The Ancient Egyptian cemetery at Saqqara received burials for thousands of years. One consequence of this is a remarkable concentration of funerary monuments, including Pharaoh Djoser’s magnificent step pyramid, and an array of impressive tombs. A connection between one of these edifices and objects in the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, Leiden, sparked a long-running fieldwork programme, which is now approaching its 45th year. Over that time, numerous tombs have been investigated, shedding light on how the Ancient Egyptians interacted with their past.

Blackbeard, the notorious pirate, seemingly had his eye firmly on the future when approaching the North Carolina coast in June 1718. For months, he had been using Queen Anne’s Revenge – essentially a warship – to strike fear into mariners. But when the ship ran aground, Blackbeard proved suspiciously well-prepared to seize this opportunity to avoid sharing the loot among his crew. Excavating what Blackbeard left behind is now providing a remarkable glimpse of the realities of life on a pirate ship.

In 1943, the Japanese defenders of Kolombangara, in the Solomon Islands, also abandoned plenty of interest when they evacuated their fortifications. As the Allies simply bypassed the island, its story has been largely forgotten. Now, an archaeological survey has revealed a series of subterranean dugouts still strewn with artefacts. Studying them is providing new details about preparations for a battle that never came.

There was no shortage of fighting during Julius Caesar’s Gallic War. His account of the conquest is an ancient literary classic, but what about the conflict’s archaeological traces? New research is allowing us to follow in the footsteps of Caesar’s legions.

Finally, in our travel section, Richard Hodges reminisces about the World Bank President’s visit to Butrint in 1995, while the second part of Oliver Gilkes’ tour of Serbia allows us to enjoy its Roman riches vicariously.

FEATURES

Secrets of Saqqara
Almost 45 years excavating an Egyptian necropolis

Finding Blackbeard’s flagship
Pirates and slaves on Queen Anne’s Revenge

Kolombangara
Surveying a forgotten Second World War fortress

Spotlight: Julius Caesar’s battle for Gaul
New archaeological perspectives

NEWS

  • Mining for ochre in ancient Mexico
  • Creature comforts in Border Cave
  • Cat care on the Silk Road
  • Intact Inca offering uncovered at Lake Titicaca
  • Animal mummies unwrapped
  • Island getaway
  • Feeding foxes
  • Independent innovations

NEWS FOCUS
Finding Australia’s submerged sites

CHARLES HIGHAM
Snapshots of feasting and fighting in ancient newsreels

HORIZON
Exploring the ruins of ancient Amantia, Albania

TRAVEL

ALBANIA
Richard Hodges recalls the President of the World Bank’s visit to Butrint

SERBIA
Oliver Gilkes heads to Roman sites in southern Serbia as he concludes his tour of the country’s archaeology

CULTURE

MUSEUM
A journey through Spain’s past at the National Archaeological Museum, Madrid

REVIEWS
The Life and Death of Ancient Cities: a natural history; A Companion to Ancient Near Eastern Languages; Kindred: Neanderthal life, love, death and art; Exploring Megalithic Europe: amazing sites to see for yourself

SPECIAL REPORT
How can rising sea levels affect archaeological sites?

CHRIS CATLING
Ancient innovations from archery to canals

CWA PHOTO OF THE YEAR 2021
Find out how to enter as we announce this year’s competition

FORUM
Crossword and cartoon

THINKING ALOUD
The secret life of objects

OBJECT LESSON
Olmec twins from El Azuzul

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