The king’s new clothes

Researchers had moved the best textiles, including the ‘Eagle Silk’ and a pillow with birds, deemed more fitting for a king, over to Cnut’s shrine, where they are displayed with his remains under a glass lid.…

Anglo-Saxon burials revealed

‘We had expected to find some kind of Anglo-Saxon burial, but what we found exceeded all our expectations and provides new insights into this stretch of the Thames in the decades after the collapse of the Roman administration in Britain.’…

Painting the past

Joining the gallery’s collections is an 1819 oil-on-paper painting by Achille Etna Michallon (1796-1822) of The Forum at Pompeii.…

Philip and Alexander: Kings and Conquerors

In the mid 4th century BC, Greece experienced a seismic convulsion whose shockwaves would be felt as far away as India, when an energetic young commander took the throne of Macedon, led his army to a string of victories, and consolidated a new empire. His identity? Not Alexander (though his…

Secret Britain: unearthing our mysterious past

From a small spindle whorl to an expanse of moorland, there are many objects, individual sites, and entire landscapes in Britain that offer a portal to the past. In her engaging new book, Mary-Ann Ochota is our guide to the archaeology of the country, as she takes readers on a…

Rome in the 8th Century: A History in Art

What do we imagine the city of Rome to have been like in the 8th century AD? With the supremacy of Constantinople as the political and administrative centre of the empire, the Rome of this period – its buildings falling into disrepair and bedevilled by threats from the north –…

Aztecs: where eagles dare

Buried beneath Mexico City lie the remains of the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan and its sacred centre. Lucia Marchini reports on an exhibition investigating wealth, worship, and empire in pre-Hispanic Mexico.…

Thebes: city of myths

Sparta is famous for its warrior tradition, Athens for its intellectual and artistic achievement. But what of Thebes? As ancient historian Paul Cartledge explains, Thebes too had a most distinctive image.…

China: in the beginning

Chinese rulers held the disciplines of astronomy and cosmology in high regard for millennia. Dalu Jones
previews an exhibition of exquisite objects exploring the connections between Heaven and Earth.…

Minerva 186

• Ravenna: mosaics and majesty in an imperial city
• Tantra: the rise of a spiritual rebellion
• City of myths: how and why Thebes was forgotten
• In the beginning: ancient Chinese cosmology
• Where eagles dare: wealth, worship, and conquest in the Aztec capital…

Saving Notre Dame

When flames ripped through the cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris in April 2019, the world feared for its survival. Now a small team of scientists is working towards its restoration and discovering secrets along the way. Christa Lesté-Lasserre spoke to some of them about their work and its challenges.…

The golden and the grotesque

Nero’s spectacular palace in Rome, the Domus Aurea or ‘Golden House’, was rediscovered in the Renaissance. Dalu Jones describes how the opulent designs of its ancient halls inspired some of the most celebrated artists of the 15th and 16th centuries.…

Last Supper in Pompeii

The extraordinary levels of preservation at the relatively ordinary Roman city of Pompeii and other sites in the Bay of Naples, where the eruption of Mount Vesuvius devastatingly interrupted the inhabitants as they went about their daily lives, provide remarkable insights into the production, distribution, and conspicuous consumption of food…

The wrong Caesars

As a dozen Renaissance gilded silver treasures, the Aldobrandini Tazze or Twelve Caesars, go on show at Waddesdon Manor, Professor Mary Beard unscrews the puzzle of how the Roman emperors and dishes got mixed up…

A sense of place

Using the unlikely site of Butrint in Albania as a prime example, Richard Hodges explains how the work of archaeologists defines them as placemakers…

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