Paving the way

Excavations in southern Turkey have uncovered a huge Roman mosaic, suggesting that Imperial culture was more influential on the edge of the empire than previously thought. Decorated with large squares, each filled with a colourful geometric design, the mosaic was part of a baths, lying alongside a 25ft-long (7.5m) marble-lined pool, and is thought to […]


Germany: Saalburg

Our ideas about what a Roman fort should look like are being overturned, or at least being severely challenged, by recent reconstructions at the Roman fort of the Saalburg in Germany, as Andrew Selkirk reveals.


Sicily: Selinunte

The Temple of Hera at Selinunte is testament to the grandeur of this great Classical settlement. But it is just one of many on this sanctuary site. Now, Clemente Marconi and his team have uncovered one of the finest examples of Greek cult architecture and, next to it, one of the earliest to be discovered so far West – dedicated, they believe, to Hera’s sister Demeter.


CWA travels to: Oslo

Down on the quayside in front of Oslo’s fabulously functional City Hall, a small queue of tourists gather to catch the ferry that will take us to see some rather older boats – more than a thousand years older, in fact. As we scud across the steely waters of the fjord, past the forbidding walls […]


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 […]


Meet the Vikings: at the National Museum of Scotland

The stereotypical Viking of popular culture is a marauding raider in a horned helmet, but the archaeological record provides a much more nuanced view. Vikings!, a touring exhibition drawing on the collections of the Swedish History Museum in Stockholm, explores some of these ideas, showing the inhabitants of Medieval Scandinavia not just as warriors, but […]

Moll's Salt site in Tarragon,Cataluña, Spain. Credit: M. Vaquero et al.

Recycling in the Palaeolithic

Recycling is no modern concept: our ancestors were adept at putting old tools to new uses 13,000 years ago, archaeologists in Spain, have discovered.  In the first study of its kind, and published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, the archaeologists were able to take advantage of the unusually high number of re-worked burnt tools […]

The tooth, with its beeswax filling. Bernardini F, Tuniz C, Coppa A, Mancini L, Dreossi D, et al. (2012) Beeswax as Dental Filling on a Neolithic Human Tooth. PLoS ONE 7(9): e44904. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0044904

Neolithic dentists?

A 6,500-year-old tooth packed with beeswax could represent the earliest evidence of a dental filling, newly-published research has announced. Found in part of a human jaw excavated in a cave near Lonche, Slovenia, the tooth is a left canine, thought to have belonged to a man aged between 24 and 30. Research led by Federico […]


Roman wreck resurfaces

The well-preserved wreck of a 2,000-year-old Roman merchant ship carrying hundreds of clay amphorae has been found off the coast of Italy. Following a tip-off by fishermen who reported finding pottery fragments in their trawler nets (see CWA 54 for more on the impact of commercial fishing on underwater heritage), researchers from the Genoan Police […]


Roman town resurfaces

Archaeologists have mapped the entire streetplan of a lost Roman town, revealing that what was thought to be a sleepy backwater was in fact a thriving urban centre housing thousands of people. Interamna Lirenas was founded 50 miles south of Rome in the 4th century BC, but following its abandonment 1,500 years ago the colony […]


Heuneburg, Germany

Previously thought to be little more than hillfort, is this actually the first Iron Age city north of the Alps?


Breaking the mould

Excavations in Croatia have uncovered evidence of Palaeolithic artists who were modelling ceramic figurines at the end of the last Ice Age – thousands of years before the use of practical pots in the region. University of Cambridge/Vela Luka (Croatia) Centre for Culture investigations at Vela Spila, a large limestone cave in the central Dalmatian […]