A strange statue standing guard near the Sistine Chapel in Rome intrigues travel writer Nigel McGilchrist. Could the Vatican be sitting on the site of an ancient Mithraic temple?
Crete is well-connected by ferry to a number of the islands that lie close by. So if you want to go somewhere really off the beaten track, here are a few suggestions: be prepared for very simple accommodation and a chance of adventure, however. If you take the Piraeus ferry north from Kisamos at the […]
Today the Forty Saints sits discreetly above the crowded bay of Saranda (Hagioi Saranta), in southern Albania, overshadowed by telephone aerials. Enter the arcing harbour and your eye is drawn to a melée of small boys plunging into the water, little sun-tanned minxes in an otherwise sleepy, almost dreamy, tourist town. Saranda’s ancient history, when […]
Thirty years ago my career took a memorable new turn. I had been trained in settlement archaeology and the theory and practice that this entailed. Much of this was controversial because I subscribed to the so-called New Archaeology championed by a generation of American archaeologists and emulated with some skill by the rising stars of […]
From the imposing stelae at Axum to the churches at Lalibela carved out of solid rock, Ethiopia has an incredibly rich heritage. Travel writer Judith Baker takes us on a journey through the North to discover more.
The Hijaz Railway was vital to Ottoman ambitions in the First World War. Armed with Royal Flying Corps plans, a camera, and a Jordanian army helicopter, John Winterburn has gone in search of the desert war.
Last summer, one day stands out above all others: my first trip to Gordion (ancient Gordium), a Turkish city associated with Midas, and the golden touch of a Penn professor, Rodney Young. From all I had heard, I assumed it would be arid and charmless. But archaeologists are the very worst travel-guides. Seldom, if ever, […]
To sail the Turkish Coast is to embark on an historical and archaeological adventure that spans over 3,000 years of history. It brings to life successive civilizations of Lycians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, and Ottomans, all of whom stamped their mark on this remarkable region. These great cultures have not only left beautiful and inspiring physical […]
I clearly remember the day in October 1957, when news swept through the Institute of Archaeology in London that Gordon Childe had died in distant Australia. I was in my first term, and Childe had only just retired from the directorship. His presence was still palpable in the many references to his reign and anecdotal […]
For years I have directed small armies of excavators through a project manager, so returning to the role of quartermaster (and co-director) was, to be truthful, both nostalgic and scary. I have always said an excavation runs on its food and accommodation. Rather like a well-honed army, fuel up the excavators, create an atmosphere of […]
A gentler, more verdant part of Italy is difficult to imagine. The river Asso is little more than a brook bisecting southern Tuscany before it runs into the deeper Orcia valley and winds its way towards the Tyrrhenian Sea. This is heavenly country, blissfully serene, and awash with vineyards that produce Brunello, a prince of […]
We live in a city-centric world. When we think of the scattered islands of the Aegean, we think of them as remote and peripheral, places of retreat where we can ‘get away from things’. To the Ancients it was not so. In the Bronze Age, the Islands and the sea-routes that linked them were the […]