cwa80_coverCrossing the Caucasus, Europe’s highest mountain range, is not for the faint-hearted, and nowhere is so bleak and so inhospitable as Dariali Gorge. It is here, legend tells, that Prometheus endured his cyclical punishment for stealing fire from the gods. And through here the Huns forced their way south to plunder the riches of the Roman Empire in the 4th century AD.

Now, for the first time, an archaeological expedition has braved the hostile terrain to reveal evidence of a strategic gateway fought over for millennia. Deep in the heart of Etruria is a monumental tomb that looks more Greek than Etruscan. Defying tradition, its architecture mimics the palaces of Philip II of Macedon and his son Alexander the Great, more than 1,000km away. Who built this strange anomaly?

Following in the footsteps of the Bedouin in the Negev Desert, we look at rock engravings that blend prehistoric art with more recent symbols. Are these messages or markers – or both?

Not just for sailors and hipsters, it seems tattoos were also popular in ancient Egypt. An astonishing recent discovery reveals a penchant for body art on women of the New Kingdom.

Who were the barbarians? For a long time the answer was those outside the ‘civilised’ Roman world. But a new project examining Iron Age peoples across Europe is revealing surprisingly fluid and highly adaptable societies whose sophisticated art and extensive trade connections challenge long-held beliefs encouraged by Classical writers.

We travel to Pompeii to explore newly opened sections of the 1st century AD town, then visit the hobbit-like houses of the Luberon in France, before finally heading for Greece, where traces of ancient pyramids have puzzled archaeologists for more than 1,500 years.

IN THIS ISSUE

FEATURES

GEORGIA: The Caspian Gates Exploring the most famous mountain valley of the ancient world

ITALY: An Etruscan puzzle Investigating the monumental tomb of Grotte Scalina

ISRAEL: Negev Desert Following in the footsteps of the Bedouin

EUROPE: Meet the barbarians Taking a fresh look at the Iron Age of south-east Europe

NEWS

Franklin’s frozen ship

Sun storms illuminate the past

Biblical scroll deciphered

Spanish cave art saved

Ancient sailor emerges from deep

Oldest manuscript in the Americas

Black Sea shipwrecks

Chilean rock art revealed

Tanzanian tracks

SPECIAL REPORT

Māori on the move: should museums repatriate their dead?

NEWS FOCUS

Lady of Çatalhöyük

CHARLES HIGHAM

Latest discoveries from Khok Phanom Di

TRAVEL

ITALY: POMPEII Exploring an ancient city being restored by modern technology

FRANCE: THE LUBERON Richard Hodges travels to a lost world in rural France

GREECE: PYRAMIDS OF THE PELOPONNESE Mysterious ancient ruins that have puzzled travellers for millennia

CULTURE

MUSEUM

Iceman Ötzi in the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology

REVIEWS

Richard Hodges sails across The German Ocean: Medieval Europe around the North Sea, by Brian Ayers

plus reviews of:

The Silk Roads: A New History of the World by Peter Frankopan

Maize for the Gods: Unearthing the 9,000-year History of Corn by Michael Blake

At Home with the Aztecs: An Archaeologist Uncovers their Daily Life by Michael E Smith

Cleopatra’s Needles: The Lost Obelisks of Egypt by Bob Brier

An Archaeological History of Indian Buddhism by Lars Fogelin

CHRIS CATLING

Prehistoric winter sports and everlasting vellum

FORUM

THINKING ALOUD

In defence of typology

OBJECT LESSON

The Trundholm Sun Chariot

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