Issue 96

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Travel: Secrets from the Byzantine city of Shivta

How did cities come to flourish in the Negev Desert? George Nash has gone in search of Shivta’s former glory. The Negev Desert of southern Israel holds many secrets from the distant past. Its landscape and environment are no longer what they were during the Byzantine period, which roughly extended from the 5th century AD […]

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Richard Hodges: In the city of Aphrodite

Claims and counter-claims about a sculptural fragment held by the British Museum brought a touch of trepidation to a celebrity visit during excavations at Knidos, the Turkish city of Aphrodite, in 1971, as Richard Hodges remembers in this exclusive extract from his latest book. ‘Sir Mort’s coming. That’ll put the cat among the p-pigeons!’, Tim […]

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Object Lesson: Scutum

What is it? This mid 3rd century AD semi-cylindrical shield is known as a scutum and was used by legionary soldiers of the Roman Empire. Constructed of thin strips of wood glued together in layers to create a plywood board, the surface is covered with red-dyed hide or parchment. The round opening in the centre […]

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The Sandby borg massacre

Life and death in a 5th-century ringfort It is not unusual for archaeologists to find caches of artefacts stashed in the ground, but their owners rarely remain nearby. Excavations on the island of Öland are revealing traces of a ringfort’s violent end. Ludvig Papmehl-Dufay, Helena Victor, and Clara Alfsdotter explain what a community’s demise can […]

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Mapping the Maya

The deeds of royal dynasties presiding over Maya city-states in northern Guatemala can still be followed on ornate inscriptions raised in their name. But just how large were their dominions? Tom Garrison tells us how recent survey and follow-up fieldwork is revolutionising our knowledge of Maya state power.

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CWA 96 – now on sale

The Guatemalan rainforest has kept its secrets well. Maya monuments like the world-famous pyramids at Tikal may seem hard to miss, but until recently surveying the dense jungle posed a formidable challenge. Now extensive aerial survey using lasers to strip away the foliage virtually has revealed just how much escaped detection. Tikal has gained two […]

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