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 […]
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 […]
An undisturbed tomb in the Valley of the Kings reveals its 3,000-year-old secret
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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, […]
What was life like under the shadow of the pharaohs? The realities of life and death under Egypt’s rule
‘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.
Michaela Binder discovers what the dead can tell us about living.
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 […]