The elaborate rock-hewn tombs of Petra, in Jordan, have inspired visitors, poets, and film-makers alike, ever since the Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt stumbled across the Khazneh (the Treasury) in 1812. But what lies behind the monumental rock-hewn façades in the ‘rose red city half as old as time’? In the first study of its kind, Dr Lucy Wadeson investigates inside the Nabataean burial chambers to reveal evidence of the mysterious people who lived here about 2,000 years ago.
Many a poor sailor lies in a watery grave beneath the treacherous seas around the Dry Torgugas, a small group of islands off the Florida Keys. In 1622, the crews from the fleet carrying a king’s treasure joined them. The fleet’s loss was a financial disaster for the Spanish monarch. Tagging onto the mighty ships’ coat-tails, was a small merchant vessel, laden with goods and bound for home. After 20 years of investigation – the world’s first deep-sea dig – archaeologists reveal in remarkable detail the very human story of this ship’s crew and its exotic cargo.
What do you think of when you think of the Crusades? Richard the Lionheart, Saladin, Krak des Chevaliers, Jerusalem and the Holy Land, perhaps? In the 13th century, those fearsome soldiers ventured north, too, into the eastern Baltic Regions where exploitation of the fertile countryside and rich natural resources provided as much of an enticement as defending the faith. But what evidence is there of this in the archaeological record?
Many have pondered the meaning of the enigmatic – some say ‘cult’ – symbols carved into the rocky outcrops around the Urartian city of Van. But could they represent something rather more prosaic? It seems that chariot makers may hold the key to unlocking this ancient mystery – and no puns, please, about Van wheels.
In the second of his two-part series, Brian Fagan travels the Indian Ocean in the wake of our earliest intrepid ancestors. We also visit the remote mountain top of Mt Nemrut in Turkey where the tumbled statues of King Antiochus I and his divine companions bear testament to the pride of a once mighty king. In France, we visit the Gallo-Roman villa at Montmaurin, and Richard Hodges sends us a postcard from Visegrád in Hungary.
CWA readers are clearly a talented bunch of photographers – we have had some truly amazing entries for CWA Photographer of the Year Award, sponsored by Travel the Unknown (see p.9 for competition details). The winning entry, to be chosen by Aerial Cam’s Adam Stanford, will be displayed at CA Live! 2013 at Senate House, London on 1 & 2 March. Do join us if you can!