Category: Issue 53

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Petrie at Naqada

Flinders Petrie, an established Egyptologist, excavated three prehistoric sites in Egypt for the Egypt Exploration Fund during the 1890s

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The Search for Immortality at The Fitzwilliam Museum

The Han Dynasty was founded in 206 BC, and their 400 years of near-continuous rule represent a Golden Age for China. By the 1st century AD their territory rivalled the Roman Empire for population and power, but this success was hard-won, forged through long struggles with neighbouring states. Now the Fitzwilliam Museum’s new exhibition, The […]

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Book Review: Settlement and Lordship in Viking and Early Medieval Scandinavia

Bjørn Poulsen and Søren Michael Sinbaek (eds.) Brepols, £79.00 ISBN 978-2503531311 Recent advances in settlement archaeology have uncovered a treasure trove of new information about social power in Early Medieval Scandinavia, and this comprehensive work brings together 17 papers, ranging from landholding and the changing influence of royal and Church authorities, to insights into all levels […]

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Book Review: Hajj: journey to the heart of Islam

Venetia Porter (ed.) British Museum Press, £25.00 ISBN 978-0714111759 Drawing on a recent British Museum exhibition of the same name, this beautifully illustrated catalogue contains stunning photographs of artefacts, sites, and artwork associated with the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, as well as a wealth of information on the evolution of the Hajj and the lives of […]

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Book Review: Violence, Ritual, and the Wari Empire

Tiffiny A. Tung University Press of Florida, £64.50 ISBN 978-0813037677 Between AD 600-1000, the Wari Empire represented one of the first politically centralised states in the New World. This study reveals the biological and social impact of the military aggression on which this power was founded, with groundbreaking DNA and osteological data shedding light on […]

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Book Review: The Archaeology of Northeast China: beyond the Great Wall

Sara Milledge Nelson Routledge, £26.00 ISBN 978-0415513472 Elegantly illustrated and admirably comprehensive in its scope, this synthesis of recent archaeological research into the prehistoric peoples of Donbei – best known in the west as Manchuria – sheds new light on a region rather less discussed than the civilisations of central China. Nelson’s introduction, contrasting the […]

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Book Review: Cracking the Egyptian Code

Andrew Robinson Thames & Hudson, £19.95 ISBN 978-0500051719 In 1922 Howard Carter could be confident that he had found Tutankhamun’s tomb, but when Giovanni Belzoni discovered the tomb of Seti I in 1817, the pharaoh was initially misidentified as ‘Psammis’. The difference was that in Belzoni’s day nobody could read hieroglyphs; this knowledge had faded […]

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Review: Hajj

Following the success of the British Museum’s recent exhibition Hajj: Journey to the Heart of Islam, Nadia Durrani was intrigued to find out more about Britain’s first pilgrims to the holy shrine at Mecca. Who were they, and what were their experiences?

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Richard Hodges travels to: Rhodes

As we crossed from Marmaris to Rhodes, the hydrofoil skimming through the hammered blue seas, my thoughts turned to one of my favourite books, Lawrence Durrell’s Reflections on a Marine Venus. Few writers are better at capturing the magic of the Mediterranean than Durrell, who was born a century ago this year. Here is a […]

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CWA travels to: Thera

On the letters page of CWA 52, Martin Davie asked for more information about Thera. Well, Martin, I may just be able to help. As many of you will know, I am devoting my semi-retirement from Current Archaeology to writing a History of the World – well, isn’t that what everyone does in their retirement? – […]

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Chris Catling on…

Droit du seigneur One of life’s most uncomfortable experiences is to be engaged in conversation by a family-history buff. Often these are people who have selflessly devoted their retirement years to tracing all the branches of their family tree. This rapidly becomes an all-absorbing obsession, and there is a huge international industry devoted to taking […]

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Easy Money

Both Diggers on the National Geographic Channel and Spike TV’s American Digger follow the exploits of metal-detecting teams as they search for buried artefacts. Both productions depict the frequent and careless removal of antiquities, with the sole objective to collect treasure for monetary gain. Archaeologists have angrily denounced the series as a promotion of mercenary […]

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