Before oil and gas, the Arabian Gulf grew rich on another natural resource: pearls. From the mid 18th until the early 20th century AD the international demand for pearls was insatiable. The local economy boomed. However, almost as fast as it boomed, so it bust. The story of this heady rise and fall is illustrated […]
Between Mycenaean Greece and Classical Greece there is a ‘Dark Age’ during which civilization appears to have collapsed and little is known. But now, at Lefkandi on the Aegean island of Euboea, a site has been found that bridges this dark gap. What have they found? The answers are revealed thanks to a major exploration […]
This issue features a trove of Turkish treasures. We begin in the ancient city of Myra on the southern coast of Turkey. This was once home to St Nicolas, the benign 4th century bishop of subsequent Santa Claus fame. Myra’s remains include a vast 11,000 capacity Roman-era theatre and numerous intricate rock-carved tombs — as […]
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.
We think of chemical weapons as one of the horrifying features of modern warfare. We might assume that it all started with the First World War. But did it? Our cover feature investigates the gruesome evidence of a stack of bodies discovered inside a siege tunnel at the ancient Syrian frontier city of Dura-Europos. How […]
What was the fate of archaeology under Communism in post-war Europe? In the East, the Communists carried out immaculate reconstructions of many of their historic city centres — at the very time when we, in the West, were destroying many of ours in the name of modernity. A classic example of such Communist work is […]
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’.
This issue is devoted to Egypt. Over the years, some of the greatest discoveries in this extraordinary land have been made by members of the Egypt Exploration Society (EES). Founded in 1882 by the redoubtable Amelia Edwards, they employed Flinders Petrie (1853-1942) as one of their first excavators, so launching one of the greatest figures […]