Civil unrest, violent clashes, an oppressive authority: we could be talking about Syria today. But this is 6,000 years ago, during the Late Chalcolithic Period.
This year marks the 40th birthday of UNESCO’s World Heritage Convention, which to-date protects almost 1,000 sites of outstanding cultural and natural importance.
Gustafson’s excavation had provided an extraordinary window into the material culture and public appearance of the world represented by the Norse Sagas at the beginning of the Viking Age.
Very early in my archaeological career, I encountered an intense debate on the chronology of the earliest Neolithic in the Near East. It was rather like the race to the Pole: who had the earliest date? The English champion was the redoubtable Dame Cathleen Kenyon, her American adversary was Robert Braidwood. It was a case […]
The latest issue of Current World Archaeology is out now! We have special articles from Turkey, as well as features on (ancient) civil war in Syria, Philip II’s palace at Pella, and chariot leathers from Egypt. And of course all the latest news from around the world.
The weather in Baghdad It snowed in Baghdad in AD 908, 944 and 1007. How do we know? Because historians at Spain’s University of Extremadura have been scouring ancient manuscripts for weather reports. The period from AD 816 to AD 1009 was a Golden Age for literature in the Islamic world, and scholars, historians and […]
When magnificent mosaics were revealed in the Roman villas at Zeugma, such was their impact that the Turkish authorities decided they deserved their own museum. So it was that the largest mosaic museum in the world opened its doors last year; within two days, more than 3,000 visitors passed through them. The Zeugma Mosaic Museum […]
Mark Norell, Denise Patry Leidy, and Laura Ross Sterling Publishing, £27.99 The Silk Road was no single path but a vast network of trade routes stretching over 4,000 miles. Those who travelled its branches spread exotic goods, religious ideas, game-changing technical innovations and, probably, the Black Death. This lively new publication documents the history and […]
Robert G Ousterhout Caique Publishing Ltd., £20 A trailblazer of archaeological photography, John Henry Haynes was taught by picturesque landscape painter William Stillman, and this influence shows in his work. Making dramatic use of perspective and shadow, his photographs could be mistaken for watercolours. Drowsily elegiac scenes range from a silvery sweep of the Tigris […]
Christopher Prescott and Håkon Glørstad Oxbow, £35 When did Europe become Europe? This ambitious question is posed by Christopher Prescott and Håkon Glørstad in their introduction to this new collection of papers searching for the origins of a distinctive ‘pan-European personhood’ in the 3rd millennium BC. A comprehensive and far-reaching anthology, it seeks to identify the […]
Shelley Hales and Joanna Paul (eds) Oxford University Press, £80 Walter Scott called it a ‘City of the Dead’. To Goethe it was a ‘mummified town’. Part mausoleum, part museum, Pompeii’s timeless ruins have fascinated visitors since their rediscovery over 250 years ago, providing inspiration to students of Classical art who have sought to resurrect […]
Andrew Robinson Thames & Hudson, £8.95 Half a millennium before Homer described ‘Crete, set in the wine-dark sea’, its inhabitants used a mysterious alphabet that baffled archaeologists. Linear B was discovered during Arthur Evans’ Knossos excavations (for the full story, see CWA 51, Great Excavations’) but for over 50 years the inscriptions remained unreadable. At […]