Heliopolis had the largest boundary of any Ancient Egyptian temple, but little of this extraordinary religious complex remains visible today. As the modern Cairo suburbs advanced ever deeper into the former home of the sun god Ra, a project was set up to record the archaeology of Heliopolis before it was too late.
According to Ancient Egyptian mythology, the world was created at Heliopolis. This significance was reflected in a temple complex that boasted the largest enclosure known in Egypt. Today, acts of creation at the site mostly concern new buildings springing up in the Cairo suburbs, while rescue excavations tease out traces of the temple before they […]
Greece in the Ancient World Jeremy McInerney Thames & Hudson, £35 ISBN 978-0500252260 Review by: Matthew Symonds The story of Greece from the Minoans to the arrival of the Romans is one of great powers rising and falling, trade networks flourishing and fading, and artistic highs set against the darker work of the arts of […]
Rethinking Prehistoric Central Asia: shepherds, farmers, and nomads Claudia Chang Routledge, £105 ISBN 978-1138737082 Review by: George Nash Until relatively recently, evidence for later prehistoric and protohistoric communities of Central Asia has been interpreted as representing a fragmented history, partly as a result of the geopolitics of the region (especially during the 20th century). From […]
Materialising Roman Histories Astrid Van Oyen and Martin Pitts (eds) Oxbow Books, £40 ISBN 978-1785706769 Review by: Matthew Fittock Your possessions can tell people a lot about who you are, but this only makes up a small part of what objects do and mean: all have hidden stories that have quietly shaped lives in ways that […]
Archaeology of the Night: life after dark in the ancient world Nancy Gonlin and April Nowell (eds) University Press of Colorado, $75 ISBN 978-1607326779 Review by: Lucia Marchini With easy access in modern homes to instant illumination and streetlights a common feature in the outside world, it can be difficult to relate to how people […]
China: visions through the ages Lisa C Niziolek, Deborah A Bekken, and Gary M Feinman (eds) University of Chicago Press, $45 ISBN 978-0226385372 People across China’s vast and diverse landscape have long been creating works in a range of materials, such as bronze, jade, porcelain, and paint, and the results of their handiwork can be […]
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 […]
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 […]
Few villas have been excavated in Sicily, but recent work at Gerace has revealed the name of the landowner from c.AD 350 to 400, one Philippianus. How much can archaeology tell us about him?
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 […]
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 […]