Cover of CWA 102, showing large stone jars in the forest

The megalithic jars of Laos have been entrancing visitors since the 19th century. These remarkable stone receptacles can occur individually, or in groups running to several hundred. While the most-famous set was arranged on a plain, most jars can be found perched on ridges and hills, with some still shrouded by forest. All the signs are that these vessels were associated with funerary activity, but the communities responsible for them remain mysterious. Exciting new research is beginning to fill in some of the blanks.

Life, rather than death, often influenced those leaving their mark on stones in what are now the deserts of Saudi Arabia. These arid wastes were not always so hostile, though, and a remarkable corpus of rock art charts developments from the 7th millennium BC right down to today. This fascinating imagery lays bare how life changed alongside the climate, as increasing depictions of combat speak of unsettled times.

Megiddo is also no stranger to conflict, although unusually it is a future battle, rather than a past one, that the site is most famous for. It is from ‘Har Megiddo’ or ‘the mound of Megiddo’ that we get the name used in the New Testament for the momentous battle between good and evil: Armageddon. Digging at Megiddo in the 1920s and 1930s produced results that form the backbone of biblical archaeology, and we look back over a great – and, at times, innovative – excavation.

New approaches are shedding extraordinary light, too, on prehistoric family trees in Germany. There, examining DNA and origins is helping to explain a world of haves and have-nots.

Finally, while many physical journeys remain restricted, our travel section allows you to visit vicariously the splendours of ancient Lissos, as well as the mobile home of one of America’s Founding Fathers, and the archaeological riches of the Serbian Danube.

FEATURES

Saudi Arabian rock art
Setting climate, economy, and belief in stone

Plain of Jars
Researching a newly inscribed World Heritage Site

Braving Armageddon
Behind the scenes of a great excavation

Spotlight: Dawn of inequality?
Marriage, mobility, and status in Bronze Age Germany

NEWS

  • Oldest Maya monument discovered in Mexico
  • The first use of bows and arrows outside Africa
  • Revealing the secrets of Ixil Maya murals
  • Mapping Mongolia’s great wall
  • Pinpointing the construction of Por-Bajin
  • Roman mosaic resurfaces
  • China’s first figurine
  • Norway’s civil war burials?

NEWS FOCUS
Recent insights into farming, feasting, and hunting from Alaska to Florida

CHARLES HIGHAM
How a tiny fragment of bone can lead to a big discovery

HORIZON
Following the footsteps of Tanzania’s prehistoric hunter-gatherers

TRAVEL

CRETE
Richard Hodges takes the scenic route to an ancient healing sanctuary at Lissos

USA
Carly Hilts goes on the trail of the New York home of Alexander Hamilton, the ‘ten-dollar Founding Father’

SERBIA
Oliver Gilkes journeys along the Danube for the first in a two-part tour of Serbia’s archaeology

CULTURE

MUSEUM
The past and present of humanity at Paris’s Musée de l’Homme

REVIEWS
The House of Augustus; Understanding Relations between Scripts II; Multisensory Living in Ancient Rome; Journey to the City

SPECIAL REPORT
Archaeology and earthquakes

CHRIS CATLING
Of mice and men

FORUM
Letters, crossword, cartoon

THINKING ALOUD
The archaeology of movement

OBJECT LESSON
Pharaoh’s best friend?

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