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In AD 749, the Middle East was struck by a devastating earthquake. Numerous cities suffered serious damage, including Jerash, which is now one of the most stunning archaeological sites in Jordan. Jerash never recovered
from the disaster, and recent excavations in the ancient city have revealed two houses that collapsed during the earthquake, providing a glimpse of life – and death – on that fateful day.

An arid patch of Maui, one of the Hawaiian Islands, is also home to archaeological sites that have remained largely untouched since they were abandoned. Taking a close look at Hawaiian temples, together with surviving historical accounts of their use, has provided a new sense of the vital roles that these monuments fulfilled.

Surviving texts – in this case ancient inscriptions – can also shed light on the lives of women living in Roman Geneva. This settlement, which developed where the River Rhône flows out of Lake Geneva, has produced records of women that span the social spectrum, ranging from slaves to a senatorial lady. Thanks to these finds, we can still feel the pride that accompanied a daughter becoming an imperial priestess, and attempt to untangle some complex relationships.

Using the material remains of the past to try and build up a picture of it is of course the bread and butter of archaeology. But while the discipline’s intellectual roots are usually deemed to lie in Europe, just how novel is this approach? A trip to Orokolo Bay, in Papua New Guinea, allowed Chris Urwin to see the ways that locals draw on traces of the past to illustrate their histories.

In our travel section, Richard Hodges reflects on the exciting finds made during excavations in Tuscany, and what they reveal about Queen Adelaide’s lost castle.

Finally, I’d like to introduce The Past, a new website – www.the-past.com – where you can enjoy content from all four Current Publishing titles, as well as extra news and features we think you’ll enjoy. Subscribers should see the advert inside the magazine for a special offer!

FEATURES

Understanding Hawaiian temples
A new angle on the role of ritual sites

Jerash
Revealing a ‘peripheral’ part of an ancient city in northern Jordan

Discovering Roman women’s lives
From slaves to a senatorial lady in Geneva

Spotlight: Orokolo Bay
Archaeology: Western science or global practice?

NEWS

NEWS FOCUS
Discoveries at an ancient Egyptian animal cemetery

CHARLES HIGHAM
Zooming into a new world of communication

HORIZON
The city of Chersonesos

TRAVEL

ITALY
Richard Hodges explores the enigmatic site of Vetricella in western Tuscany

CULTURE

DIGITAL
Baalbek Reborn: Temples lets you visit an ancient site in its Roman heyday

REVIEWS
Olga Tufnell’s ‘Perfect Journey’; The Dignity of Labour; Megaliths and Geology

SPECIAL REPORT
Ten years on from Japan’s largest earthquake

CHRIS CATLING
Protected places, pricey provisions, and prehistoric pints

FORUM
Letters, crossword, and cartoon

PHOTO COMPETITION – RESULTS

THINKING ALOUD
Regendering myth

OBJECT LESSON
The Saint-Bélec Slab


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