The pharaohs did not lie in splendid isolation in the Valley of the Kings. While they held a monopoly on the spectacular royal tombs driven far into the bedrock, favoured individuals could also secure space in the cemetery. They had to make do with humbler tombs – often more modest than they would have expected in a less exclusive setting – but they lay close to rulers revered as gods. The no-frills style of these small tombs means that determining who the occupant was can involve meticulous archaeological detective work. We investigate who was buried alongside the pharaohs.

Excavations in Uzbekistan have been examining what another famous ruler – Alexander the Great – chose to leave behind him. According to ancient sources, Alexander established fortresses to quell dissent following a bout of insurrection and to secure his army’s rear. The discovery of one of these remote garrison posts has allowed archaeologists to follow in the Macedonian’s footsteps.

At the First World War battlefield of Bullecourt, it was a new weapon that was being experimented with. This early use of tanks was not deemed a success, though, with their crews being blamed for the chaotic disaster that ensued. But were they convenient scapegoats? Examining the site of an abandoned tank suggests a different story, while recovering traces of paint might even settle a long-standing debate about what colour these vehicles originally were.

The wall paintings are one of the delights of any trip to Pompeii and Herculaneum, but how skilled were the artists who created them? Although a range of talents are on display, approaches to perspective are often judged lacking. Were these painters far more sophisticated than we have realised?

In our travel section, Richard Hodges looks at how the Battle of Monte Cassino is commemorated, while our editor-in-chief has been instrumental in setting up a new award in Spain.

FEATURES

The Valley of the Kings revisited 
Investigating unacclaimed tombs with wonderful secrets

The fortress of Kurganzol
On the trail of Alexander the Great in Central Asia

Mud, blood, and green fields
An archaeology of the First World War at Bullecourt

Spotlight: Art meets archaeology
A fresh perspective on Pompeii and Herculaneum

NEWS

  • Cultural encounters through Australia’s rock art
  • Exploring Ecuador’s little-known Machalilla Culture
  • New handprints among Altamira’s Palaeolithic paintings
  • Tracing the origins of Europe’s megaliths
  • The fox and the hound in Bronze Age Spain
  • Fast food in prehistoric Sri Lanka
  • Straight from the painter’s mouth
  • Colonisation and climate change

NEWS FOCUS
Monument mapping and resource management on Easter Island

CHARLES HIGHAM
Revelations from South Africa’s Rising Star cave

HORIZON
The winner of the CWA Photo of the Year 2019 competition

TRAVEL

ITALY
Richard Hodges investigates the Benedictine monastery at Monte Cassino and the Second World War battle that reduced it to ruins

SPAIN
Andrew Selkirk heads to Barcelona for the launch of a new archaeology award

CULTURE

REVIEWS
24 Hours in Ancient Egypt; Voices from the Deep; Connected Communities; Pompeii, a different perspective; Archaeological Approaches to Shamanism

SPECIAL REPORT
Recreating Mosul’s destroyed artefacts

CHRIS CATLING
Turkey’s chalet fever and a forgotten architect

FORUM
Crossword and cartoon

THINKING ALOUD
Uncovering the archaeology of state terror

OBJECT LESSON
A Hawaiian ‘ahu ‘ula from Captain Cook’s voyage

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