In this, our first issue, we cover the world. There are two very different towns, Amarna the best preserved town of Ancient Egypt, and La Milpa a newly discovered Mayan town in Central America; and what a fascinating contrast they make! There are also two classic sites to revisit. Troy has been the subject of a fierce recent controversy: just how big was it? We lay out the evidence from the rival claimants. Then we cross the world to look at Angkor Wat: just what were its origins? Then in an article of which we are particularly proud, we ask the question, where is the oldest pottery in the world? The answer is Japan and here you will learn about not only the recent discoveries, but also go into the problems of the calibration of radiocarbon dating. Finally, Ephesus, and we look at the fantastic new cover building that has been constructed to display an entire insula of the classical town.

Armarna 

What did an ancient Egyptian town look like? The best plan of an Egyptian town is to be found at Armana, the town built by the heretic Pharaoh Akhenaten, and then abandoned after his death.  Barry Kemp, who has been researching Armana for 20 years, has made a model of the whole town: here we see a flotilla of ships leaving the royal palace, to make its way down-river

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La Milpa

Compare an Egyptian town with a Maya town from America. Here we see a computer map of the centre of the Maya city of La Milpa, in Belize. The ceremonial centre is on the high ground at the top, where the plaza is surrounded by four pyramids. The ruler's palace lay in the complex of buildings at the centre bottom.

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Ephesus

Every issue will highlight a classic tourist site, and reveal the latest discoveries for the tourist. Here we see Ephesus, where the Austrian excavators have built a high-tech 'Roof' to cover a whole block of the Roman city. The second block, recently excavated, can be seen beside it.

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Troy

How big was ancient Troy? This is one of the 'hot' topics of classical archaeology, and here we have a full report from the front. Here we see one of the German excavators, looking at the butt end of what appears to be the defences of the lower town. But click here for our fuller preview of the 'Trojan Wars'

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Angkor Wat

There is a problem with the huge temple of Angkor Wat.

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Although it lies in Cambodia, yet stylistically, it displays a strong Indian influence But what are its origins? Charles Higham has been looking at the Khmer society that underlay it and has uncovered the flourishing Bronze Age and Iron Age society that produced the superb Bronze Age pots (right).

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Jomon pottery

Where is the oldest pottery in the world? In Japan, where some of the pottery (below) dates back right into the last Ice Age, around 14,000 BC.

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To the left, we see one of these early Jomon sites being excavated, with Mount Fuji in the background.   

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Baghdad

In the course of the overthrow of the Saddam Hussein regime, the Baghdad Museum was looted. John Curtis, of the British Museum was one of the first to visit Iraq following the war, and in a 'Letter from Baghdad' he gives a first-hand account of the damage. 

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