World

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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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Rewriting the past

As CWA reaches a milestone, we sifted through our back issues in search of the most exciting discoveries about our shared past. Ten sites have been selected to tell stories from the last 300,000 years that have been brought to light by archaeology.

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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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Return to Huaca El Pueblo

Discovering Peruvian pyramid tombs Recent excavations at Huaca El Pueblo, a mud-brick pyramid erected by the Moche, have revealed three remarkable burials dating to the 4th century AD. As well as providing a poignant glimpse of these individuals’ lives, the rites that consigned them to the earth offer clues to help solve the enduring mystery […]

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Bringing a pharaoh’s tomb to Bolton

In 1898, a team led by French archaeologist Victor Loret excavated the tomb of the 18th Dynasty pharaoh Thutmose III. It was given the number KV34, though it had originally been one of the first tombs to be cut into the bedrock of Egypt’s Valley of the Kings over 3,400 years ago. The tomb is […]

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Object Lesson: Selden Map of China

What is it? This late Ming dynasty map depicts China, the South China Sea, and surrounding lands. It was drawn in the early 17th century on three sheets of paper by an anonymous cartographer with an eye for detail. Measuring 158cm in length and 96cm in width, the map is too big for practical use […]

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