On the plain of Pasargadae, Cyrus the Great founded a spectacular garden palace. Nothing like it had ever been seen in the region before, raising questions about where the idea came from, how the garden was maintained, and where the inhabitants lived. Recently, an Iranian-French team went searching for answers.
Creating images in a changing world Today, it seems hard to imagine that the Sahara was once populated by people with large herds of domestic cattle. While the grasslands and lakes that were so important to these communities may be long gone, the images they etched onto stone still survive. This rock art tells the […]
How did cities come to flourish in the Negev Desert? George Nash has gone in search of Shivta’s former glory. The Negev Desert of southern Israel holds many secrets from the distant past. Its landscape and environment are no longer what they were during the Byzantine period, which roughly extended from the 5th century AD […]
Claims and counter-claims about a sculptural fragment held by the British Museum brought a touch of trepidation to a celebrity visit during excavations at Knidos, the Turkish city of Aphrodite, in 1971, as Richard Hodges remembers in this exclusive extract from his latest book. ‘Sir Mort’s coming. That’ll put the cat among the p-pigeons!’, Tim […]
Life and death in a 5th-century ringfort It is not unusual for archaeologists to find caches of artefacts stashed in the ground, but their owners rarely remain nearby. Excavations on the island of Öland are revealing traces of a ringfort’s violent end. Ludvig Papmehl-Dufay, Helena Victor, and Clara Alfsdotter explain what a community’s demise can […]
The deeds of royal dynasties presiding over Maya city-states in northern Guatemala can still be followed on ornate inscriptions raised in their name. But just how large were their dominions? Tom Garrison tells us how recent survey and follow-up fieldwork is revolutionising our knowledge of Maya state power.
A century ago, 250 soldiers were buried behind enemy lines in unmarked mass graves on the outskirts of the village of Fromelles in northern France. In 2009, a team from Oxford Archaeology was charged with recovering and helping to identify these men. In 2014, the report was published: Louise Loe told CWA about this remarkable – and unique – project.
As we set off down Philadelphia’s runway, the pilot drolly piped up to say, ‘at least we didn’t have to de-ice [the plane] today.’ A muted ripple of laughter passed through the serried ranks of seats as we set southwards and onwards into crystalline horizons with glimpses of shimmering coral reefs and long sandy beaches. […]
The decision to install a hydroelectric dam in the Göksu valley sparked a project to record its past, before the archaeology was submerged beneath rising water. Naoíse Mac Sweeney, Tevfik Emre Şerifoǧlu, Anna Collar, and Stuart Eve reveal the remarkable story of a region shaped by successive empires. What is our heritage worth? Should we […]
Some of the finest surviving remnants of the Roman Empire can be found in Algeria. But how easy are they to visit? Philip Kenrick is our guide. For the tourist who is interested in the Classical Mediterranean (encouraged not least by the warmth), several really interesting countries with stunning antiquities have in recent years ceased […]
The small size of the Cycladic island of Delos belies its significance in the ancient world, both as a major sanctuary and as a thriving port. According to myth, it was on this remote and rocky pocket of land in the Aegean that Leto, pregnant by Zeus and persecuted by his wife Hera, took refuge […]
What is it? This small Egyptian figure, carved out of red sandstone around 1800 BC, depicts a familiar mythical creature: the sphinx. It was perhaps a votive offering to the goddess Hathor; Egyptian hieroglyphs inscribed on the sphinx’s right shoulder read ‘beloved of Hathor, mistress of turquoise’. The nose is broken, the head has been […]