The finds from Sanxingdui are sensational. In 1986, two pits were discovered by chance within this ancient city. The contents proved to be simultaneously stunning and shocking. While the contents included a wealth of sumptuous sculptures, their style was without any obvious parallel in China, or anywhere else. It seemed that the Bronze Age inhabitants of Sanxingdui developed a unique view of the world, and then immortalised it in metalwork. Now, six more pits have been examined, with results that are every bit as electrifying. In our cover feature, we learn the latest news about a spellbinding lost civilisation.
Forgotten wonders have also been unearthed at Kalambo Falls, Zambia. Digging in 2019 revealed a wealth of wooden objects, including elements of an ingenious wooden structure. Cutting-edge dating reveals that this was assembled in an almost unbelievably early era. The results of this revolutionary research force us to rethink the capabilities of early humans.
The country of Myanmar is an altogether more recent creation. It has only existed as a single political entity since 1948, and incorporates a territory that is phenomenally rich in natural resources. This advantage once made the region a cradle for mighty kingdoms and empires. As these great powers waxed and waned, so too their tales can be read in the remarkable artefacts produced in the region.
Reading was also at the heart of the rivalry between Thomas Young and Jean-François Champollion as they raced to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphs. Their competition and, at times, collaboration was destined to change Egyptology forever. In the 250th anniversary year of Young’s birth, we go in search of the personalities behind an extraordinary breakthrough.
Our travel section follows in Richard Hodges’ footsteps as he sought the source of an enigmatic and intriguing form of early medieval pottery: Tating Ware. Meanwhile, Christoph Baumer introduces us to the Golden Age of the Kingdom of Georgia.
- Religious rituals in ancient Arabia
- Life on an Alaskan lakeshore
- A meteoric discovery
- Reading the Herculaneum scrolls
- Christian tattoo in medieval Sudan
- Iron Age child’s shoe
- Early coal use in China
- New Indo-European language
Rediscovering a forgotten power centre
Footprints in stone
RUBINA RAJA & SØREN SINDBÆK
The difference within
Making money in 18th-century America
Revisiting research and challenging conclusions
Letters, crossword, cartoon