This week: Palmyra

Halfway between the Mediterranean and the Euphrates, the Syrian desert city of Palmyra was once known as the 'Venice of the sands' – a name which reflected not only the magnificence of its architecture but also its importance as a trading centre for the camel caravans which for many centuries carried the riches of East and West along this stretch of the Silk Road.…

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Surveying Verulamium

We all gathered round on another day, when a whoop of excitement emerged from the next-door shop, where Professor Frend was working in a cellar. He had just found the lovely bronze statuette of Venus, now a proud exhibit in the Verulamium Museum

Celebrity beasts

The statues of five elephants surrounding this part of the cemetery have led to the belief that these and other circus animals are buried here along with the human victims of the Hammond circus train disaster of 22 June 1918.

Academic mass production

Every paper has to say something new. In the mass production of vehicle components, difference is defect. In the mass production of academic papers, difference is a requirement.

The patron saint of spinners and spinsters

In 1473, Robert Wodelarke marked the feast of St Catharine by founding a college of priests in Cambridge, commanding them to pray for their founder daily while completing their theological studies

Norway: secrets of the ice

Over the last decade, 64 glaciers and ice patches in the Innlandet region have produced over 3,500 archaeological finds, from hunting tools…

Cage cup

What is it? This cage cup, or vas diatretum, dates to the 4th century AD. The intricate, colourless glass bowl is 12.6cm…

The myth of chivalry

Neil Faulkner argues that the supposed ‘supremacy’ of heavy horse on European battlefields in the Middle Ages is…