CWA 112

1 min read
Magazine cover showing a pyramid against a blue sky

There are many theories about how the Egyptians built the pyramids. Now a new authority on the subject has emerged. His name is Inspector Merer, and he has a significant advantage over his competitors in the field: Merer was actually there. In an extraordinary development, the oldest papyri ever discovered include his logbook, which provides an eye-witness account of work under way on the Great Pyramid. Our cover feature looks at how this breakthrough came about, and what it tells us.

A gap between myth and reality can also be detected in the South Caucasus. Its fabulous wealth is reflected in the legend of the Golden Fleece, but in a strange twist this tale is set during an era when evidence for goldwork in the region drops significantly. Why did this happen, and what does it say about the choices societies make?

The disappearance of rock art in the Tagus River basin of Portugal, by contrast, was due to its immersion following a dam project in the 1970s. Beforehand, thousands of images were recorded in a race against time, allowing the story of this remarkable concentration of ancient imagery to be told.

Rising waters proved problematic too at Apollonia, a Greek city that now lies submerged off the Libyan coast. This was the setting for a pioneering underwater survey in the 1950s, with a return visit in 2003 providing an opportunity to see how the site had fared.

In the first of a two-part piece, Richard Hodges sets his sights on a 9th-century calamity that befell the monastery of San Vincenzo al Volturno, Italy. What can archaeology add to historical accounts of its downfall?

Here I want to pay tribute to regular contributor Neil Faulkner, who passed away in February and is dearly missed by all of us at Current Publishing. This issue contains his last ‘Thinking Aloud’ column. A final instalment in Neil’s honour will follow in the next CWA.


The Golden Fleece paradox
Why did gold disappear for centuries from ancient societies in the Caucasus?

From landscape to latex
Recording rock art in the Tagus River basin

Records of the pyramid builders
Discovering eye-witness accounts of a legendary construction project

Spotlight: Apollonia revisited
The story of a pioneering survey


Climatic change and ancient civilisations

Seeking a legendary lost city

The House of the Harpist


Richard Hodges explores the story of San Vincenzo al Volturno, Italy


Rus – Vikings in the East: a new exhibition at the Moesgaard Museum tells the story of the Rus Vikings

Unwrapping Amenhotep I

Religious Practice and Cultural Construction of Animal Worship in Egypt from the Early Dynastic to the New Kingdom; Olympia: a cultural history; Rock Art Studies: News of the World VI

DNA denouements and coining a phrase

Letters, crossword, cartoon

Interpreting art

Scythian plate

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