When Nigeria appears on the news, it is too often for internet scams or identity fraud perpetrated on unsuspecting victims thousands of miles away. But the new exhibition at the British Museum brings to the public a very different side to Nigerian culture: the Kingdom of Ife.
Interwar excavators found the remains of about 20 Roman soldiers in an ancient siege tunnel beneath the walls of the Syrian fortress-city of Dura-Europos. No-one was sure how they had died. Now, archaeologist Simon James has pieced together the forensic evidence for the world’s first poison-gas attack.
Carriacou is a quiet island idyll in the southern Caribbean. Prior to the arrival of Europeans, this was an archetypal deserted island. Or so it seemed. Now, archaeologists are revealing a vibrant picture of its pre-European life, as Scott Fitzpatrick explains.
An amphitheatre, with a footprint to match the Pantheon in Rome, has been discovered at the 2nd century man-made harbour of Portus, Rome’s ‘gateway to the Mediterranean’.
In 1987, some of the world‘s richest and most extraordinary tombs were found on the North coast of Peru. They were left by the people of the Moche culture, who preceded the Inca by some 1,000 years. To this day, the site continues to yield great wonders. The editor Nadia Durrani went to Peru to [...]
Space, the final archaeological frontier? Following NASA’s recent Golden Anniversary celebrations, David Miles looks to the skies for extra-terrestrial archaeology. Archaeology, like the Universe, keeps expanding. In the late 1960s pessimists foretold archaeology’s total destruction: sites ripped apart, scattered and buried by humanity careless of its own past. In fact, the evidence of our past [...]
The archaeologists had reached the site’s natural sandy substrate – the site was finished and their work was done. Then they noticed a surprise pot and then another pot. Then, before them, an entire, highly unusual cemetery unfolded. Site director Charles Higham reveals the latest findings from Ban Non Wat.
It was not much: two simple hearths, three small postholes, and a fragment of pointed bronze. But it was found on Robinson Crusoe Island. And it was almost certainly the hut of the world-famous castaway. Excavators Daisuke Takahashi and David Caldwell report.
The life of Abraham Lincoln has always aroused passionate interest in the United States, but with 2009 as the bicentennial celebration of his birth, excitement is gathering at an even faster pace. Some 300 biographies of Lincoln are already on the market, with more to come, along with a Stephen Spielberg cinema biography starring Liam [...]
Sean Kingsley reports from the English Channel, where Odyssey Marine Exploration has discovered the long-sought shipwreck of HMS Victory, lost in a ferocious storm in 1744. Thursday 4 October 1744 was a day like every other in the city of London. The Daily Advertiser announced a lecture in Physick and Midwifry by Sir Richard Manningham [...]
The Aegean coast of Turkey is awash with Classical sites. Yet many are unknown even to the informed visitor. Here, David Kennedy powers up a microlight plane to take us for a heavenly view of just one such site: Kaunos. On the Aegean coast of Turkey you are seldom far from the remains of some [...]
Current World Archaeology’s dig – the Great Arab Revolt Project – is now in its third season. A team of specialists and volunteers has been working in Jordan to reveal the archaeology of TE Lawrence, co-directed by Current Archaeology’s Neil Faulkner. Julian Evan-Hart and Roger Ward report back. Jordan offers breathtaking desert scenery and one [...]
Richard Hodges writes his postcard from the idyllic setting of Byzantine Kastoria in Greece. The Byzantine emperors, it is said, regularly exiled dissident members of their court to Kastoria. Like Ochrid to the north, half-way across the breadth of the Balkans on an artery reaching from Constantinople to the Adriatic Sea, evidently exile in [...]
The founding of the University of Pennsylvania Museum in the 1880s was part of the great wave of institution-building that took place in the United States after the American Civil War. The new wealth created after the Civil War gave incentive to philanthropy as a means of earning social recognition, and many wealthy and civic [...]
From the bison of Lascaux to the intriguing figures from the Sahara, the prehistoric rock art of Europe and Africa is undeniably alluring. But what about ancient rock art from other parts of the world? Although it tends to be forgotten, outheast Asia boasts a unique corpus of material, and almost as much rock art [...]
Pintia was a thriving Iron Age city in North Central Spain. At its dawn, around the 5th century BC, it was part of the Vaccean culture, an Iron Age people with Celtic links whom scholars believe crossed into Spain from Central Europe. In the 3rd century BC, the area came under attack from Hannibal, and [...]
New discoveries from Okinawa and the Ryukyu Archipelago
Egyptian glass is among the finest of the ancient world. Yet how did the ancient Egyptians make it? New work, at the world’s earliest-excavated glass making factory in Tell el-Amarna, is unravelling the mysteries. Here Paul Nicholson delves into the archives of the late great Egyptologist, Flinders Petrie, who excavated at Tell el-Amarna in the [...]
The Treasury of Atreus – also known as the Tomb of Agamemnon – is the largest and most impressive of the nine tholos tombs at Mycenae. The location of the Atreus Tomb has intrigued archaeologists for many years but by studying the landscape, the courses of the ancient roads and the various lines of sight at [...]
Biblical sites were highly sought after by some of our earliest and greatest archaeologists. One such site, Carchemish, was the famed city of the Hittite Empire. It attracted the attention of T.E. Lawrence and Woolley, pioneers of British Near Eastern Archaeology, who excavated there just before the First World War. Then came the crashing calamity of [...]