CWA69_COVERExcavation at a Bronze Age hilltop settlement in south-east Spain has uncovered the burial of an elite couple dating to about 1650 BC. The archaeological record shows that just a century later the world as they had known it was gone. Civil unrest had overturned the old order, and all traces of this little-known Argaric culture disappeared almost overnight. Could the great divide between the rich and the poor have sparked a rebellion?

On the other side of the world, a fragment of a wooden canoe with a swimming turtle carved on its bow has provided new evidence of when and how the Polynesian islands were colonised.

Antiochia Hippos was a member of the Roman Decapolis, the Greco-Roman cities on the eastern border of the Roman Empire. But it was deserted following a catastrophic earthquake in AD 749, and its abandoned ruins were buried by time. Now, after 15 years of excavation, archaeologists in Israel are discovering the riches that this capital of the region once enjoyed.

The step wells of Rajasthan are long-neglected monumental masterpieces, some dating back centuries. They combine stunning architectural detail with a practical purpose, yet many are falling into ruin. A new project is under way to restore these watering places to their former glory.

Next, we go to Deir el-Medina, the village of the workers who built the intricately carved tombs in the Valley of the Kings. Popular perception is that these poor individuals endured a brief life of gruelling hardship, and that they were a cheap, readily replaceable labour force. But now research is challenging these notions, and recent evidence suggests the existence of Egypt’s first government-sponsored healthcare system.

Finally, Andrew Selkirk, inspired by his recent visit to China, is delving into Chinese history. Why, he asks, was there no Chinese ‘Dark Age’?

IN THIS ISSUE

FEATURES

SPAIN: Rise and fall of the Argar How revolution toppled a Bronze Age civilisation

NEW ZEALAND: Anaweka canoe A boat fragment writes history

ISRAEL: Antiochia Hippos Revealing a lost city of the Roman Decapolis

INDIA: Stepping down Restoration of forgotten ancient step wells of Rajasthan

EGYPT: Deir el-Medina Did state welfare support the pharaohs’ tomb-builders?

NEWS

Imperial farm in Rome

By a nose

Amphipolis

End of an empire

Ice Age infants

Vampires or victims?

Migrating Moccasins

Lady of the Jewels

NEWS FOCUS

Finding the port that launched Columbus on his journey to the New World

CHARLES HIGHAM

When the digging is done

TRAVEL

USA The lost empires of the United States

PORTUGAL Discovering Stone Age art in the Côa Valley

ITALY S. Michele at Olevano and the Crypt of the Original Sin

CULTURE

MUSEUM

Istanbul Archaeological Museum

REVIEWS

A History of the Ancient Southwest edited by Stephen H Lekson

Artifact & Artifice: Classical Archaeology and the Ancient Historian by
Jonathan M Hall

The End of the Pagan City: Religion, Economy, and Urbanisation in Late Antique North Africa by Anna Leone

The Intimate Bond How Animals Shaped Human History by Brian Fagan

The Archaeology of American Cities by Nan A Rothschild and Diana diZerega Wall

Lives in Ruins: Archaeologists and the Seductive Lure of Human Rubble by Marilyn Johnson

CHRIS CATLING

Museums of the past and future

COMMENT

Andrew Selkirk thinks about decline and fall – Chinese style

Neil Faulkner asks: Why do people dress up as animals?

OBJECT LESSON

Giant scarab beetle

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