Ulpiana Fig-1

Ulpiana: The Romans in Kosovo

Excavations in a once-forgotten city are bringing its inhabitants’ stories to light, as Oliver Gilkes reveals. The wide, high, rolling plains and hills of Kosovo are a sudden change from the soaring peaks and rugged hills of the Balkan Mountains. This region of fertile soils and mineral-rich highlands has made Kosovo the target of ambitious […]


CWA 93

It is a building like no other at Akrotiri. Now known as the ‘House of the Benches’, it is tucked away on the edge of the famous Bronze Age town. Inside, there is no sign of the domestic set-up suggested by its modern name. Instead, archaeologists have found traces of perplexing and mysterious activity. Among […]


Review: Frisians and their North Sea Neighbours

Frisians and their North Sea Neighbours: from the 5th century to the Viking age John Hines and Nelleke IJssennagger (eds) Boydell & Brewer, £75 ISBN 978-1783271795 Review by: Catherine Hills Early medieval Frisia had a complicated history. Broadly speaking, it occupied the coastal regions of what are now the Netherlands and north-west Germany. Close connections […]


Review: The Power of Place

The Power of Place: rulers and their palaces, landscapes, cities, and holy places David Rollason Princeton University Press, £41.95 ISBN 978-0691167626 Review by: Stuart Brookes The central theme of this enthralling and beautifully produced book is that rulers designed the worlds around them to send messages of power. In the case of palaces, such a […]


Book Review – The German Ocean: Medieval Europe around the North Sea

  In the full flush of Brexit, Brian Ayers’ new book makes for compelling reading. Re-reading the results of countless excavations over the past 50 years and their 11th to 16th century meaning, Ayers concludes: ‘It is a maritime region where the seas bind communities together rather than dividing them’, the archaeology thus gives ‘timely […]


The Caspian Gates

The ‘Gates’ at Dariali Gorge, set amid the spectacular mountain scenery of modern Georgia, was a place of legend. It features in a wider range of ancient and medieval sources than any other mountain pass, yet it has long been ignored by archaeologists. Dariali Gorge was a place of legend. It was in the dramatic […]


New Light on the Black death

New Light on the Black Death: the cosmic connection Mike Baillie, Tempus £17.99    Everyone knows the Black Death of 1348 was caused by fleas carried on rats. Infected fleas would leave the bodies of dead rats and migrate to a convenient human host. Then the human would be infected. Simple. Only the problems with […]


The Bayeux Tapestry, the life story of a masterpiece

The most familiar image in the gallery of the mind’s eye is how Carola Hicks describes The Bayeux Tapestry in her book, subtitled ‘the life story of a masterpiece’. She also notes The Times’s 1944 characterisation of the Tapestry as a great Norman newsreel that anticipated the invention of Technicolor, and noted its descent from […]

H Beta Giyorgis plus pilgrims

Lalibela, Ethiopa, Rock-Hewn Churches

One of the original 12 sites to be added to the World Heritage list, Lalibela is one of the most important pilgrimage places of Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity and famed for its 11 Medieval churches, all of which are hewn into the rock. These exceptional buildings are said to have been built during the 25 year reign of King Lalibela – with more than a little help from the angels. But archaeologists question miracles; and here, David Phillipson, Professor of African Archaeology at Cambridge, introduces us to the wonders of Lalibela and offers a new interpretation of its chronology and creation.

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