One of the first civilisations to be converted to Christanity: but what was there before Christanity?…
It has now been a year since we launched Current World Archaeology. It has been a very exciting year for all of us. Having spent 30 years editing one magazine, Current Archaeology, Andrew Selkirk has now been editing two. Added to this he has been jetting off around the world to find out what has really been going on, speaking to the experts so that he can relay the archaeology accurately. So far he has visited Jordan, Korea, Japan, Greece, Turkey, Thailand, Malta and Egypt, and he is hoping to visit Egypt again, the United States, and Yemen in the near future.
Nadia Durrani and Neil Faulkner have been writing more than ever for the magazine, including Aksum and Novgorod respectively in this issue, and those of you lucky enough to have booked the CWA Pompeii tour will be able to meet Nadia, while Neil will be on the CWA cruise for which you can find more details on page 34.
On a personal level I have just got married (sorry if the magazine is a week late!), and I am pleased to say that my wife, Libby, has decided to join the CWA team on the business side after 6 years as a senior manager at Centrica. We hope that after 30 years of being run as a family business by my parents, Andrew & Wendy, we can continue this tradition alongside them for many years to come.
But we also need your help! This issue we have included a survey to help us find out what you think of the magazine. I hope you will take the time to fill it in and mail it back to us - or even better, fill it in online at our website, www.archaeology.co.uk. We are really keen to hear your feedback!
The lead feature in this issue looks at Malta. It is now recognised that the temples on Malta are probably the oldest surviving temples in the world. But they were sometimes accompanied by huge underground burial chambers. At the Brochtorff Stone circle at Xaghra the second such 'hypogeum' has been discovered containing some of the oldest figured sculptures in the world.
Then there is a report on the latest discoveries at Novgorod, the Russian trading city where not only the remains of timber houses, but also wooden writing tablets have been discovered.
And you will enjoy our account of Aksum, in Ethiopia, the seat of one of the oldest Christian communities in the world. But what was the civilisation like before Christianity?