Category: World

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Byzantine Ephesus: Life in the city after Empire

The grand architectural monuments of Ephesus attest to its glory days as a sophisticated metropolis of the Roman Empire. But what happened when the Empire ended in the 4th century AD? Following recent excavation, Sabine Ladstätter and Michaela Binder reveal new evidence of life in the city during the turbulent days of Byzantine rule. Visitors […]

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NEWS: Vasa ship look-alike found in Swedish waters

Underwater archaeologists have discovered a historic vessel off the coast of southern Sweden which is similar in construction to the famous Vasa, the ornate 17th-century warship on display in a dedicated museum in Stockholm. Around 45m in length with 68-70 cannons, experts from the Sjöhistoriska Museet believe the ship is the Blekinge, which was built […]

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NEWS: The Exotic Libations of Ancient Ghana

Forensic analyses of the hollow cavities inside pre-colonial terracotta figurines from Koma Land, northern Ghana have revealed the exotic contents of libations poured inside them during traditional West African rituals. Researchers from University of Manchester tested the biological contents of a series of terracotta forms which date to the 6th-14th centuries AD. Using swabs and a magnetic extraction […]

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FILM REVIEW: Finding Altamira

Paul Bahn sifts fact from fiction in the silverscreen telling of an extraordinary discovery. Rarely does a true archaeological story become the basis of a movie. Yet this is what we have with Finding Altamira. It recounts the discovery in 1879 of Ice Age art on a cave ceiling at Altamira, provoking intense and acrimonious […]

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Travel: Tunisia with Mr. Mosaic

Richard Hodges looks at the life and work of renowned conservator Roberto Nardi, en route to the Bardo Museum.   Speaking in Oslo’s City Hall after his election as winner of the EU and Europa Nostra prize for cultural heritage for 2015, Roberto Nardi explained that he was amazed to be paid for doing what […]

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Lapa do Santo: Decapitation and ritual in ‘the Saint’s rock shelter’

Inside Lapa do Santo, excavations are revealing the complex burial practices of an early Archaic community. André Strauss tells CWA about the grisly finds. Body mutilation, decapitation, defleshing, and possible cannibalism: these chilling descriptions seem more appropriate for a serial killer’s to-do list than for an archaeological project report. But as queasy as they might […]

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NEWS: Clues of Maya Collapse

Archaeologists have developed a highly-refined chronology for the two major Maya collapses using the largest set of radiocarbon dates ever obtained from a single site. The circumstances behind the Preclassic (2nd century AD) and Classic Maya (9th century AD) collapses – two periods of widespread urban abandonment across Mesoamerica – have long been the subject […]

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NEWS: Heartbroken in a French convent

Analyses of graves in the Jacobin convent in Rennes (western France) have revealed previously unknown burial practices, challenging earlier interpretations about the history of death and belief in Europe. Constructed in 1369, the convent became a principal burial site for the aristocracy of Rennes, the seat of Brittany’s parliament.  Excavations there by the Institut national […]

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NEWS: Death of a Byzantine Mother

An early 13th-century AD skeleton found on the outskirts of ancient Troy has yielded preserved bacterial DNA from a deadly maternal infection – an unparalleled find. The genetic material came from two calcified nodules located at the base of the chest of a 30-year-old pregnant woman discovered in a stone-lined grave by archaeologists affiliated with […]

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Object Lesson: Trundholm Sun Chariot

What is it? This unique Nordic bronze piece was discovered in Denmark and dates to the Early Bronze Age, c.1400 BC. It illustrates the eternal journey of the sun, as depicted by a divine horse pulling an ornate golden disc, all on rotating wheels. The Sun Chariot is 54cm long, and the sun disc, which […]

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Turin’s Egyptian Museum

Nadia Durrani and Andrew Selkirk visit Turin’s transformed Museo Egizio. When Turin’s Egyptian Museum (Museo Egizio) was opened in 1824, the hieroglyphic codecracker Jean-François Champollion declared that now ‘The path to Memphis and Thebes passes through Turin’. Yet, by the turn of the current millennium, few visited: its displays and facilities were outdated and cramped, […]

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Travel: Las Eretas

Jules Stewart travels to the little-known site of an early Iron Age community in the Navarre region of northern Spain. Las Eretas was never meant to be on the beaten path. On the contrary, its inhabitants were determined to distance themselves as far as possible from hostile neighbours. Visitors should therefore not be discouraged by […]

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