Asia

1050

New Dates for Neanderthal Extinction

Researchers at the University of Oxford and at University College Cork, in Ireland, have dated a Neanderthal fossil discovered in a significant cave site in Russia in the northern Caucasus, and found it to be 10,000 years older than previous research had suggested. The research centres on Mezmaiskaya Cave, a key site in the northern […]

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Book Review: The Marshall Albums: Photography and Archaeology

Much of the Indus Valley civilisation was revealed to the world on Sir John Marshall’s watch as director general of the Archaeological Survey of India. This extraordinary time was captured on film, and the images have recently been published in a new book. Andrew Robinson takes a look.

1048

Peking Man

Peking Man represents the spread of a new species of hominid, Homo erectus, in an earlier ‘Out of Africa’ migration beginning about a million years ago

1023

Taming China’s Wild Frontier

China’s Han Empire was brought to its knees by powerful nomadic tribes. But just when defeat seemed inevitable, an ingenious new approach to frontier security was attempted. Arnaud Bertrand reveals new research into the origins of the Great Wall in the west.

1013

Siberian island mystery solved

Recent excavations have shown Medieval ruins in the Russian republic of Tuva were monastic and reminiscent of China’s ‘Forbidden City’. Por-Bajin – meaning Clay House – sits on a small island in the centre of a remote lake in the Shojgu’s native Russian republic of Tuva, high in the mountains of southern Siberia and 32km […]

1002

Ancient Afghanistan revealed

The British Museum has just launched a major exhibition on Afghanistan. In a world exclusive, curator St John Simpson reveals the inside story of troubles surmounted, relationships forged, and treasures relocated.

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Banteay Chhmar

The sprawling city at Angkor covered, at its peak, an astonishing 1,000km², and formed the heart of a Khmer Empire which spread across present day Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand. Banteay Chhmar is one of the crowning glories of King Jayavarman VII’s reign (AD 1181-c.1219). But this magnificent Khmer temple, an architectural tour de force, lies crumbling in forest near the Cambodian border. John Sanday and the Global Heritage Fund must overcome more than just neglect to save this site for posterity.

1008

Jordan: Flying the line

The Hijaz Railway was vital to Ottoman ambitions in the First World War. Armed with Royal Flying Corps plans, a camera, and a Jordanian army helicopter, John Winterburn has gone in search of the desert war.

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Persian Gulf: the first migration?

The shallow waters of the inland sea known as the Persian Gulf might well hold the evidence of the earliest human migrations out of Africa, says Jeffrey Rose, an archaeologist and researcher with the UK’s University of Birmingham. In a paper called ‘New Light on Human Prehistory in the Arabo-Persian Gulf Oasis’, published in Current […]

982

Southern India’s Rock Art Riches

Northern and central India are renowned for their vast amount of rock art of global significance; now an international team has demonstrated that southern India is as rich in art, dating from at least 10,000 years ago. Rock-art specialist Paul Taçon, of Australia’s Griffith University, has published some 60 new rock-art sites in the journal […]

984

Paradise lost and found

Researchers at Tel Aviv University have uncovered an ancient royal garden at the site of Ramat Rachel, in the Judean Hills, some two miles from the Old City of Jerusalem. The site dates back to the 7th century BC, and is remarkable for its intricate irrigation system. Features include open channels and closed tunnels, stone […]

998

Crossroads of the Ancient World

In 1978, a year before the Soviets foolishly decided to invade Afghanistan, a team of Russian and Afghan archaeologists were excavating a site called Tillya Tepe – literally ‘Hill of Gold’ – high in the Afghan mountains. The site is actually a tell, into the top of which were dug six different burials: as the […]

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