Issue 54


Chris Catling on…

Rome’s decline, Celtic brawls, and China’s walls Decline and Fall Edward Gibbon wrote an epic six-volume History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire in 1776-1789, in which he blamed the Church for the end of the glory that was Rome. The impact of the teachings of the Church, he argued, was to […]


CWA travels to: Salamis, Cyprus

Basking in the eastern Mediterranean sun, Cyprus – legendary birthplace of Aphrodite and Adonis – boasts an astonishing wealth of archaeological treasures, including three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. From its absorption into the Hittite Empire c.1400 BC, this small island has been a melting pot of different cultural influences, passing from the hands of one […]


Richard Hodges travels to: Rome

All roads seem to lead to Rome. I once lived here for seven years and now, by way of another capital, Philadelphia, I am back. What is the attraction? Well, few places are steeped in so much history – ancient, Medieval, and modern. Few places, too, mix such energy with history. Forget the problems of […]


Book Review: Power Games: ritual and rivalry at the Ancient Greek Olympics

David Stuttard British Museum Press, £9.99 ISBN 978-0714122724 They had come to the hilltop to make sacrifice. Now, on this day of days when the world was balanced between light and darkness, the king-priests of Elis had climbed the wooded slopes above Olympia to make their offerings to Kronos, one of the most primeval and […]


Book Review: Wetland Archaeology and Beyond

Francesco Menotti Oxford University Press, £95.00 ISBN 978-0199571017 Wetland archaeology, Menotti writes, is a widely practised but relatively unknown subdiscipline – he produced this book at least in part, he says, because he was sick of constantly having to explain his profession at parties. It is to be hoped that this absorbing new volume will […]


Book Review: Women in Ancient Egypt

Barbara Watterson Amberley, £18.99 ISBN 978-1445604947 This authoritative, accessible book by a freelance lecturer in Egyptology provides a comprehensive and compelling introduction to the world of ancient Egyptian women, who seem to have enjoyed a much more equal role in society than their sisters in other parts of the ancient world. Watterson’s interdisciplinary survey encompasses […]


Book Review: The Ritual Killing and Burial of Animals

Ed. Aleksander Pluskowski Oxbow, £48.00 ISBN 978-1842174449 Animals have been interred with humans in prehistoric and historic societies worldwide. This collection of 16 papers provides a thorough overview of these practices in Europe, spanning a broad chronological period – including Neolithic, Roman, Anglo-Saxon, and Viking sites – as well as a wide geographical area, from […]


Book Review: The Complete Archaeology of Greece

John Bintliff Wiley-Blackwell, £29.00 ISBN 978-1405154192 John Bintliff, a lecturer and archaeologist, has produced a panoramic labour of love that illuminates the development of Greek culture and its central role in the birth of modern civilisation. This ambitious but readable compendium covers a period beginning 400,000 ago and running up to the early 20th century. […]


Book Review: 31 BC: Antony, Cleopatra, and the fall of Egypt

David Stuttard and Sam Moorhead The British Museum, £9.99 ISBN 978-0714122748 Whatever you think about the story of Antony, Cleopatra, and the viper, think again. The legend, told and retold for centuries, is far removed from reality. As ever, truth is more fascinating than fiction. Antony was a vain, womanising lush prone to self-pity; Cleopatra […]


Artefact: Sarcophagus of Seti I

This magnificent alabaster sarcophagus comes from the tomb of the 19th Dynasty pharaoh Seti I. It was discovered in 1817 by Giovanni Belzoni, a flamboyant Italian Egyptologist – and former barber, circus performer, and hydrologist. Belzoni discovered the intricately carved coffin during his excavation of Tomb KV17 in ancient Thebes, now known as the Valley […]


Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Due to celebrate the 100th anniversary of moving to its current location next year, Cambridge University’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology has reopened to the public following a £1.8m transformation of its ground-floor galleries. Over 4,000 objects have been redisplayed during the 18-month redevelopment, many never shown in public before. New exhibition space houses ‘Gifts […]


Layard at Nimrud

On an overland ride from England to Ceylon in 1839, Austen Henry Layard became fascinated by the newly emerging archaeology of Mesopotomia (in modern Iraq).

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