Tutankhamun ruled in interesting times. His father, Akhenaten, had upended Egyptian society by venerating the sun and founding a new capital at Amarna. Doubtless he made many enemies – particularly among the powerful priesthood – along the way. Tutankhamun was left to deal with the fallout when he came to power at just nine years old. It was once thought that these turbulent times culminated in his murder, but now it is believed that simple bad luck claimed the teenager. The exquisite goods in his tomb may reflect genuine esteem for a young pharaoh who resolved a religious schism.
Crafts had come a long way by Tutankhamun’s time. Our love affair with technology began millions of years earlier, with someone banging two rocks together. For decades, it was believed that tool-use was unique to our extended family. Now, new discoveries are forcing us to consider that others were getting in on the act, while modern primate behaviour provides clues about what the very earliest tool-use may have been like. The results raise questions about what it even means to be human.
When it comes to identity, another long-running question is who were the Moche? The various communities bearing this label lived on the northern Peruvian coast long before the Inca claimed to be the first civilisation to flourish in the region. But were the Moche just a haphazard collection of independent city-states, or something more organised? Recent discoveries in the shadow of a mud-brick pyramid may help answer this question.
Another mystery concerned the origin of an enigmatic group of megalithic monuments in the Netherlands. Once believed to be the work of giants, they are now known to have been raised by the region’s first farmers. What can they reveal about life and death in the Neolithic?
In our travel section, Richard Hodges shares the inside story of an archaeological conclave called to select the director of Pompeii, while Carly Hilts experiences a carnival of remembrance during Mexico’s Day of the Dead.
A teenager’s journey to the afterlife
Made of stone
Seeking the dawn of technology
Return to Huaca El Pueblo
Discovering Peruvian pyramid tombs
Spotlight: Built by giants?
Commemorating death in the Neolithic Netherlands
- Remarkable Roman burials revealed in France and Croatia
- The sack of Bronze Age Sam’al
- Bringing up baby
- Viking dwellings for the dead discovered in Norway
- Change and continuity in the colonial Caribbean
- 30 hidden coffins found in Egypt
- Making the invisible visible
- The Archaeology Podcast Network turns 5
Surveying the deserts of eastern Sudan
Exploring the archaeology of Afghanistan
A freshly excavated fresco from Pompeii
Richard Hodges enters an archaeological conclave in Rome
Honouring the ancestors in Mexico City and Oaxaca
Face to face with Palmyra’s ancient inhabitants at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen
Uruk: First City of the Ancient World; The Frontiers of Imperial Rome; Design and Connectivity: The Case of Atlantic Rock Art; Magan – The Land of Copper
Recreating a pharaoh’s tomb
Missing manuscripts and monuments
Letters, crossword, cartoon
Interpreting in the field
Selden Map of China
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