Excavations on Corsica sprang a surprise when archaeologists discovered a set of steps descending into the ground. Work at the site, undertaken in advance of a building development, had already revealed a Roman-era cemetery. The steps, though, led to a much rarer discovery: an intact Etruscan tomb. Within, the deceased lay beside grave goods that reflected her social status and seemingly hold the key to unlocking secrets of Etruscan burial rites.
Status was also being flaunted at the Roman villa of Caddeddi, on Sicily. Today, this impressive 4th-century AD residence is little known, but portions of fine mosaics lay preserved inside. These feature scenes ranging from mythology to hunting, while clues in the compositions suggest the owner may have shunned local workshops in favour of mosaicists from North Africa.
Long-distance movements are important, too, for understanding life in the Arctic. Humans have been living in the region for at least 30,000 years, and the passing millennia have frequently forced its inhabitants to adapt to a capricious climate or to make way for incomers bearing advanced technology. Developing ways to travel over long distances allowed Arctic peoples to tap into distant trade routes, including the Silk Road.
Trade also explains the presence of a wreck off the island of Gozo, in the Mediterranean. The vessel was a Phoenician ship that foundered in the 7th century BC. Archaeological exploration of the site is producing fascinating insights into its cargo, while a new digital museum is making a virtual-reality version of the wreck accessible to all.
Elsewhere in this issue, Richard Hodges casts an eye over how we present the past when he explores the galleries and story of Penn Museum. Finally, we consider the Great Pyramid at Giza and what the monument suggests about the relationship between a pharaonic father and son.
The late Roman villa of Caddeddi
Living in luxury in rural Sicily
An unexpected tomb
Inside an Etruscan hypogeum on Corsica
Culture and climate
A digital dive
Sharing the secrets of a 2,700-year-old Phoenician shipwreck
- Ship shape: Viking burial found
- Rare child burial in Indonesia
- Life and death in Sefidkuh
- Victims of Vesuvius
- Cooking cereals in prehistoric China
- Human trackways
- Icy assemblage
- Dating a decorated cave
Paranthropus robustus skull discovered in South Africa
The importance of volunteers and ‘citizen scientists’
A feline find in the Nazca desert
Richard Hodges examines one of North America’s great archaeological and anthropological treasures: the Penn Museum
Matthew Symonds explores the Great Pyramid of Giza, built by pharaoh Khufu in the 3rd millennium BC
The Dancing Satyr of Mazara del Vallo, Sicily, Italy
Thebes: the forgotten city of ancient Greece; City Walls in Late Antiquity; Grave Disturbances: the archaeology of post-depositional interactions with the dead; Digging Deeper: how archaeology works
How a new exhibition is bringing together artefacts separated at the end of the Second World War
Preserving and presenting heritage
Crossword and cartoon
New thinking in scholarship
A statue of Ramesses VI
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