In ancient Japan, royal burial mounds could be magnificent monuments. The distinctive keyhole-shaped earthwork associated with the semi-legendary Emperor Nintoku, for example, is 486m long and ranks as one of the largest tombs ever constructed. In our cover feature, we explore how these burial mounds could create a potent statement of royal power, while also containing sumptuous grave goods that provide a fascinating glimpse of traditions in both life and death. Some display clear connections with continental Asia, revealing the role of overseas influences in elite power.
When it comes to subterranean finds in Spain, cave art has recently been discovered at Cova Dones, near Valencia. The region has not previously been renowned for such imagery, and it was initially suspected that there would only be a handful of paintings at the site. A surprising twist came during survey work, though, when it was realised that the Ice Age artists had used an unusual technique to create many more images. Could this approach have been more widespread than currently appreciated?
It is a concentration of sites at Khirbet al-Khalde, along the former Roman frontier, that is attracting attention in Jordan. Among the remains are a Roman fortification, an apparent roadside inn, an aqueduct, and a cemetery. Today, these ruins appear isolated in remote desert, but in antiquity they would have formed part of a global exchange network.
In our travel section, Richard Hodges investigates the results of a remarkable campaign of excavations at Monte Cassino, which sheds fascinating light on one of the wonders of Christendom. Meanwhile, Carly Hilts has been exploring Sydney, Australia, and takes a look at the results of the Big Dig, which explored early life in the British colony.
- The Tomb of Cerberus: a newly unearthed treasure
- Wari-era burials discovered in Peru
- Beads in Lake Turkana burials
- Possible cemetery near the Arctic Circle
- Early beaver hunting
- Sacred baboons
- Coin hoard at Mohenjo-Daro
- Faces of Tartessos
Let the sun shine in!
What the emissary saw
Objects in the ice
ANGELO PANTONI’S EXCAVATIONS AT MONTE CASSINO
Richard Hodges untangles the early evolution of the famed Benedictine monastery of Monte Cassino
Facing the Sea of Sand: the Sahara and the peoples of northern Africa; The Folds of Olympus: mountains in Ancient Greek and Roman culture; Weavers, Scribes, and Kings: a new history of the Ancient Near East; Archaeology in Antarctica
RUBINA RAJA & SØREN SINDBÆK
Antler combs uncover Viking Age connections
Stone tools, space dust, and sacramental ash