CWA 21 was published in February 2007 and contained articles on the Dhakleh Oasis in the Egyptian desert and how it changed over time and The London Dockland's Museum exhibition about the first English settlement in America and how it maintained links with England. Also the CWA editor recounts the tales of her travels in China, the demise of the mouse-goat local to Mallorca, some 400 years ago and finally an account of the types of rock art to be found in Morocco and why they are unique.
The Dakhleh Oasis 300km west of Luxor and entirely surrounded by desert is a far cry from the stereotypical pond surrounded by palm trees. This fertile region is 70km from east to west in places and 20km from north to south and has attracted cultures for as long as there have been people in Egypt. For 25 years the Dakhleh Oasis Project has been uncovering many different levels of occupation of the oasis from Old Stone Age camps to Islamic villages.
The occupation of the oasis in 2,200BC heralded the use of it as a funerary landscape which contained burial mounds and mastabas such as the one above.
However with the establishment of the Roman town at Kellis burial habits changed, yet the arid nature of the desert has ensured that bodies suffered little taphonomic decay and are very well preserved.
This year sees the 400th anniversary of the first permanent English settlement in America, in recognition of this, London’s Dockland’s museum is charting the history of this settlement, Jamestown, and its links to London.
CWA’s editor gives a first hand account of a personal guided tour around China’s most important archaeological sites from the Forbidden City to the location of one of the most extensively studied sites of Homo erectus.
The huge covered museum used to house the terracotta army is an apt reflection of the fact that China’s technology now, as well as in the past, often surpasses that of the west.
A tree inside the Forbidden City, deliberately grown in the shape of the Chinese symbol for man (or life).
In 1909 Dorethy M.A. Bate discovered a new species of goat but with aspects akin to those of mice, she christened in Myotragus – Greek for "Mouse-Goat". Palaeontologists now believe a rapid extinction that follows the "Blitzkrieg Model", caused by the arrival of man on the island, spelled the end for what was previously the only mammal on Mallorca.
It may be that, like the Dodo, the Mouse-goat had no instinctive defence against man, having evolved too comfortably within its own island.
The Myrotagus had an ever-growing lower incisor like that of a mouse, yet the horned head of a goat.
Susan Searight reveals how, after 15 years excavating Mesolithic sites in the Inner Hebrides, she spent the next 30 years analysing Moroccan rock art.
The highly stylised characters with prominent buttocks are unique in Morocco and bear more in common with the Central Saharan rock art tradition.
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