Issue 82

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Sir John Soane’s Museum

CWA tours a London secret. Sir John Soane (1753-1837) was one of England’s most innovative architects, an esteemed professor at the Royal Academy, and the principal designer of the Bank of England. He was also a wildly eccentric enthusiast of the ancient Mediterranean, converting his London home into an architectural laboratory, an educational studio, and […]

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Neil Faulkner considers the Pyramids and alternative facts

Apparently, we now live in a ‘post-fact’ world. The new American president denounces the truth as ‘fake news’. A leading White House spokesperson rejects the truth in favour of ‘alternative facts’. Veteran Middle East journalist Robert Fisk has argued that there is nothing new here: what is happening is called ‘lying’, and politicians have always […]

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Book Review: The Fifth Beginning

Brian Fagan reviews Robert L Kelly’s new book to discover ‘what six million years of human history can tell us about our future’. Robert Kelly is an eminent North American archaeologist and an accomplished author. He modestly calls himself a ‘dirt archaeologist’, but his learning is formidable and his perspective truly global. The Fifth Beginning is […]

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Travel: Thasos

With guidebook in hand, Martin Davies explores the untrammelled heritage of an idyllic Greek island. I first came across Thasos as a schoolboy reading Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar: it was one of those exotic, magical names that sprinkle the Bard’s works and stir the imagination. Lying just off the coast of Macedonia in the Aegean, the island of […]

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Circles of mystery: Strange ancient earthworks in Brazil’s Amazonian rainforest

Hundreds of enigmatic earthworks lay hidden for millennia beneath what was thought to be virgin rainforest. Who built them, and why? In searching for answers, Jennifer Watling discovered how ancient human activity holds the clues for future forest-management. The discovery in recent years of mysterious circular earthworks in western Amazonia is one of the most […]

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Special Report: Curious Travellers

Preserving endangered heritage across the world.   Heritage is about more than monuments. It is also about people: how they interacted with the buildings in daily life and how their sense of belonging has shaped them. This is why organisations such as UNESCO were established to protect the world’s cultural heritage from damage through natural […]

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Travel: The Yucatán

Richard Hodges visits sites in the shadow of Chichén Itzá. Hotels, at their best, resemble oases in a desert. Mayaland – nestling in the shadow of Chichén Itzá, one of the New World’s Seven Wonders – is just such a place. Its civility and graciousness are rooted in the Carnegie expeditions to this Maya metropolis, […]

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Secrets of the dolmens: Discovering lost masterpieces by ancient artists of the Iberian Peninsula

Rock-art specialists George Nash and Sara Garcês reveal spectacular prehistoric paintings hidden in the burial chambers of central-north Portugal. Thousands of late prehistoric burial-ritual sites litter the Atlantic façade of Europe, most dating to the 5th millennium BC, when first Neolithic and then Bronze Age pastoralists tended the fertile plains and valleys. These societies were […]

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Byzantine Ephesus: Life in the city after Empire

The grand architectural monuments of Ephesus attest to its glory days as a sophisticated metropolis of the Roman Empire. But what happened when the Empire ended in the 4th century AD? Following recent excavation, Sabine Ladstätter and Michaela Binder reveal new evidence of life in the city during the turbulent days of Byzantine rule. Visitors […]

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CWA 82

At Pylos in Greece, archaeologists have uncovered that increasingly rare phenomenon: an untouched Bronze Age burial, replete with rich grave goods. But this Mycenaean princely tomb, discovered next to the Palace of Nestor, is causing a stir for another reason: many of the beautiful high-status burial gifts reflect the Minoan culture of the island of […]

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CWA Photo of the Year Competition 2017 – Winners Announced

Congratulations to all you talented readers of Current World Archaeology who entered the CWA Photo Competition 2017, and who made the job of our judge Adam Stanford of Aerial-cam so especially difficult this year! We were sent photographs from every continent across the globe, recording expeditions, excavations, and escapades that revealed our rich archaeological heritage, […]

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New Book Reviews in CWA 82

The Spartan Regime: Its Character, Origins, and Grand Strategy by Paul A Rahe Rahe is a distinguished history professor, and after a lifetime of studies has produced the first of three books to unravel the problems of Sparta. The trouble is, he is no archaeologist, and consequently he is far too kind in his analysis. The […]

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