Issue 84

Scythian Warriors

The Scythians: discovering the nomad-warriors of Siberia

The Greeks called them Scythians, the Assyrians and Achaemenid Persians called them Saka. We know them only through their lavish funeral remains. Ahead of a major exhibition at the British Museum, St John Simpson unravels the fascinating story of this mysterious people.

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Travel: Molise, Italy

Searching for Samnites in the ‘Region of Little Cities’   Surprisingly few people have heard of Molise. Yet this is one of the most beautiful and the most historically engaging areas of Italy. Emerging from the road-tunnel that leads into the region, you get the impression you are entering a forgotten world – and in […]

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Object Lesson: The Phaistos Disc

What is it? This enigmatic fired-clay disc, dating to around 1700-1600 BC, was discovered in the palace of Phaistos on the Greek island of Crete. It is 16.5cm in diameter, 2.1cm thick, and its two faces bear 45 different pictographic signs – a total of 241 symbols – spiralling from the edge to the centre […]

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CWA 84

The first anyone knew of the Scythians was when exquisite gold ornaments started to turn up around the Black Sea region in the 18th century. Our knowledge of these forgotten nomads has grown significantly in the last few decades, and here, ahead of a major exhibition at the British Museum, we reveal the latest on […]