CWA 82

2 mins read

At Pylos in Greece, archaeologists have uncovered that increasingly rare phenomenon: an untouched Bronze Age burial, replete with rich grave goods. But this Mycenaean princely tomb, discovered next to the Palace of Nestor, is causing a stir for another reason: many of the beautiful high-status burial gifts reflect the Minoan culture of the island of Crete. Why are they on mainland Greece?

Visitors to Ephesus, with its instantly recognisable Library of Celsus, are understandably attracted to its magnificent Roman remains. This month, we ask what happened as the Empire declined, investigating the Byzantine incarnation of the city to discover what life was like after the Romans.

The Amazonian rainforest is largely regarded as virgin territory, untrammelled by human activity. Yet, as forest clearance lays bare the landscape, huge manmade earthworks have appeared. Who created these strange geoglyphs, and why?

Magnificent paintings by Neolithic artists that were all but hidden from the naked eye in Portugal’s dolmens are being revealed in all their Technicolor glory, thanks to advances in photographic recording.

Look out for our CWA Photo Competition winners on p.64. We had a fantastic response this year, but it was, at times, also heartbreaking: some entries were photographs of heritage that is now lost. Such images remind us of the need to protect endangered sites around the world, be it from conflict, looting, encroaching development, neglect, or vandalism. As archaeologists, we want not only to explore our human past, but also to ensure its legacy survives for future generations. For some, that may be by photographic record alone. The Curious Travellers Project is tapping into this valuable resource, and we can all help. See our Special Report on p.11, and find out how you can be part of this amazing – and hugely important – initiative.


GREECE: The Griffin Warrior Treasures from the princely tomb of a fledgling Mycenaean kingdom

BRAZIL: Circles of mystery Investigating strange ancient earthworks in the Amazon rainforest

TURKEY: Byzantine Ephesus Life in the city after empire

PORTUGAL: Secrets of the dolmens Discovering lost masterpieces by ancient artists of the Iberian Peninsula


Sanctuary of Mithras discovered in Corsica

The exotic libations of ancient Ghana

Clues of Maya collapse

Ancient children’s footprints in Egypt

Vasa ship lookalike found in Swedish waters

Heartbroken in a French convent

First humans in North America

Death of a Byzantine mother


Curious Travellers preserve endangered heritage worldwide


The earliest high-altitude settlements in Tibet


Cruising to Borobudur with Lewis Binford


SPAIN: Andrew Selkirk voyages to Cartagena

MEXICO: Richard Hodges travels the Yucatán

THASOS: The heritage of a little-visited Greek island

ISLAND HOPPING: Four lesser-known Greek islands to explore



Sir John Soane’s Museum


BOOK: Brian Fagan discusses Robert L Kelly’s new book, The Fifth Beginning: What Six Million Years of Human History Can Tell Us about Our Future

plus reviews of:

The Archaeology of Mediterranean Placemaking: Butrint and the Global Heritage Industry by Richard Hodges

The Spartan Regime: Its Character, Origins, and Grand Strategy by Paul A Rahe

The Origins of Maya States by Loa P Traxler and Robert J Sharer (eds)

Making Faces: The Evolutionary Origins of the Human Face by Adam S Wilkins

The Archaeology of Smoking and Tobacco by Georgia L Fox

Roman Portraits: Sculptures in Stone and Bronze by Paul Zanker

Medieval waterpower, caribou dung, and forgery


Letters, crossword, cartoon


Pyramids and alternative fact


The Death Chimes of Liu Fei

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