Issue 51

Caribbean: Something cooking on Carriacou

A tiny Caribbean island has produced one of the most diverse collections of prehistoric non-native animal remains ever found in the region. Excavations at two sites on Carriacou revealed that five species were introduced from South America between c.AD 1000-1400. One, opossums, can still be found there today, but the other four – peccaries, armadillos, […]

Mexico: Mexican pyramid’s first offering

Archaeologists investigating the core of the Pyramid of the Sun, at Teotihuacan on the outskirts of Mexico City, have discovered the ceremonial offering placed at the heart of Mexico’s tallest pyramid, deposited when construction first began in about AD 50. Laid on the pyramid’s rubble base, the offerings included obsidian knives and projectile heads, 11 […]

Alaska: Chinese buckle

An ancient Chinese-style bronze buckle found by a team from the University of Colorado Boulder in Alaska may prove the earliest evidence of trade links with East Asia. The CU-led excavations are part of a National Science Foundation-funded project to study human responses to climate change at Cape Espenberg from AD 800 to AD 1400, […]

Smithsonian: Tang Treasures special report

The Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC has withdrawn from hosting a controversial maritime exhibition. Shipwrecked: Tang Treasures and Monsoon Winds was due to open in the Smithsonian’s Sackler Gallery in spring this year, but has been cancelled following a two-day conference in December 2011, attended by an international advisory committee of experts that included the […]


Chris Catling on…

Lion man or woman? In August 1939, archaeologist Otto Völzing was excavating deep inside the Stadel cave in the Schwäbische Alb mountains of south-western Germany when the Second World War rudely interrupted his research. As so often happens in archaeology, his most spectacular find – a carved ivory figure – emerged on the last day. […]



Results of the excavations at Knossos surpassed all expectations. Evans revealed a vast palace complex of Middle Bronze Age date , 1300 rooms connected by a network of corridors…

Charles Higham On...

Charles Higham: notes from the field

At a barbecue last year, a former student of mine, who had joined me on my excavations for 20 years, suggested the time had come for me to give up fieldwork and leave it to younger people. I reflected on this by comparing my interests and plans with those of my contemporaries who studied archaeology […]

 © Richard Hodges

Italy: postcard

Tuscany conjures thoughts of the apogee of rich living. Its picturesque villages, graced by grand villas and their pools, serve as summer homes to the jet set. It is hard not to conclude that it has always been like this. Renaissance towns and castle-sized farms from the same period are a global benchmark for civilised […]

 © Musee Carnavalet

France: Paris Crypte Archaeologique

It is a traveller’s story repeated throughout the decades. The first-time visitor to Paris arrives in the city armed with a checklist of ‘must-see’ wonders – sites viewed in photographs so often that they are imprinted in the mind’s eye. And, unlike so many other places, in Paris every monument equals or surpasses expectation: the […]

Book review: Corrugated Iron Buildings

Nick Thomson Shire Books, £6.99 Corrugated iron may not be seen as a glamorous building material today, but it was once so fashionable that Prince Albert commissioned a metal ballroom for Balmoral Castle. In CWA 28 we explored how this lightweight but durable material evolved to meet the demands of the Industrial Revolution, roofing warehouses, […]

Book review: The Gods of Battle

Chris Webber Pen and Sword, £25.00 Claiming descent from Thrax, son of the war god Ares, the Thracians were feared throughout the Classical world and employed as mercenaries by Greece, Rome, Egypt, and Persia. With a territory covering modern Bulgaria, Romania, part of Turkey, and northern Greece, their 40 tribes totalled about a million people. […]

Egypt: James Henry Breasted

He founded the Oriental Institute in Chicago, was the first American to achieve a doctorate in Egyptology, and his book is an enduring classic a century later. Yet few today even know his name. Here, Andrew Robinson reviews a new biography that should bring James Henry Breasted the recognition he deserves. James Henry Breasted has […]

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