Tantra’s appeal has proven remarkably broad. What began on the margins of Indian society went on to command the patronage of royalty and transform Hinduism and Buddhism as it spread across Asia. Along the way, it created a rich archaeological legacy, capable of provoking radically different reactions from its audiences, as Imma Ramos told Matthew Symonds.
The archaeological legacy of the Trojan war is immense. Greek vases pull no punches when they show Homeric heroes engaged in brutal combat. Key scenes from the conflict and its aftermath play out across ancient sarcophagi, wall paintings, and even fine tableware. Yet there is a strong chance that none of these events ever really […]
As the Inca state expanded, the inhabitants of Pachacamac, Peru, found themselves on the receiving end of the imperial experience. By then, Pachacamac was already a venerable city presided over by a powerful local god. In our cover feature we explore how the Incas sensed an opportunity and encouraged pilgrimages to the site from across […]
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 […]
A fresh approach to a celebrated collection On 18 October 2018, the new Albukhary Foundation Gallery of the Islamic World will open its doors to visitors at the British Museum. CWA was invited to take a look behind the scenes as installation of the objects was under way. How do you tackle a subject as […]
After two years of refurbishment, the British Museum has reopened its longest gallery, devoted to China and South Asia. Artefacts are back on display in the listed mahogany cases, offering a chronological journey through the rich collections from Neolithic pottery to Ravi Shankar’s sitar. A vast Ming dynasty mural (c.1424- 1468) from a Buddhist temple […]
How did Romans drive around their cities? While Classical authors had plenty to say about the coarse manners of the muleteers using the streets, they were less interested in setting down the rules of the road. Was it just a free-for-all? Subtle traces worn into the streets of Pompeii by passing carts suggest otherwise. Our […]
The Greeks called them Scythians, the Assyrians and Achaemenid Persians called them Saka. We know them only through their lavish funeral remains. Ahead of a major exhibition at the British Museum, St John Simpson unravels the fascinating story of this mysterious people.
Sicily, one of the world’s great crossroads of culture, is the subject of the British Museum’s latest must-see exhibition, Sicily: Culture and Conquest. Curators Dirk Booms and Peter Higgs take us behind the scenes, telling the story using five of their favourite objects from the displays. Sicily sits in the centre of the Mediterranean, its […]
Revealing Egypt’s international port From the late 7th century BC, the Nile Delta port of Naukratis was the world’s gateway to Egypt. Yet, despite early archaeological research at the site, it has languished in the shadows. Who lived there, how did the port operate, and what (sometimes salacious) secrets remained hidden? Alexandra Villing and Ross […]
Metropolis, not Superman’s home town but the Ionian City of the Mother Goddess, was a major Classical city established in Anatolia during the 3rd century BC. Crowned by an acropolis, it lies above fertile plains on the road to Ephesus, its magnificent monumental architecture testament to the sophistication of its wealthy citizens. So why has nobody heard of it? Serdar […]
In July 1916, 450 of the 2,500 British and (mostly) Australian soldiers killed during two days of fighting at Fromelles in northern France were buried behind enemy lines. Many unmarked mass graves were lost for decades. Now archaeological survey has located eight of them just outside the village, and Oxford Archaeology was called in to investigate the remains. Using […]