This week: Pacopampa

Understanding burial practices and funerary customs is a vital part of any attempt to understand an ancient culture – for while the need to separate the living from the dead is common to all human societies, the way in which this has been done over the centuries varies widely according to time and place. As part of a Viking funeral, for example, a deceased warrior might be buried with his horse, his dogs, or even in some cases an unfortunate human sacrifice, as an offering to the gods on the journey to Valhalla. Followers of the ancient Iranian religion of…

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Becoming an archaeologist

Archaeology is not immune to wider social changes... the #BlackLivesMatter movement focused attention on the colonial pasts of many nations and on the challenges of the post-colonial present.…

Seasons and the city

Even reputable observers like Pliny the Younger often ended up at the mercy of the competence of later scribes. As his writings only survive as copies, it may be no more than a scribal slip of the hand that immortalised August as the month when Pompeii met its fate.…

A landscape through time

Last year, Historic England archaeologists used ground-penetrating radar to confirm the remains of Tudor and Jacobean formal gardens at Belhus Park in Thurrock, Essex, the site of a manor built in the medieval period and rebuilt in the 16th century.…

Why the Armada failed

It was one of the greatest disasters in Spain’s history, yet it came within hours of success. Here,…