Issue 56

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Book Review: Royal Cities of the Ancient Maya

Michael D Coe Thames and Hudson, £29.95 ISBN 978-0500970409 The 3rd to 13th centuries AD saw a great flourishing of Maya culture, marked by the construction of cities and temples of astonishing complexity and beauty. In this new publication, Michael D Coe, one of the foremost Mesoamericanists and Professor of Anthropology, Emeritus, at Yale University, […]

1295

Book Review: Bronze

Ed. David Ekserdjian Royal Academy of Arts, £27.95 (hardback £40) ISBN 978-1907533297 How do you put together an exhibition that covers all regions of the world and all periods in history? Ask David Ekserdjian, curator of Bronze at the Royal Academy. He wanted to explore the medium of bronze, a metal that has come to epitomise […]

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Book Review: The Fall of the Western Roman Empire: an archaeological and historical perspective

Neil Christie Bloomsbury, £19.99 ISBN 978-0340759660 Accompanied by a helpful series of maps, this overview of the decline of Roman influence in the West is an extremely readable introduction to a complex, much-debated part of history, weaving together the latest archaeological evidence with historical material. Christie’s comments on the great diversity of religious beliefs under the […]

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Book Review: How Ancient Europeans saw the World

Peter S Wells Princeton University Press, £24.95 ISBN 978-0691143385 As a professor of anthropology, Peter Wells’ interest in neuroscience and cognitive psychology brings a lot of interesting ideas to archaeology. Some might disagree with his rejection of the words ‘art’ and ‘artefact’ as too loaded with modern ‘mental baggage’, yet this bold approach is certainly […]

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Book Review: Pharaoh: King of Egypt

Margaret Maitland British Museum Press, £9.99 ISBN 978-0714119984 This small book takes on a huge subject: the role of the pharaoh as head of state, as divine intermediary to the gods, and as military leader. It is a concise, scholarly, yet highly accessible introduction to the subject that aims to ‘look beyond the pharaoh’s dazzling […]

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Book Review: Who was who in Egyptology?

Ed. Morris L Bierbrier Egypt Exploration Society, £35 The Egypt Exploration Society has updated their compendium of Egyptologists after a gap of nearly 20 years. Andrew Robinson puts this long-awaited edition to the test. More so than any other ancient civilisation, that of Egypt has been explored, collected, and studied by an amazing variety of […]

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Meet the Vikings: at the National Museum of Scotland

The stereotypical Viking of popular culture is a marauding raider in a horned helmet, but the archaeological record provides a much more nuanced view. Vikings!, a touring exhibition drawing on the collections of the Swedish History Museum in Stockholm, explores some of these ideas, showing the inhabitants of Medieval Scandinavia not just as warriors, but […]

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Yadin at Masada

The dig Ancient historian Josephus records a dramatic end to the Siege of Masada in AD 73. As the final act of the Jewish Revolt of AD 66-73 – the subject of Josephus’s Jewish War – the writer records the mass suicide of 960 men, women, and children. These hardline revolutionaries – the original Zealots […]

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