaeological Expedition in Northern Arizona 1935-1939, the

Remembering Awatovi describes life in a field camp in Hopi country between 1935 and 1939, during a Harvard University expedition to northern Arizona under Joe Brew. Davis describes an era of unimaginably primitive fieldwork by today’s standards. Well-known, and some almost forgotten, archaeologists come to life as people, which helps us better understand their archaeological work, […]


Europe between the Oceans 900BC to AD 1000: Emerging Eurozones

This is a dramatic, broad-brush treatment of ten millennia of European prehistory, written on the principle that ‘geography is about chaps, history is about maps’ and copiously and intelligently interested with maps of all sorts. Cunliffe takes the ‘Annales’ approach of the ‘longue durée’, something that fits both the archaeological timescale and the lack of […]


Empires of the Indus: The Story of a River

First-time author Alice Albinia has pluck. Post-2001, near the Pakistani border with Afghanistan, she walks for days on end veiled in a chador with only a male Pakistani villager to guide her, entirely dependent on local hospitality. She aims to retrace the footsteps of the invading Alexander on his way to the Indus in 327 […]


The Fall of Rome: And the End of Civilization

Why did the western half of the Roman Empire fall? Did it fall at all – or was it peacefully transformed into the similarly sophisticated civilization of Late Antiquity? The pendulum of historical interpretation has swung from one extreme to the other. Words like ‘decline’ and ‘crisis’ are now taboo, and the idea that major […]

Qaryat Al Fau

He reportedly received death threats in the 1970s for promoting pre-Islamic history in the Kingdom. During a helicopter trip to the site in 1981, tail-rotor failure at 9,000 feet almost brought his life’s work to an untimely end (mine as well). Professor Abdul Rahman Al Ansary led excavations during 20 years on the site of […]

Pompeii, The Life of a Roman Town

With the decline of grammar schools in Britain, Classics seemed to be heading for a fall. Recently however, both in the UK and USA, the subject has achieved something of a renaissance. Popular culture, ironically, provides the impetus: Latin is the working language at Hogwarts; Gladiator and Troy are two of the most testosterone-fuelled films […]

Roman Amphitheatre in Britain, The

Tony Wilmott started with the re-excavation of one amphitheatre, that of Chester. He promptly went on to a re-examination of amphitheatres, sorts of amphitheatres (you need to read the book!), and theatres of Roman Britain to explain how they worked in practice. But this book is far more than a warm up for an excavation […]

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