Raising the roof

We are proud to share with you the first published photos of the House of the Telephus Relief at Herculaneum since archaeologists started their reconstruction of its wooden roof and completed studies of its decorated ceiling. The roof had been swept off by the force of the eruption when Vesuvius blew its top in AD […]


Malta: For the Summer Solstice at Mnajdra Temple

Half a dozen of us stood or crouched in the faint dawn light on either side of the great stone doorway, just inside the entrance to the main apse. The odd whispered comment was exchanged, a few words of explanation from our guide, but mostly we waited in silent anticipation, cameras at the ready. We […]


Re-dating Ice Age art

Do the outlines of hands in Spain’s El Castillo cave belong to Homo sapiens or to their earlier Neanderthal cousins?

Photo: Antonio Quattrone, Florence

Spilling the beans on BRONZE … coming soon to the Royal Academy

The Royal Academy is planning a spectacular and innovative new exhibition that will bring together an eclectic collection of bronze artefacts spanning the world and time. Simply called Bronze, it will display more than 150 rare and precious works of art, from the 14th century BC Trundholm Chariot of the Sun – on special loan […]


France: Barbegal watermills

When they were built in the 2nd century AD, the great watermills at Barbegal, in the South of France, were at the very cutting edge of technology. Their revolutionary design, says Wayne Lorenz, enabled the Roman Empire to flourish, and endured unchanged until the 20th century.


Turkey: Dascyleum

The unstoppable Persian king, Cyrus the Great, powered through Anatolia, conquering all in his path. In 547 BC, he defeated Croesus, the legendary Lydian king of ‘rich as Croesus’ fame. The new empire was divided into regional satrapies; the capital of one was Dascyleum, where recent excavations led by Kaan İren tell the story of that fiery onslaught and subsequent settlement.


Turkey: The Koru tumulus

The Koru tumulus The large cluster of tumuli around Lake Kuş (Lake Manyas) – reminiscent of the Thousand Mounds of Sardis, the great royal cemetery of the father of Croesus, King Alyattes – belongs to Dascyleum. It includes burials of Phrygian, Lydian, Persian, and Macedonian nobles. Here, Kaan İren reports on recent excavations at one […]


Ancient masters

Europe’s oldest known cave art could be the work of Neanderthals more than 40,000 years ago, say archaeologists. The abstract red circles and stencilled handprints decorating the walls of El Castillo cave, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in northern Spain, were discovered over a century ago, but until recently the paintings’ age had not been […]


Earliest instruments

Archaeologists have identified the world’s oldest instruments, showing that early modern humans were making music 40,000 years ago. Two flutes, one made from bird bone and the other from mammoth ivory, were uncovered during excavations at Geißenklösterle cave in south-west Germany between 1973 and 1990. Now, researchers led by the University of Oxford’s Prof. Tom […]


Europe’s oldest Neolithic bow

The excavations at La Draga in Spain – which is among the earliest known agricultural settlements on the northern Iberian Peninsula – have uncovered the oldest complete Neolithic bow to have been found in Europe. Dated by its context to c.5400-5200 BC and made of yew wood, the bow was found by Autonomous University of […]