Greece

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Birdmen of Koutroulou Magoula

Archaeologists have uncovered more than 300 clay figurines depicting male and female forms, as well as human-bird hybrids, at Koutroulou Magoula, a Neolithic settlement in central Greece. Ranging from 3-4cm to 10-12cm in length (about 1-4.5in), the models were scattered all over the 4ha site (nearly 10 acres), with some recovered from the foundations of […]

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Richard Hodges travels to: Aegina

As the aeroplane circled to land at Athens international airport, I half expected to see a riot on the runway. The hysteria in the press immediately after the first failed spring election in Greece seemed to be paving the way for the end of the world as we have known it. Six months earlier, I […]

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Book Review: Power Games: ritual and rivalry at the Ancient Greek Olympics

David Stuttard British Museum Press, £9.99 ISBN 978-0714122724 They had come to the hilltop to make sacrifice. Now, on this day of days when the world was balanced between light and darkness, the king-priests of Elis had climbed the wooded slopes above Olympia to make their offerings to Kronos, one of the most primeval and […]

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Book Review: The Complete Archaeology of Greece

John Bintliff Wiley-Blackwell, £29.00 ISBN 978-1405154192 John Bintliff, a lecturer and archaeologist, has produced a panoramic labour of love that illuminates the development of Greek culture and its central role in the birth of modern civilisation. This ambitious but readable compendium covers a period beginning 400,000 ago and running up to the early 20th century. […]

Greece History and Cultuer

App Review: Greece: History and Culture

Review by Dexter Findley This impressive app, Greece: History and Culture, acts as a virtual encyclopedia for Greece’s past, from its most recent early 20th century troubles right back to the far-distant Palaeolithic era. Users will find a wealth of information on time periods, places and events, accessible through many intuitive points of entry. The […]

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Richard Hodges travels to: Rhodes

As we crossed from Marmaris to Rhodes, the hydrofoil skimming through the hammered blue seas, my thoughts turned to one of my favourite books, Lawrence Durrell’s Reflections on a Marine Venus. Few writers are better at capturing the magic of the Mediterranean than Durrell, who was born a century ago this year. Here is a […]

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CWA travels to: Thera

On the letters page of CWA 52, Martin Davie asked for more information about Thera. Well, Martin, I may just be able to help. As many of you will know, I am devoting my semi-retirement from Current Archaeology to writing a History of the World – well, isn’t that what everyone does in their retirement? – […]

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Ancient Olympics: Sex, Sport, and Sacrifice

Forget London 2012. What about Olympia in 388 BC? Archaeologist Neil Faulkner has just published a new book that attempts to reconstruct the lived experience of the ancient games. So what were they really like?

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Greece: Pella

Following his articles on the tomb of Philip II and the ceremonial centre at Vergina, Andrew Selkirk now investigates Pella, the commercial capital.

Aegae

Aegae: Capital of Macedonian Kings

In 1855, the young French archaeologist Léon Heuzey found the remains of a magnificent palace, concealed under a ruined chapel. The village nearby was called Palatitsia, a name that hints at its former regal glory. Could this be the palace of the ancient Macedonian kings? In issue #50 Andrew Selkirk told the story of how the tomb of Philip II of Macedon – father to Alexander the Great – was discovered here. Now, he returns to examine the rest of the site and shares its secrets with us.

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Knossos

Results of the excavations at Knossos surpassed all expectations. Evans revealed a vast palace complex of Middle Bronze Age date , 1300 rooms connected by a network of corridors…

Hydria and wreath, copyright Vergina Museum

Vergina: Discovering a king’s tomb

Taking a bulldozer to open an ancient monument is not usually recommended. But, in 1977, that is exactly what Manolis Andronikos did. After considerable debate, he had come to the conclusion that the Great Mound at Vergina was actually the site of Aegae, the religious capital of Macedonia where Philip II, father of Alexander the […]

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