This Week: natural disasters

It is a question that has been debated by archaeologists and historians for decades: to what extent can one of the worst disasters in human history, the catastrophic volcanic eruption in c.1600 BC that devastated the ancient Aegean island of Thera (now known as Santorini), be linked to the mysterious collapse of one of the first European cultures, the once-dominant Minoan civilisation centred on the nearby island of Crete?…

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Writing archaeology

Neil went on to propose using what R G Collingwood called ‘the historical imagination’ by blending data and interpretation to ‘tell the story’. He was convinced that this ‘must be done if archaeology is to be interesting and worthwhile’.

The Princess of Khok Phanom Di

The Princess was not buried alone. Alongside her was a grave big enough for an adult, which contained the ochre covered skeleton of a little girl aged about 18 months, covered in about 15,000 shell beads and, lo and behold, a tiny clay anvil for shaping pots.

Ancient aquifers and a sovereign spirit

The death of Prince Philip was marked on Tanna with traditional rites and tribute ceremonies: the consensus among members of the sect is that the Duke’s spirit has returned to its island home...

Last word on Roman London

Traders poured in, London flourished, and in ten years it became the biggest town in Britain. But then, disaster! Boudica rebelled and London was destroyed: traces of burning from this episode are still visible in the lower layers of excavations.

Persepolis, 1935

Persepolis paintings perfectly glorious’ was the verdict Prentice Duell cabled from Egypt to James Henry Breasted, founder of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago (OI). He had just seen the work American artist Joseph Lindon Smith (1863-1950) created…

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Writing archaeology

Neil went on to propose using what R G Collingwood called ‘the historical imagination’ by blending data and interpretation to ‘tell the…

Women War Photographers

Calum Henderson explores the lives and works of war photographers Gerda Taro, Endre Friedmann, Françoise Demulder, Anja Niedringhaus, Lee Miller, and Catherine…

The Battle of Sluys

Edmund West reports on a medieval naval battle that is little known but was of decisive significance.…

The Palace in the Desert

Last year, the restored mosaics of the lavish audience hall and bathhouse of Hisham’s Palace near Jericho were…