Egypt

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Preview: Rethinking the Islamic world

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 […]

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Heliopolis

Heliopolis had the largest boundary of any Ancient Egyptian temple, but little of this extraordinary religious complex remains visible today. As the modern Cairo suburbs advanced ever deeper into the former home of the sun god Ra, a project was set up to record the archaeology of Heliopolis before it was too late.

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CWA 90

According to Ancient Egyptian mythology, the world was created at Heliopolis. This significance was reflected in a temple complex that boasted the largest enclosure known in Egypt. Today, acts of creation at the site mostly concern new buildings springing up in the Cairo suburbs, while rescue excavations tease out traces of the temple before they […]

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CWA 88

It sounds more like Hollywood than archaeology: thousands of life-size sculpted soldiers, brandishing real weapons and faithfully guarding an emperor’s tomb for millennia. Yet the terracotta warriors are no special effect. These soldiers are believed to have been individually crafted, capturing an army on the cusp of the Bronze and Iron Ages. The resources and […]

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Object lesson: William the Hippo

What is it? William is the nickname given to this small Egyptian Middle Kingdom statuette of a hippopotamus. The figurine was made in the 12th Dynasty (c.1961-1878 BC) and was placed with another in a tomb. Measuring just 11.2cm in height and 20cm in length, the bright, blue faience hippopotamus has a well-rounded body and […]

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CWA 87

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 […]

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CWA 86

Giza is one of the most celebrated archaeological sites in the world. Although it is revered for its spectacular pyramids, research over the last few decades has shed light on a living community that grew up to service the dead. In our cover feature we examine their role in dispatching the deceased on a voyage […]

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Neil Faulkner considers the Pyramids and alternative facts

Apparently, we now live in a ‘post-fact’ world. The new American president denounces the truth as ‘fake news’. A leading White House spokesperson rejects the truth in favour of ‘alternative facts’. Veteran Middle East journalist Robert Fisk has argued that there is nothing new here: what is happening is called ‘lying’, and politicians have always […]

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CWA 80

Crossing the Caucasus, Europe’s highest mountain range, is not for the faint-hearted, and nowhere is so bleak and so inhospitable as Dariali Gorge. It is here, legend tells, that Prometheus endured his cyclical punishment for stealing fire from the gods. And through here the Huns forced their way south to plunder the riches of the […]

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Scanning the Pharaohs

The results of cutting-edge CT imaging on Ramesses III, Hatshepsut, Tutankhamen, and a host of other New Kingdom mummies are revealed in a gripping new book by Zahi Hawass and Sahar Saleem.   Scanning the Pharaohs: CT Imaging of the New Kingdom Royal Mummies is the latest page-turner from Zahi Hawass, former Egyptian minister of […]

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CWA 78

In February 1221, the Mongols unleashed one of the most devastating attacks on the medieval world. Led by Genghis Khan’s son, Tolui, they sacked the great Silk Route city of Merv, in modern-day Turkmenistan, laying waste to anything they could not carry away, and slaughtering tens of thousands. As one contemporary author put it, this was a ‘great disaster, the […]

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The mystery of Naukratis

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 […]

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