Africa

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Travel: Roman Algeria

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 […]

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Object Lesson: Serabit Sphinx

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 […]

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The Valley of the Kings revisited

It may be the royal tombs that spring to mind when we think of the Valley of the Kings, but you did not have to be pharaoh to secure space in the cemetery. More modest tombs exist in greater numbers, although the identity of many of their occupants remains a mystery. Donald P Ryan has been investigating.

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Travel: The many lives of Luxor temple

How did an Egyptian pharaoh rejuvenate after a demanding year? The annual Opet festival at Luxor was dedicated to renewing the semi-divine ruler’s lifeforce, but mortals will also benefit from a visit to the temple, as Matthew Symonds reveals. When it came to keeping up with the neighbours, Luxor temple never really stood a chance. […]

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Travel: Africa Vetus

Caitlin McCall explores Roman remains in the land of Dido, Hannibal, and Caesar. Tunisia, with its glorious sandy beaches wedged between Algeria and Libya on the north coast of Africa, covers an area roughly two-thirds the size of the UK, but with just one-sixth its population. Such a ratio of land to people means that, […]

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Forgotten kingdom: Searching for lost royalty from the days of the Aksumite Empire

In 2015, CWA reported on the discovery by Louise Schofield of the remarkable grave of a young woman she nicknamed ‘Sleeping Beauty’. Now further excavation in in Ethiopia’s Tigray Province has revealed that ‘Beauty’ was not alone – and nearby remains, assumed to be a fort, are looking suspiciously like those of a royal residence. […]

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Neil Faulkner considers the Pyramids and alternative facts

Apparently, we now live in a ‘post-fact’ world. The new American president denounces the truth as ‘fake news’. A leading White House spokesperson rejects the truth in favour of ‘alternative facts’. Veteran Middle East journalist Robert Fisk has argued that there is nothing new here: what is happening is called ‘lying’, and politicians have always […]

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NEWS: The Exotic Libations of Ancient Ghana

Forensic analyses of the hollow cavities inside pre-colonial terracotta figurines from Koma Land, northern Ghana have revealed the exotic contents of libations poured inside them during traditional West African rituals. Researchers from University of Manchester tested the biological contents of a series of terracotta forms which date to the 6th-14th centuries AD. Using swabs and a magnetic extraction […]

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Travel: Tunisia with Mr. Mosaic

Richard Hodges looks at the life and work of renowned conservator Roberto Nardi, en route to the Bardo Museum.   Speaking in Oslo’s City Hall after his election as winner of the EU and Europa Nostra prize for cultural heritage for 2015, Roberto Nardi explained that he was amazed to be paid for doing what […]

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Scanning the Pharaohs

The results of cutting-edge CT imaging on Ramesses III, Hatshepsut, Tutankhamen, and a host of other New Kingdom mummies are revealed in a gripping new book by Zahi Hawass and Sahar Saleem.   Scanning the Pharaohs: CT Imaging of the New Kingdom Royal Mummies is the latest page-turner from Zahi Hawass, former Egyptian minister of […]

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Before Aksum: Excavating Ethiopia’s Earliest Civilisation

In the 1st millennium AD, Ethiopia was home to the great civilisation of Aksum, one of the world’s first Christian kingdoms. But what came before Aksum? A joint Ethiopian-German project near Wuqro in the Tigray highlands is uncovering unprecedented finds and revealing a fascinating picture, as Steven Matthews and Saskia Büchner explain. The mighty civilisation of Aksum, […]

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Richard Hodges travels to… Morocco

At Christmas time, the sky in Morocco appears infinite and unchangingly serene, a natural partner of this expansive landscape. Sheltered by this sky, the Moroccans are gentle and surprisingly calm. Worlds away from the rhythm of the Mediterranean, this north-west corner of Africa, once the ancient Roman province of Mauretania, boasts three great Classical sites, […]

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