CWA introduces our new columnist and old friend Charles Higham, who, in this issue, recalls his earliest forays into archaeology, and how the present has a habit of linking up with the past.
The results of a major study of early hominid teeth suggest that our male ancestors tended to stick around close to where they were born but that our female forebears moved away from their birthplace to mate with males from other tribes. These findings come from looking at the isotopes in fossilised teeth, which reflect […]
Researchers at the University of Oxford and at University College Cork, in Ireland, have dated a Neanderthal fossil discovered in a significant cave site in Russia in the northern Caucasus, and found it to be 10,000 years older than previous research had suggested. The research centres on Mezmaiskaya Cave, a key site in the northern […]
Donny George Youkhanna, who died in March following a heart attack, was described as ‘one of the brightest experts on the history of Mesopotamia’ by Iraq’s former Culture Minister Mufid al-Jazairi. Donny George (he dropped his last name) was the former Director of the Iraqi National Museum in Bagdad and fought tirelessly to preserve his […]
Crete is well-connected by ferry to a number of the islands that lie close by. So if you want to go somewhere really off the beaten track, here are a few suggestions: be prepared for very simple accommodation and a chance of adventure, however. If you take the Piraeus ferry north from Kisamos at the […]
Today the Forty Saints sits discreetly above the crowded bay of Saranda (Hagioi Saranta), in southern Albania, overshadowed by telephone aerials. Enter the arcing harbour and your eye is drawn to a melée of small boys plunging into the water, little sun-tanned minxes in an otherwise sleepy, almost dreamy, tourist town. Saranda’s ancient history, when […]
Since it was first excavated in 1748, the drama of Pompeii has excited the imaginations of archaeologists and tourists alike. Our impression of the site is informed primarily by a storytelling approach based largely on circumstantial evidence, and promoted by 18th- and 19th-century archaeologists who were not averse to holding ‘excavations’ to impress celebrity visitors: […]
Much of the Indus Valley civilisation was revealed to the world on Sir John Marshall’s watch as director general of the Archaeological Survey of India. This extraordinary time was captured on film, and the images have recently been published in a new book. Andrew Robinson takes a look.
The enigmatic moai that brood over Easter Island (Rapa Nui) in the South Pacific are one of archaeology’s great mysteries. When Europeans arrived in 1722, an estimated 3,000 seemingly impoverished people and numerous moai dwelt on the islands. Almost immediately, the mythmaking began, of a once prosperous, statue-building society that dissolved in the face of […]
This is an excellent account of the rise and fall of a great ancient civilisation. It starts in Phoenicia and describes the great expansion of the Phoenicians along the north coast of Africa, the foundation of Carthage and its eventual destruction. The author, Richard Miles, a Classicist at Trinity Hall Cambridge, has now written what […]
The British Museum’s exhibition, Treasures of Heaven, is more than a collection of beautiful artefacts – it is the exploration of a cult of personality. But is this a Medieval phenomenon, or a precursor to the celebrity worship of today?
Peking Man represents the spread of a new species of hominid, Homo erectus, in an earlier ‘Out of Africa’ migration beginning about a million years ago