Issues

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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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Travel: Istanbul

Lucia Marchini explores sacred sites in the sultan’s city. The year AD 532 was an eventful one in the history of Constantinople, and one it is still easy to revisit through some of the sites in the modern city of Istanbul. Spurred on by the rival charioteering factions the Blues and the Greens, fierce riots […]

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Richard Hodges travels to the Peloponnese

Seeking a Byzantine rebirth All Greece is absorbing and rewarding. There is hardly a rock or stream without a battle or a myth, a miracle or a peasant anecdote or a superstition; and talk and incident, nearly all of it odd or memorable, thicken round the traveller’s path at every step. Patrick Leigh Fermor, Mani, […]

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Excavating a Phoenician shipwreck off the coast of Gozo, Malta

The Phoenicians occupied the coast of the Levant for over 1,000 years, but knowledge of their trade network and practices remains elusive. In 2007, an ancient wreck containing a large cache of ceramic containers was discovered off Malta. This ship proved to be one of only a handful of known Phoenician vessels. Since 2014, further […]

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CWA Photo of the Year Competition 2018 – Winners Announced

Once again, we were blown away by the exceptional range and quality of the images submitted to the CWA Photo Competition 2018. From small finds to mighty monuments, the entries reflected the full diversity of our global heritage. With so much talent on show, we handed over the difficult task of selecting a winning image […]

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National Archaeological Museum of Paestum

Fifty years ago, in June 1968, archaeologist Mario Napoli uncovered a beautifully painted tomb in a small necropolis just south of Paestum, the ancient Greek colony Poseidonia in southern Italy. It is known as the Tomb of the Diver thanks to the unique depiction on its plaster and limestone lid of a solitary young man, […]

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Object lesson: the sundial of Marcus Novius Tubula

What is it? This is a Roman stone sundial, a timekeeping device that had become quite common in the Roman world from the 2nd century BC onwards. Carved out of a limestone block (54cm × 35cm × 25cm), the sundial is engraved with 11 hour-lines (demarcating the 12 horae of daylight) intersecting three day-curves (giving […]

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Army of the dead

Around 8,000 life-size terracotta warriors and horses were created in battle formation to protect the burial place of China’s first emperor. But what can modern technology reveal about these faithful soldiers?

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CWA 88

It sounds more like Hollywood than archaeology: thousands of life-size sculpted soldiers, brandishing real weapons and faithfully guarding an emperor’s tomb for millennia. Yet the terracotta warriors are no special effect. These soldiers are believed to have been individually crafted, capturing an army on the cusp of the Bronze and Iron Ages. The resources and […]

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Hope through heritage

Before September, the people in this picture had never picked up a chisel. Now, only a few months into World Monument Fund’s conservation stonemasonry training programme, they can carve arabesques for zakhrafa jambs, prepare rectangular billet mouldings, or work an ovolo return. Not yet perfect maybe, but still astonishing progress, made more remarkable still given […]

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