Sailors, from the Neolithic to the Byzantine periods, approaching the shores of Malta from the south east could not have failed to notice the temple site of Tas Silġ on the hill above the shoreline. For nearly 5,000 continuous years, visitors flocked to this place of ritual that evolved and adapted to changing religious practices. Then, during the Medieval period, it fell silent: abandoned, robbed, and finally covered over. Now, after two decades of excavation and research, archaeologists on Malta can reveal the long and colourful history of this unique site.

Our cover feature explores the remote hinterland of Turkey’s Cappadocia region, a little known and, until now, much misunderstood area of moonscapes and fairy chimneys. Today, the few visitors who do venture into this strange land, do so for the beautiful Byzantine art of its rock churches. But traces of communities surviving in this hostile landscape attest to occupation here before, during, and after the arrival of religious ascetics seeking retreat.

Beneath the hustle and bustle of busy Cologne in Germany lies a Roman harbour gateway that once looked out on to the Rhine with its thriving river trade. Ahead of construction work for a major new metro system, archaeologists were called in to investigate the wonderfully preserved remains deep below the modern levels. They reveal the results after 10 years of excavation, including detailed reconstructions of how this great gateway of Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium would have appeared in its heyday during the 1st century AD.

Magic with medicine was a potent combination, according to Egyptian doctors. Yet, before we scoff, it is worth noting that many remedies recommended by these ancient physicians are still in use today. Even magic – or the power of positive thought – may contribute to a patient’s sense of well-being. What else can we learn from these early pioneers of medical practice?

Roman military might made a deep and lasting impression across Europe and into Asia. But how did Rome conquer the commercial world? Extensive trade networks extended even as far as India and China. This, argues Ray Laurence, was possible thanks to an innovative road system that paved the way for Roman globalisation.

Few realise that conflict during Europe’s Great War extended into the African deserts. We go to Namibia in search of those long forgotten and poorly recorded battlefields of WWI.