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CWA 125 – out now

2 mins read

Farmers in the southern Netherlands found themselves in an enviable position during the Roman period. Nearby military bases along the Rhine brimmed with soldiers that needed feeding, while good soil allowed crops to be grown in abundance. Some landowners transformed these advantages into enormous wealth. Their success saw villa estates sprouting across a landscape that has gone on to capture the interest of generations of antiquarians and archaeologists. Bringing the evidence that they gathered together allows us to tell a story of country folk that is anything but everyday.

Digging in Benin City, Nigeria, is also shedding light on a remarkable residence: in this case, a royal palace. The site can stake a claim to being one of the most celebrated and notorious historic places in Africa. While the palace lay at the heart of a great kingdom, it was destroyed during a raid in 1897, with the loot including the sculptures now known as the ‘Benin Bronzes’. We go behind the scenes of the excavation project examining this site.

It is submerged prehistoric settlements that have been under the microscope in the western Balkans. Ancient pile-dwelling sites are often associated with Alpine lakes, but such settlements found favour across a much wider area. The challenge has always been to date the western Balkan sites. Overcoming this hurdle is revealing the remarkable potential of these settlements.

Where Roman frontiers are concerned, it is their scale rather than assigning them to a broad archaeological era that has posed problems for scholars. Now, though, a book series has managed to encircle the Roman Empire, providing an up-to-date account of the frontiers. We examine what has been accomplished.

Finally, in our travel section, Richard Hodges shares the results of recent excavations at Butrint, which are providing fascinating new insights into its fortunes in the 9th century AD.

FEATURES

Roman villas in Limburg
The rise and fall of a prosperous farming community

Digging Benin City
Investigations have begun at one of Africa’s most celebrated and notorious sites

Seeing beneath the surface
Unravelling prehistoric submerged settlements in the Balkans

Encircling the Empire
How Rome’s frontier network was chronicled

NEWS

NEWS FOCUS
Uncovering Beaumont Abbey

CHARLES HIGHAM
Neolithic France: a seismic moment

HORIZON
A lost monument re-emerges

TRAVEL

BEING ‘A GREEK SPY’ BACK AT BUTRINT
Richard Hodges reminisces about his experiences excavating a remarkable archaeological site in Albania

CULTURE

JOHN WALKER HAYES
A personal tribute by Paul Reynolds

MUSEUM
An exhibition at Pompeii explores the less glamorous side of life in the ancient city

REVIEWS
The Naked Neanderthal; Dead Man’s Chest: exploring the archaeology of piracy; Reimagining Human–Animal Relations in the Circumpolar North

RUBINA RAJA & SØREN SINDBÆK
Against the flow

SPECIAL REPORT
Identifying cultural groups in Gravettian Europe

CHRIS CATLING
Finding Eden and fighting extinction

FORUM
Crossword, cartoon, and more

PHOTO COMPETITION
The results

OBJECT LESSON
Bronze Age lipstick

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