Europe

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Travel: Barcino

It is one of the delights of visiting new places that you sometimes find an entirely unexpected archaeological site, which gives you an insight that is entirely new. And this is what happened when Andrew Selkirk visited Barcelona and discovered that there is, in fact, a Roman Barcelona. Barcelona is not normally considered to be […]

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Richard Hodges: Lascaux IV

It is a country of enchantment which poets have staked out and which they alone may lay claim to. It is nearest thing to Paradise this side of Greece… I believe that the Cro-Magnon man settled here because he was extremely intelligent and had a highly developed sense of beauty. Henry Miller, The Colossus of […]

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Into the daylight: a new rock art discovery

Portugal’s Côa Valley contains Europe’s greatest collection of open-air Ice Age images. Across 17km, there are currently more than 530 known panels bearing several thousand figures. A major new discovery there is of particular importance, as Thierry Aubry, António Fernando Barbosa, Luís Luís, André Santos, and Marcelo Silvestre explain. The discovery of paintings in the […]

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Review: National Museum of Denmark

Now housed in the Prince’s Palace in Copenhagen, the National Museum of Denmark has one of the oldest established collections of prehistoric artefacts in the world. It dates back to King Frederik VI, who set up Den Kongelige Commission til Oldsagers Opbevaring (The Royal Commission for the Preservation of Antiquities) in 1807. One early secretary […]

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Richard Hodges: Zeugma’s last secret

Zeugma – now a name to conjure with. Site of a bridge across the Euphrates, connecting the Mediterranean to Persia and, by way of the Silk Road, inland Asia. For those in the know, this Roman town possessed mosaics equal to those at ancient Antioch’s mosaic museum and in the Bardo Museum in Tunis. Unlike […]

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The bear necessities

Fragments of ivory found in a German cave on the eve of war have been reconstructed to create a magnificent ‘Lion Man’. This figure has been feted as the earliest representation of a god, and a representation of shamanic beliefs, but how secure are these interpretations?

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Investigating a pre-Roman oil press

Excavations near Ferrandina in southern Italy, an area rich in sites dating from the Iron Age to the Lucanian period (8th-3rd century BC), have been investigating an ancient olive oil press identified during preventative archaeological work in 2007. Led by Maria Chiara Monaco, Antonio Pecci, and Fabio Donnici from the Università degli Studi della Basilicata, […]

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Sardinian splendours

CWA explores standout ancient sites in the north-west of the Mediterranean island. In the middle of an open plain, a magnificent structure stands out against the blue sky, dominating the flat green fields that surround it. With a long ramp leading up to a tiered, truncated pyramid, this prehistoric monument has been likened to a […]

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The gods of Palermo: the Antonino Salinas Museum

Oliver Gilkes explores a recently refurbished Sicilian museum. Sicily plays host to an unprecedented variety of archaeological sites and monuments, set in an extraordinary medley of landscapes. Combine this with Sicilian panache at cookery (very different from mainland Italy) and its wines, and a visit is a must for enthusiasts of Mediterranean archaeology. Superb museums […]

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Object Lesson: Venus of Renancourt

What is it? This statuette, dating from around 21,000 BC, has the familiar form of a Palaeolithic ‘Venus’ figurine. Carved out of chalk and standing to a height of 4cm, the female figure has the prominent, fleshy thighs, buttocks, and breasts typical of these works from a late phase of the Gravettian culture (28,000-22,000 years […]

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Trojan War: the archaeology of a story

The archaeological legacy of the Trojan war is immense. Key scenes from the conflict and its aftermath play out across ancient sarcophagi, wall paintings, and even fine tableware. Yet there is a strong chance that none of these events ever really happened. How did this story become so important in the Greek, Roman, and medieval worlds?

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