Issue 45

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Southern India’s Rock Art Riches

Northern and central India are renowned for their vast amount of rock art of global significance; now an international team has demonstrated that southern India is as rich in art, dating from at least 10,000 years ago. Rock-art specialist Paul Taçon, of Australia’s Griffith University, has published some 60 new rock-art sites in the journal […]

Classics professor Peter van Minnen works with papyri.

Papyrus Stories

Everyday concerns in ancient Egypt still resonate today, according to the latest issue of The Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists, the journal of those who study texts on papyrus, mainly from ancient Egypt. New texts are continually being found, especially in museum and private collections, because antiquities dealers of the past would often […]

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Paradise lost and found

Researchers at Tel Aviv University have uncovered an ancient royal garden at the site of Ramat Rachel, in the Judean Hills, some two miles from the Old City of Jerusalem. The site dates back to the 7th century BC, and is remarkable for its intricate irrigation system. Features include open channels and closed tunnels, stone […]

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Brian Fagan Digs Deeper

Robots roam at Teotihuacan, Mexico Robots for exploring deep under pyramids are a new fashion in archaeology. One revealed a hidden door and a chamber in the Pyramid of Khufu at Giza in Egypt. Now, Mexico’s National Institute of Archaeology and History has unleashed a locally designed, camera-equipped remote controlled vehicle under the Temple of […]

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Inca ancestors’ stones found in Andes

A team of archaeologists, working Peruvian Andes, has hailed as ‘sensational’ the discovery of three ‘ancestor stones’ on an isolated Andean mountainside. For the Inca, such ancestor stones were more precious than gold, and imbued with supreme symbolic significance as representing deities, ancestors, and the sun. No examples of the stones were believed to have […]

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Travelling Turkey

To sail the Turkish Coast is to embark on an historical and archaeological adventure that spans over 3,000 years of history. It brings to life successive civilizations of Lycians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, and Ottomans, all of whom stamped their mark on this remarkable region. These great cultures have not only left beautiful and inspiring physical […]

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Govett’s Leap

I clearly remember the day in October 1957, when news swept through the Institute of Archaeology in London that Gordon Childe had died in distant Australia. I was in my first term, and Childe had only just retired from the directorship. His presence was still palpable in the many references to his reign and anecdotal […]

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Postcard from the Asso Valley

For years I have directed small armies of excavators through a project manager, so returning to the role of quartermaster (and co-director) was, to be truthful, both nostalgic and scary. I have always said an excavation runs on its food and accommodation. Rather like a well-honed army, fuel up the excavators, create an atmosphere of […]

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Libya Archaeological Guides: Tripolitania

The modern country of Libya – the Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya – encompasses one of the richest parts of the Roman Empire, but for the past 30 years it has been off the tourist track due to political difficulties. Now it is opening up once again, but it lacks a good guide book, the […]

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Journey through the Afterlife: Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead

In 1819, the English physician and polymath Thomas Young – best known to archaeologists for his work in deciphering the Egyptian hieroglyphs – published a pioneering article in the Encyclopaedia Britannica. It offered a tentative decipherment of the Rosetta Stone and outlined the scope of a new science, today known as Egyptology. Towards ancient Egyptian […]

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Crossroads of the Ancient World

In 1978, a year before the Soviets foolishly decided to invade Afghanistan, a team of Russian and Afghan archaeologists were excavating a site called Tillya Tepe – literally ‘Hill of Gold’ – high in the Afghan mountains. The site is actually a tell, into the top of which were dug six different burials: as the […]

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Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu symbolises the extent, technical skill, and productivity of the Inca Empire in its heyday.

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