In France, archaeologists have uncovered a huge Iron Age chariot burial that is puzzling archaeologists. It is the largest yet found, and belongs to a Celtic aristocrat who enjoyed high social standing in life. But is this chief a man or a woman? The funerary complex is unusual, too: no settlement has been found close enough to be associated with it, and the people buried here
appear to be an honoured few, selected from different generations.
New investigations into the origins of bronze production in China, which eventually led to the magnificent vessels we see in museums around the world today, have revealed unexpected results. Do we need to rethink the evolution of China’s Bronze Age industry?
The 2,000-year-old remains of a young woman have been found in Ethiopia. Dubbed ‘Sleeping Beauty’, she was buried holding a bronze mirror to her face. Hers was one of several graves discovered in a remote spot that, as part of the Kingdom of Aksum, enjoyed far-reaching trade links stretching into the Roman Empire.
The Canadian Centre for Epigraphic Documents, staffed entirely by volunteers, is doing invaluable work recording and translating Syriac inscriptions – written in the language directly linked to the early Christian Church – that otherwise would be lost forever. Many already exist only in photographic form. Time is running out.
In Reggio Emilia, 21st-century technology and know-how are recreating the 1st/2nd-century AD incarnation of the town; it was then called Regium Lepidi. Using innovative software and Oculus equipment to produce a fully immersive experience, new techniques are revolutionising both how we visualise the past and how we record it.
On the centennial anniversary of the 1915 Armenian Massacre, one of the saddest events in human history, Andrew Selkirk travels to Armenia to explore the history of this nation’s people.
IN THIS ISSUE
FRANCE: Lavau chariot burial Revealing the Iron Age
tomb of a Celtic chief
CHINA: Xijiadun The origins of copper production on the Yangtze River
ETHIOPIA: In the Land of Sheba A lost centre of the Aksumite Kingdom
IRAQ: Written word, past voices Saving the language of
the Ancient Near East
ITALY: Reggio Emilia How state-of-the-art technology recreated a 1st-century AD city
New human species
Burning Bulgaria’s Neolithic village
Gebel el Silsila
Genes, journeys, and the dangers of vodka
ARMENIA Andrew Selkirk asks ‘Who are the Armenians?’
ITALY Richard Hodges in Rome with James Bond
FRANCE Lyon – Roman capital of the Three Gauls
The treasures of Turkey’s City of Prophets at the Şanlıurfa Museum
Brian Fagan admires Wonderful Things: A History of Egyptology
Vol. 1: From Antiquity to 1881 by Jason Thompson
plus reviews of:
The Oxford Handbook of Neolithic Europe by C Fowler, J Harding, and D Hofman (eds)
Strolling through Rome: The Definitive Walking Guide to the Eternal City by Mario Erasmus
Ur: The City of a Moon God by Harriet Crawford
Tikal: Paleoecology of an Ancient Maya City by D L Lentz, N P Dunning, and V L Scarborough (eds)
The Woman who would be King by Kara Cooney
What does it mean to be human?
Neil Faulkner discusses IS, iconoclasm, and the destruction of heritage