Issue 52

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CWA travels to: Butrint, Albania

How on earth do you get the students up at 5am? That, rather than the archaeology, is the question that preoccupies my colleagues at the American University of Rome when I mention the Butrint Field School in Albania. Students are not generally known for their eagerness to rise at the crack of dawn and those […]

Dorestad

Richard Hodges travels to: Dorestad, Netherlands

Troy is not a place one normally associates with Holland. Yet the Dutch claim to have their own version: Dorestad. It lies at the point where the Rhine parts company with the river Lek, about 100km south-east of Amsterdam, near the picturesque town of Wijk bij Duurestede. It may not attract many visitors these days, […]

1164

CWA travels to: Andorra

Andorra is best known as an inexpensive ski-resort, but the tiny landlocked principality is chock-full of archaeology, its rich cultural heritage waiting to be explored. Just 450km² in area, Andorra nestles in the heart of the Pyrenees, bordered by the Languedoc region of France and Spanish Catalunya. So why, given this prime location, has it […]

1155

Special Report: Will China’s future destroy its past?

China’s heritage sites are fast disappearing – to tomb-robbers and thieves, or to make way for industrial projects and new developments. These sobering conclusions are the result of research carried out by the country’s own governmental organisation. The State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH) recorded a total of 766,722 ancient ruins, temples, and other sites […]

1154

Egypt: Facing the past

Archaeologists excavating an ancient Egyptian necropolis near Aswan have come face-to-face with a high-status official buried 3,500 years ago, after uncovering his finely carved wooden sarcophagus. Elephantine (modern Qubbet el-Hawa) was a prestigious burial place for Egyptian nobles from c.2250 BC, with 40 tombs cut into its rocky cliffs. The research team, led by Professor […]

1153

Re-building Libya’s Past

Libya’s heritage is in danger of being overlooked, warned Dr Hafed Walda, Libyan archaeologist at King’s College London and international advisor on Libyan heritage. At a session organised by the Society for Libyan Studies, Walda called for international support to help secure the country’s national heritage. He went on to say that, understandably, international aid […]

1152

News In Brief

British Museum centre grant The British Museum’s new World Conservation and Exhibition Centre has moved a step closer to completion after a £10 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The £135 million project will create state-of-the-art laboratories and studios for conservation, preservation, and research, as well as a new suite for special exhibitions, extra […]

1151

Peru: Ancient Peruvian Popcorn

The oldest corncobs unearthed in South America have been found in Peru. Dating to 6,700 years ago – at least 2,000 years older than previous finds of cobs – they were eaten by people who were yet to enjoy the convenience of ceramic pottery. According to a report in The Proceedings of the National Academy […]

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Mexico: Potted History

We know, from hieroglyphic references and illustrations, that the ancient Maya and their gods enjoyed a smoke. But physical evidence is rare. Now residue from a 1,300-year-old pot has provided the first traces of tobacco to be found in a Mayan container. The small clay vessel comes from the Mirador Basin in Southern Campeche, Mexico, […]

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Egypt: Peckish Mummies

Egyptian birds were expected to live on in the afterlife, just like their human counterparts, according to new research published in the Journal of Archaeological Science. Using computed tomography (CT) scanners to examine two mummified ibises and a hatchling, an international team of scientists discovered that embalmers had returned the adult birds’ gizzards filled with […]

1147

Russia: Gone Fishing

The discovery of 7,500-year-old fish traps in a Russian river valley has given new insight into prehistoric European settlement patterns. The Mesolithic nomadic hunter-gatherers were believed to move with the seasons to follow food sources. Now excavation at a site in the Dubna river basin outside Moscow shows evidence of continuous year-round occupation. The three-year […]

1146

Earliest Christian Arabic text

Archaeologists have discovered the only Crusader-period Christian inscription to be written in Arabic. The marble engraving, once part of the city wall at Jaffa in Israel, was long-believed to date to the Ottoman period (1517-1917). Now Professor Moshe Sharon and Ami Shrager, of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, have shown that the text, a unique […]

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