World

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New finds from Pompeii

Excavating Regio V and Civita Giuliana Discoveries continue at Pompeii as more electoral inscriptions, fine frescoes, and victims of the eruption of Vesuvius are unearthed, offering snapshots of public and private life in the Roman city. We take a look at some of the finds so far. In Pompeii’s Regio V, a large-scale excavation is […]

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Review: Greece in the Ancient World

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 […]

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Review: China – visions through the ages

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 […]

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Travel: Vela Spila

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 […]

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Travel: Ancient Rome’s first responders

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 […]

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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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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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Bacchus Uncovered: Ancient God of Ecstasy

In 1640, a bronze tablet was discovered during construction work on a palace in Tiriolo, southern Italy. Dating from 186 BC, it records a decree issued by the Roman senate strictly regulating the cult of Bacchus, which it seems had gotten too big for its boots. But despite its ostensible threat to authority, worship of […]

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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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