Category: Europe

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Sicily: Touring Persephone’s island

In the early morning, when the light is right, one can see Sicily from Gozo. Though Malta, Gozo, and Sicily share strong cultural connections, each has its own unique character. Sharon Sharpe concludes our Mediterranean jaunt with a tour of Persephone’s island. We fly into Catania, in the shadow of Mount Etna, on the east coast of […]

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Gozo

From Malta, we now travel to its sister-island Gozo, where Nadia Durrani encountered two new major restoration projects. In Maltese, Gozo is known as Għawdex (pronounced ‘audesh’), which translates as ‘joy’. And indeed, Gozo is a joyous place. One of the three main islands of the Maltese archipelago, it is a 25-minute ferry ride from Malta. […]

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Richard Hodges travels to… Malta

  Queen Elizabeth, on a recent visit to Malta, offered the comment that the island appeared to be overbuilt. Indeed, it is. Thriving economically, it is a very different island today to the one Her Majesty knew in the 1940s. Malta has embraced the EU, and benefited from its inclusion. It has turned its size […]

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Sicilian splendours

Sicily, one of the world’s great crossroads of culture, is the subject of the British Museum’s latest must-see exhibition, Sicily: Culture and Conquest. Curators Dirk Booms and Peter Higgs take us behind the scenes, telling the story using five of their favourite objects from the displays. Sicily sits in the centre of the Mediterranean, its […]

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The mystery of Naukratis

Revealing Egypt’s international port From the late 7th century BC, the Nile Delta port of Naukratis was the world’s gateway to Egypt. Yet, despite early archaeological research at the site, it has languished in the shadows. Who lived there, how did the port operate, and what (sometimes salacious) secrets remained hidden? Alexandra Villing and Ross […]

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‘Throne of Agamemnon’ found

Archaeologists working in Mycenae, seat of the mythical King Agamemnon, have discovered what they believe to be the site’s only known royal throne. The international team, led by president of the Mycenaean Foundation, Prof. Christofilis Maggidis of Dickinson College, USA, made the find in June 2014. Erik DeMarche and Dan Fallu were taking palaeo-hydrological measurements […]

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Abruzzo & Molise: Oliver Gilkes goes in search of the Samnites

Late in the year the streets of modern Rome are visited by groups of strangely dressed men with soft felt hats and the impressive, not to say alarming, bagpipes (zampogna) traditionally associated with the shepherds of the Abruzzo and Molise. Made of the inflated skins of sheep, their thin, reedy sound accompanies the disparate groups […]

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Richard Hodges travels to … The Island of Lampedusa, Italy

Flying south of Agrigento, the blue begins, even on All Saints’ Day. An Ionian light, it is the ravishing glory of the Middle Sea. I went to Lampedusa in the footsteps of Pope Francis and political grandees, conscious that this minuscule Italian outpost had borne a heavy burden as it grappled with the lives and accursed deaths of […]

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A Fragrant Grave: Revealing the mummified remains of a 17th-century bishop

In life, Bishop Peder Winstrup was a renowned theologian, chaplain to the king, and founding father of Lund University. In death, he has proved no less remarkable. Palaeoecologist Per Lagerås reveals the secrets the bishop took to his grave. Bishop Peder Winstrup died in December 1679, aged 74, and was buried beneath Lund Cathedral. When, in 2014, it was decided […]

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CWA travels to Apollonia & Byllis

Nearly 20 years of digging in and writing about Albania’s ancient sites has left a vivid impression on archaeologist and traveller Oliver Gilkes.

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Great Excavations: Zammit at the Ħal-Saflieni Hypogeum

The dig  The Hypogeum Ħal-Saflieni was discovered in 1902 when builders, working on a new housing development, fell through its roof. The huge underground structure is carved out of the soft rock that lies beneath the town of Paola, on the outskirts of Valetta on Malta. Despite initial attempts to deny the discovery, so as not to hinder building work, the find […]

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