Issue 80

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Lapa do Santo: Decapitation and ritual in ‘the Saint’s rock shelter’

Inside Lapa do Santo, excavations are revealing the complex burial practices of an early Archaic community. André Strauss tells CWA about the grisly finds. Body mutilation, decapitation, defleshing, and possible cannibalism: these chilling descriptions seem more appropriate for a serial killer’s to-do list than for an archaeological project report. But as queasy as they might […]

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Object Lesson: Trundholm Sun Chariot

What is it? This unique Nordic bronze piece was discovered in Denmark and dates to the Early Bronze Age, c.1400 BC. It illustrates the eternal journey of the sun, as depicted by a divine horse pulling an ornate golden disc, all on rotating wheels. The Sun Chariot is 54cm long, and the sun disc, which […]

BookReviews

CWA 80 Book Reviews

Nicholas Bartos reviews some of the latest archaeological books. The Silk Roads: A New History of the World by Peter Frankopan Describing Peter Frankopan’s monumental 656-page work as ‘ambitious’ may be an understatement: he sets out, in no uncertain terms, to fundamentally reorient the axis of world history to the east, right along the crooked spine […]

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Travel: Pyramids of the Peloponnese, Greece

Eric Cauchi investigates mysterious ancient remains that have puzzled travellers and scholars for millennia. Greece, birthplace of the Olympics and mythical home of the gods, is known for its spectacular temples, its exquisite Classical statues, and its jewel-like islands with sandy beaches. But pyramids? That’s Egypt, surely. Think again. In the eastern Peloponnese of southern […]

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An Etruscan puzzle: Investigating the monumental tomb of Grotte Scalina

This highly unusual Etruscan tomb is linked to the Macedonian court of Alexander the Great and, a millennium later, proved a magnet for medieval pilgrims. But does it have one last secret to reveal? Vincent Jolivet and Edwige Lovergne investigate. Tarquinia, about 100km north of Rome in the Lazio region of Italy, was one of […]

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Book Review – The German Ocean: Medieval Europe around the North Sea

  In the full flush of Brexit, Brian Ayers’ new book makes for compelling reading. Re-reading the results of countless excavations over the past 50 years and their 11th to 16th century meaning, Ayers concludes: ‘It is a maritime region where the seas bind communities together rather than dividing them’, the archaeology thus gives ‘timely […]

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Travel: Pompeii

Lorenza Bacino explores an ancient city being restored by modern technology, taking a tour through Pompeii in the company of Professor Massimo Osanna, director of the Pompeii Project, and meeting some former inhabitants with forensic archaeologist Estelle Lazer. Walking along the cobbled roads, it is easy to imagine Pompeii as a thriving, bustling town in […]

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The Caspian Gates

The ‘Gates’ at Dariali Gorge, set amid the spectacular mountain scenery of modern Georgia, was a place of legend. It features in a wider range of ancient and medieval sources than any other mountain pass, yet it has long been ignored by archaeologists. Dariali Gorge was a place of legend. It was in the dramatic […]

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CWA 80

Crossing the Caucasus, Europe’s highest mountain range, is not for the faint-hearted, and nowhere is so bleak and so inhospitable as Dariali Gorge. It is here, legend tells, that Prometheus endured his cyclical punishment for stealing fire from the gods. And through here the Huns forced their way south to plunder the riches of the […]

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News: Ancient Sun Storms Illuminate the Past

Researchers have identified a new method of precisely dating key prehistoric events using traces left by violent solar storms on trees. A developing branch of astrochronology — the study of the chronology and periodicity of celestial bodies — the new method records the specific timing of solar storms caused by eruptions on the sun’s surface.  When these […]

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