At first, they came by sea, carrying cargoes of broken objects destined to be deposited at the world’s earliest known maritime sanctuary. Their destination was Keros, a small island in the heart of the Cyclades, which offered little in the way of natural resources to detain the voyagers after they had made their observances. But over time the visitors did begin to linger, founding a sophisticated settlement centuries before the famous Bronze Age palaces were built in Crete. Does this mark the dawn of European urbanism?
When Scythians gathered at Alexandropol in Ukraine, it was to commit a member of their elite to the earth. Over the following centuries the mound raised above the burial chamber attracted both looters and pioneering 19th-century excavators. A recent project has revisited their findings, and also discovered unique traces of a funeral feast, as well as the bodies of sacrificial victims slain by archers.
It was the lure of commerce that drew settlers to the west bank of the River Rhône. There, in the sprawling suburbs of the Roman city of colonia Vienna, middle-class merchants lived cheek by jowl with the wealthiest in society. In the late 1st century AD, fire devastated this vibrant enclave, freezing it in time.
Airmen operating in the Second World War braved fire of a different kind. Many who were shot down over water vanished without trace, but modern technology now offers a means of locating their resting places. We learn how archaeology is aiding the search for lost servicemen.
In our travel section, Richard Hodges follows in the footsteps of D.H. Lawrence and undertakes a foray to Etruria, seeking out the relics of a people who, according to Lawrence, admirably avoided the Romans’ prudish ways.
Finally, we lose ourselves in the labyrinthine ruins of Knossos, a site where it is frequently difficult to determine where archaeology ends and mythology begins.
Dhaskalio Witnessing the dawn of urbanisation in Europe?
Alexandropol revisited Excavating a Scythian royal burial
Roman Sainte-Colombe An ancient district of Vienne frozen by fire
Spotlight: Never forgotten The search for missing airmen
- Burying east Africa’s earliest herders
- Germany’s oldest library uncovered
- Making tracks in Neolithic Britain
- Decoding DNA from Denisova Cave
- A governor’s grave in Virginia?
- Painting Pompeii
- Tomb-aged cheese
- From Wales to Stonehenge?
New light on the origins of Homo sapiens
Ancient DNA from difficult climates
Art and archaeology at Pompeii and Herculaneum
ITALY: Richard Hodges goes on the trail of the Etruscans
GREECE: Following Ariadne’s thread to Knossos, Crete
Explore the Islamic world in the British Museum’s new gallery
The Atlas of Ancient Rome; Megadrought and Collapse; Frisians and their North Sea Neighbours
Göbekli Tepe, a new World Heritage Site
Far-flung places and flying finds
Crossword, cartoon, and photo competition
Why all archaeologists and historians are biased
Ram in the Thicket
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