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CWA 57

The elaborate rock-hewn tombs of Petra, in Jordan, have inspired visitors, poets, and film-makers alike, ever since the Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt stumbled across the Khazneh (the Treasury) in 1812. But what lies behind the monumental rock-hewn façades in the ‘rose red city half as old as time’? In the first study of its […]


CWA 56

Three thousand years ago, the daughter of a priest from the temple of Amun at Karnak was laid to rest in the nearby Valley of the Kings. The tomb already had an occupant, but grave robbers had long since done their worst. So the ransacked body was carefully rewrapped, laid to one side, and lightly […]

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CWA 55

The Diablo Pyramid, in Guatemala, covers an earlier temple whose intricately decorated façade was carefully packed to preserve its huge stucco masks. These great faces of the Maya Sun God in its many guises once glowered across the horizon, painted a deep red and caught by the dying sun would have been visible for miles around. Why did they go to so much trouble? Could it be connected with the discovery of a royal tomb just in front of it? Who is the dead man, surrounded by exotic grave goods and grim sacrificial offerings?


CWA 54

Our cover is inspired by this summer’s exhibition at the British Museum, which prompted Chris Catling to examine the vital role horse power played in more than 6,000 years of human history. He discovered, surprisingly, that it all began with the humble donkey. Past study of Ancient Egypt often concentrated on the examination of monumental […]

Hadrian sculpture

CWA 40

Before oil and gas, the Arabian Gulf grew rich on another natural resource: pearls. From the mid 18th until the early 20th century AD the international demand for pearls was insatiable. The local economy boomed. However, almost as fast as it boomed, so it bust. The story of this heady rise and fall is illustrated […]

Travel: Hadrian MCM

CWA 39

Between Mycenaean Greece and Classical Greece there is a ‘Dark Age’ during which civilization appears to have collapsed and little is known. But now, at Lefkandi on the Aegean island of Euboea, a site has been found that bridges this dark gap. What have they found? The answers are revealed thanks to a major exploration […]

Travel: Hadrian MCM

CWA 41

This issue features a trove of Turkish treasures. We begin in the ancient city of Myra on the southern coast of Turkey. This was once home to St Nicolas, the benign 4th century bishop of subsequent Santa Claus fame. Myra’s remains include a vast 11,000 capacity Roman-era theatre and numerous intricate rock-carved tombs — as […]

Travel: Hadrian MCM

CWA 38

We think of chemical weapons as one of the horrifying features of modern warfare.  We might assume that it all started with the First World War. But did it? Our cover feature investigates the gruesome evidence of a stack of bodies discovered inside a siege tunnel at the ancient Syrian frontier city of Dura-Europos. How […]

Aquincum plaster

CWA 37

What was the fate of archaeology under Communism in post-war Europe? In the East, the Communists carried out immaculate reconstructions of many of their historic city centres — at the very time when we, in the West, were destroying many of ours in the name of modernity. A classic example of such Communist work is […]

Travel: Hadrian MCM

CWA 36

This issue is devoted to Egypt. Over the years, some of the greatest discoveries in this extraordinary land have been made by members of the Egypt Exploration Society (EES). Founded in 1882 by the redoubtable Amelia Edwards, they employed Flinders Petrie (1853-1942) as one of their first excavators, so launching one of the greatest figures […]

Aquincum baths

CWA 35

When, in 1911, the American explorer, Hiram Bingham, slashed his way through the South Peruvian forest to rediscover the Inca site of Machu Picchu, the world was rightly entranced. However, as this issue illustrates, there is much more to Peru than Machu Picchu.Thus, the startled golden face, half child and half ‘space-cadet‘, shown on the […]

Travel: Hadrian MCM

CWA 34

Who is Alexander Selkirk? Aside from being our publisher‘s brother, he was also the inspiration for the world’s most famous castaway. Writer Daniel Defoe based his novel, Robinson Crusoe, on the true adventures of a Scottish sailor, one hot-headed Alexander Selkirk, who was marooned on a tiny island, off the coast of Chile, from 1704 […]

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