If there has ever been a historical figure readymade for a biographical documentary, it’s Gertrude Bell (1868-1926): archaeologist, explorer, spy, British political powerhouse, and the uncrowned ‘Queen of the Desert’. Hers is a story that requires no Hollywoodisation, and Letters from Baghdad lends almost none. In a bold approach, directors Sabine Krayenbühl and Zeva Oelbaum […]
Dubai is best known for its luxury shops and futuristic architecture. But this year the UAE is encouraging tourists to visit its ancient historical sites too. David Millar takes us on a tour. Dubai does such a good job of promoting its image as a destination of world-class shops and luxurious hotels that it […]
When Ed Keall first visited Iran, at the age of 24, little did he realise that he was about to embark on an archaeological venture – involving a Persian castle and a fire temple – that has now been 50 years in the making. In 1962, I took an adventurous trip to Iran to […]
The Great Arab Revolt Project With the CWA-backed Great Arab Revolt Project at an end after ten years’ work on the deserts of southern Jordan, we asked Co-director Neil Faulkner – also Editor of our sister magazine Military History Monthly – for some concluding thoughts In 2006, here in the pages of CWA, we […]
Today the ancient cities of Merv lie in a sleepy Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999. It is protected by the Turkmenistan Ministry of Culture, and since 2001 we have been working closely with them and their local park staff to support their management and conservation of this outstanding site. The standing earthen architecture at Merv […]
Frankincense and more The fragrant land of Oman, tucked away in the south-eastern corner of Arabia, is rich with glorious archaeology. But what are its highlights? David Millar is our guide. Imagine a country with a near-complete archaeological record from the time that humans first came ‘out of Africa’, with settlements and monuments as old […]
LiDAR – or Light Detection And Ranging – is a form of laser-scanning, initially used in meteorology. Over the past decade or so, archaeologists have begun routinely to use the technology, drawn to its ability to capture extraordinarily accurate, high-resolution, 3D data. It works by using light sensors to measure the distance between the sensor […]
Countdown to tragedy Tom St John Gray reviews Brent E Huffman’s award-winning documentary Saving Mes Aynak. Mes Aynak, a spectacular 2,000-year-old Buddhist city south of Kabul, Afghanistan, is facing total destruction. This sprawling 500,000m² complex of monasteries, temples, and hundreds of Buddha statues is hailed as one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of this century. […]
How often do you visit a rock-art site armed only with binoculars? You do at Bangudae, on South Korea’s east coast, and with good reason, as Brian Fagan discovered on a recent trip to the region.
Anna Faherty goes in search of the wide open spaces and ancient markers of Mongolia’s remote hinterland.
Prof Roger Matthews, Near Eastern Archaeology, University of Reading The study of the ancient Near East is inextricably linked with political developments in the modern Middle East. The past ten years have been a disruptive and difficult decade. CWA’s first issue appeared a few months after the US/UK-led invasion of Iraq, with the notorious looting […]
Simon Kaner, Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures One of the biggest stories of the past decade continues to be our enhanced understanding of one of the greatest technological developments of the ancient world: the invention of pottery (CWA 11 & 38). Calibrated AMS dating on carbonised remains on sherds from […]