This week: jungle

According to the dictionary, it means simply 'land covered with dense forest and tangled vegetation'. But in the context of our human story, the word 'jungle' – which derives from the Hindi 'jangal' – has often taken on unfairly negative connotations.…

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Excavating Lincolnshire

The concentration of artefacts at Fiskerton was so rich that it led prehistorian Mike Parker Pearson to compare Fiskerton to La Tène, the 19th-century Swiss lakeside excavation that had a profound influence on our understanding of Iron Age Europe.

Clerical sinners and forgeries

Quarreling was commonplace, especially over who was entitled to sit in ‘the best’ pews. Clergy complained about being assaulted: one Kentish aristocrat took his hawk to church in 1514 and punched the vicar in the face when chastised for doing so.

The Treasures of Sanxingdui

The contents of those two pits amaze. They include some of the most remarkable bronzes from the ancient world: human face-masks with protruding eyes, thought to depict Cancong, the mythical first king of Shu.

Making a difference?

The wealth produced by Egyptian peasants was spent on warfare, monuments, and luxury. Egyptian artisans were despised as manual labourers. So Egyptian civilisation looked essentially the same in 30 BC as it had done in 3000 BC.

Early medieval duck brooch

Carrying on the ornithological theme from last issue’s ‘Finds Tray’, which profiled an early medieval brooch featuring a bird, this Roman lock…

Engraved deer bone

What is it? This 51,000-year-old engraved toe bone is one of the oldest works of art ever found. The bone, which is…