Obituary: Klavs Randsborg (1944-2016)

Klavs Randsborg, Professor of World Archaeology in Copenhagen University, who died on 13 November aged 72 was one of the great figures in Scandinavian and world archaeology over the past half-century. Randsborg spent most of his academic life in Copenhagen University, but it was for the great breadth of his international research that he should […]


News: Ancient Sun Storms Illuminate the Past

Researchers have identified a new method of precisely dating key prehistoric events using traces left by violent solar storms on trees. A developing branch of astrochronology — the study of the chronology and periodicity of celestial bodies — the new method records the specific timing of solar storms caused by eruptions on the sun’s surface.  When these […]

Missing copies

Missing any copies of CWA?

If you’ve got gaps in your collection of Current World Archaeology, some of our subscribers may be able to help: A subscriber in East Sussex is offering a complete set of CWA from issue 1 to 90. There is no charge for the magazines, but any takers will either pay postage or arrange collection. A subscriber is offering several […]

european commission

New proposals to protect European cultural heritage

New measures to strengthen the protection of cultural heritage within the European Union, and to make it easier to repatriate trafficked artefacts to Member States, are to be discussed by the European Commission. Proposed by EC Vice President Antonio Tajani, the initiative includes expanding the definition of cultural goods to encompass all ‘national treasures of […]

Early Hominin Ear Ossicles 300dpi

Ear fossils and human evolution

Ancient ear bones show how our earliest ancestors evolved, say researchers from Binghamton University and Texas A&M University, USA. The incus, stapes, and malleus are tiny and extremely fragile bones found in the inner ear and are notoriously difficult both to find and to analyse. However, fossilised examples dated to about 2 million years ago […]

Sophie Hay_Italy_Otricoli_Mausoleum in a storm_taken Nov 2012

CWA Photo of the Year Competition – results

CWA readers clearly are a talented bunch: we were overwhelmed by huge number and high quality of the entries for our first CWA photographic competition and giving our judge Adam Stanford, of Aerial-Cam, a truly difficult task in picking a winner. From Classical temples to remote Maya ruins, arty shots to scientific documentation, artefacts to […]


Finding Richard III

At a Leicester press conference on 4 February, experts announced that the human remains found beneath a city centre carpark last August are ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ those of Richard III. Addressing over 100 journalists from all over the world, the panel reported that the skeleton was that of an adult male, aged in his late […]


DNA detective work: identifying Richard III

Following questions about the validity of using a genetic sample from a modern day relative of Richard III to help identify his remains, Dr Turi King of the University of Leicester guides us through the process she used. I’m afraid I must start with a quick DNA primer! I promise to keep it short. Our DNA can […]

Figure 5B

Ancient arteries and ‘modern’ diseases

Hardening of the arteries is commonly associated with modern lifestyle choices, but newly-published research indicates that it affected people across the ancient world. Full-body CT scans of 137 adult mummies from ancient Egypt, Peru, southwest America (Ancestral Puebloans of the Archaic and Basketmaker II cultures), and the Aleutian Islands in Alaska (Unangan people), revealed that […]

Egyptian Blue is used in the 'Pond in a garden' fresco found in the tomb of Nebamun in Thebes.

Worlds oldest artificial pigment put to modern use

Egyptian blue, the world’s oldest artificial pigment, could be put to a range of modern uses from medical imaging devices to remote controls for televisions, newly-published research says. First produced 5,000 years ago by the ancient Egyptians, who called it hsbd-iryt (‘artificial lapis lazuli’), the bright blue pigment was highly-prized in Antiquity, used to decorate tombs, sculptures, […]


Archaeologists find a 1,600-year-old tumour containing teeth

Archaeologists examining the 1,600-year-old remains of a woman from Roman Spain have made a unique – if grisly – discovery: a calcified ovarian tumour containing four teeth and a piece of bone. Known as a ‘teratoma’,  the spherical mass measured 4.3cm (1.7in) in diameter and was found in the right-hand part of the woman’s pelvis by researchers […]

Ramses_III_mummy_head (1)

Ramesses III: unwrapping an ancient murder

Ramesses III was murdered in a palace coup led by his wife and son, archaeologists announced today (17 December). A number of ancient Egyptian documents, including the Judicial Papyrus of Turin, record an attempt on the 20th Dynasty pharaoh’s life in 1155 BC, the final year of his reign, and that the chief conspirators were […]

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