Issue 89

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Travel: Vela Spila

The millennia-long story of a Croatian cave Magnificent Vela Spila overlooks the town of Vela Luka, which spreads around an L-shaped bay on the island of Korčula on Croatia’s Dalmatian coast. The imposing cavern yawns to accept the visitor down into its depths, where archaeologists from the EUH2020-funded Mend the Gap project have been finding […]

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Travel: Ancient Rome’s first responders

Richard Hodges investigates pestilence and climate chaos in the eternal city The trams rumbling along the Viale Trastevere wake me. The bell announcing morning prayers at San Crisogono tolls a little later. From my terrace, I can see the Ponte Garibaldi and the many roofs stretching away to the distant onion dome of Sant’Andrea della […]

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Palace of the Maya Time Lords

Discovering two royal tombs at El Perú-Waka’ Excavations at the Maya city of Waka’ in Guatemala revealed a stone gallery buried within the palace acropolis. Inside its rooms were relics that told the extraordinary story of its construction, destruction, and reuse as a chamber for subterranean fire rituals. David Freidel, Griselda Pérez Robles, and Juan […]

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Object lesson: the Pylos Combat Agate

What is it? This masterpiece in miniature is an engraved agate sealstone, measuring only 3.6cm in length. Carved with exceptional skill onto its hardstone surface is a combat scene with such fine details (some barely visible through the veining of the agate) that they can only be seen properly with photomicroscopy or a close-up camera […]

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CWA 89

Excavations are exposing the insatiable appetite for self-promotion displayed by the owner of a modest late Roman villa estate at Gerace, Sicily. There, Philippianus delighted in having his monogram stamped on tiles and even included it in his bathhouse decor. Was he aping contemporary elite fashion in Rome? Our cover feature explores how fieldwork is […]

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