Africa

1276

Ancient Egyptian teething problems

High-resolution CT scans of an ancient Egyptian mummy have revealed that the young man suffered from terrible dental problems – and that he used a unique treatment to try to soothe his toothache. Aged in his 20s or early 30s, the man had a mouth full of cavities and abscesses that would have caused him […]

1275

Egypt’s lonely princess

Excavations at Abusir, south of Cairo, have identified the 4,500-year-old tomb of an ancient Egyptian princess called Sheretnebty. More than a mile from the burials of the rest of her dynasty, she had been laid to rest in a complex of rock-cut tombs, in a part of the site dedicated to the graves of non-royal […]

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Book Review: Pharaoh: King of Egypt

Margaret Maitland British Museum Press, £9.99 ISBN 978-0714119984 This small book takes on a huge subject: the role of the pharaoh as head of state, as divine intermediary to the gods, and as military leader. It is a concise, scholarly, yet highly accessible introduction to the subject that aims to ‘look beyond the pharaoh’s dazzling […]

1300

Book Review: Who was who in Egyptology?

Ed. Morris L Bierbrier Egypt Exploration Society, £35 The Egypt Exploration Society has updated their compendium of Egyptologists after a gap of nearly 20 years. Andrew Robinson puts this long-awaited edition to the test. More so than any other ancient civilisation, that of Egypt has been explored, collected, and studied by an amazing variety of […]

Approach to main entrance

Forts of the French Foreign Legion

Tales of the French Foreign Legion in the deserts of North Africa have fired the imagination of many an adventurous school boy. Richard Jeynes was one. Now, as a (grown-up) archaeologist, his investigation of an abandoned fort of the French colonial empire is bringing those stories to life.

1244

Facing the past

A fossilised face and two lower jaws excavated in Kenya may confirm that Homo erectus, our direct ancestor, coexisted with multiple species of early humans 2 million years ago. Palaeoanthropologists agree that both Homo erectus and Homo habilis inhabited East Africa during the Pleistocene epoch, but these new discoveries, published in Nature, could settle a […]

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Book review: The Pharaoh: life at court and on campaign

Garry J Shaw Thames & Hudson, £24.95 ISBN 978-0500051740   Garry Shaw’s guide to ancient Egyptian kingship is beautifully illustrated with colour photographs of sculpture, artefacts – including stunning royal regalia – and details of temples and palaces. From the role’s semi-mythological origins with Menes, the ‘first unifier of Egypt’, to its eventual extinguishing amid Roman conquest, […]

Amara west

Sudan: Amara West

What was life like under the shadow of the pharaohs? The realities of life and death under Egypt’s rule

1228

Namibia’s mandolins

‘Expect the unexpected’ is a good maxim for any archaeologist. But nothing could have prepared Terry Hardaker and his team for their spectacular find as they explored the ancient land surfaces in a remote part of western Namibia.

1217

Hard to swallow

While most of our early ancestors preferred to eat soft foods such as grass and sedge, Australopithecus sediba enjoyed more roughage, including tree bark and papyrus in their two million-year-old diet. Rich in protein and soluble sugars, bark and papyrus are eaten by many modern primates, but previous research into 81 other hominids had not […]

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