Issue 50

Book review: Rome, Ostia, Pompeii

Studies of the past tend to focus on the great sweeps of history, on the elite, and on their monumental buildings. But how did the ordinary person go about their daily life? How did the urban environment affect them, and how were they affected by it? The editors here choose three major cities in which […]

Book review: Iron Age Myth and Materiality

The main challenge of studying pre-Christian Scandinavia is that written sources describing the period mainly post-date the region’s official conversion by centuries. Written by Christian scholars who no longer share the beliefs of the ancestors they describe, most are also decidedly literary – sagas, poetry, and mythological narratives. A pessimist might dismiss the whole corpus […]

Book review: The death of an archaelogical theory?

Prompted by a session on the subject at an annual meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists, the editors, working on the model set by Roland Barthes’s literary jab The Death of the Author, put together this slim collection of essays to discuss the significance and relevance of archaeological theory today. In a well-informed – […]

Book review: War and worship

To many archaeologists, Northern European bogs mean votive offerings of Iron Age weapons. This book focuses on four sites renowned for their metal finds – Thorsberg in Germany; and Nydam, Vimose, and Illerup Adal in Denmark. Here, however, Susan Moller-Wiering investigates a lesser known aspect of these deposits: the well-preserved textiles also recovered from them. […]

Book review: Art and archaeology of the Greek world

In this beautifully illustrated new compendium of ancient Greek material culture, Richard Neer spans 2,350 years of art history from the Bronze Age to the Hellenistic Period. His clear chronological approach makes this stunningly comprehensive volume an invaluable reference tool, and along the way the reader is treated to fascinating insights on literature, language, politics, […]

Book review: Lost worlds, ruins of the Americas

In 1839, the invention of the daguerreotype offered explorers a new way to document their travels, and within a year photographic pioneers were using the new medium to record archaeological sites across the Americas. Arthur Drooker follows in their footsteps, compiling over 100 photographs of sites from South and Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. […]

Museum review: Ashmolean

The Ashmolean Museum’s new Egypt and Nubia galleries are now open to the public, after a £5m refurbishment. The project involved a complete redesign of the museum’s four existing Egypt rooms, expanding into the Ruskin Gallery, to showcase more of their world-renowned collection and thereby allowing objects previously hidden away in storage for decades to […]

Museum review: Vergina

Excavation following the discovery of the tomb of Philip II in Vergina (see p20) posed two huge problems: how to preserve the tomb, and how to present the finds to the general public. The solution was remarkably simple: build a museum, and then bury it within a new mound. Unlike the original design, this time […]

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