CWA 68

2 mins read

CWA68_COVERIn July 1916, 450 of the 2,500 British and (mostly) Australian soldiers killed during two days of fighting at Fromelles in northern France were buried behind enemy lines. Many unmarked mass graves were lost for decades. Now archaeological survey has located eight of them just outside the village, and Oxford Archaeology was called in to investigate the remains. Using the latest forensic archaeological science, DNA analysis, and historical research, the team was able to give soldiers back their names, and thus restore their identities and even trace some of their families.

The stunning Mesa Verde National Park in the American Southwest is famous for its photogenic 13th-century cliff dwellings of the Pueblo Indians. But the region enjoys other great archaeological riches: just a few miles away on the plain – and 600 years earlier – Neolithic farmers were establishing maize-growing communities. Excavation helped by the local community is revealing a detailed picture of their lifestyle, society, and ingenuity.

In CWA 63, we brought you news that archaeologists had found the first shrine built at the Buddha’s birthplace at Lumbini in Nepal, pushing back the date of his birth by about 300 years. In this issue, the team from Durham University reveals the full story of their discovery of a 6th century BC wooden structure built around a tree – possibly the very tree that, legend recalls, the Buddha’s mother held on to as she gave birth.

Then we’re off to explore the sanctuary site of Demeter at Eleusis, home of the Eleusinian Mysteries. Still today, visitors bring offerings to the goddess, whose ethereal presence seems to haunt the atmospheric ruins.

As Christmas approaches, it can mean only one thing: it’s time to scroll through your favourite photos of archaeological sites you’ve visited or artefacts you’ve seen, and to send them in for our annual CWA Photo Competition (see p.14 for details). We’ll display the winning shots at CA Live! 2015 on 27 & 28 February, and, of course, print them on the pages of CWA. Good luck!



FRANCE: Fromelles Recovered, identified, remembered: the fallen of WWI

UNITED STATES: First Farmers The Neolithic arrives in the American Southwest

NEPAL: Lumbini Excavating the birthplace of the Buddha

GREECE: Eleusis Unshrouding the Eleusinian Mysteries


Amazing Amphipolis

Ancient mummy brain

Rediscovering Antikythera

Missing fortress found

Scottish Viking hoard

Stone-tool evolution

Artistic origins redefined


HMS Erebus found



Caught in the crossfire


Jade suits and lasers


SPAIN  Exploring Pamplona Cathedral

ITALY   In search of Etruscans at Cerveteri

ROMANIA   Roman gold mines in Transylvania



Andrew Selkirk reviews Ming at the British Museum


Andrew Robinson examines the history of beer in William Bostwick’s new book, The Brewer’s Tale: A History of the World According to Beer

plus reviews of:

The Cambridge World Prehistory edited by Colin Renfrew and Paul Bahn

The Incredible Unlikeliness of Being: Evolution and the Making of Us by Alice Roberts

The Great Archaeologists edited by Brian Fagan

Cities that Shaped the Ancient World edited by John Julius Norwich


Meteoric mistakes and mythical origins


Neil Faulkner does some middle-range musing


The Messines harmonica

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