Ancient stilt village in Albania

Archaeologists have found what may be Europe’s oldest pile-dwelling site, dating to almost 8,000 years ago, preserved by the waters of Lake Ohrid, which straddles the border between Albania and North Macedonia. The discovery comes as part of the EXPLO Project, an ERC-funded research project exploring human responses to environmental…

Earliest Neanderthal cave engravings?

A set of marks in a cave in central France may be the earliest example of Neanderthal cave-wall engravings found to date. Tens of thousands of years ago, the entrance of La Roche-Cotard cave, which sits on the north bank of the Loire River, was sealed shut by flood sediments…

Nero’s lost theatre found

Excavations in Rome have discovered a theatre that was built by Emperor Nero in the 1st century AD. Several Classical historians refer to a theatre built for the infamous emperor – and known lover of the arts – where he is said to have rehearsed and performed poetry and music.…

Fragrant finds in Vietnam

A recent study of food preparation tools from Vietnam has identified the remains of a variety of spices used c.2,000 years ago. The researchers analysed microscopic plant remains from 12 grinding stone tools found at the site of Óc Eo in southern Vietnam, which was an important overseas trading port…

China’s hidden century

A new exhibition at the British Museum explores an important period of cultural change in China’s history. Amy Brunskill visited to find out more.…

CWA #120 crossword, and answers to crossword #119

Across 7 Small pieces of stone used in mosaics (8) 9 Son of Genghis Khan who sacked Kyiv in 1240 (6) 10 ___ Mountains, possible early Palaeolithic site in California (6) 11 Nahuatl term for an Aztec ruler (8) 12 Egyptian site of the Great Pyramids and Sphinx (4) 13…

Current World Archaeology 120

• La Tène: rethinking a legendary site
• Troy’s neighbour: the powerful prehistoric city at Liman Tepe
• Landscape and legend: exploring ancient myths in Sicily
• Indiana Jones and the nature of archaeology
• Kefalonia: the buccaneer and the castle…

La Tène: A place of memory

When La Tène was discovered more than 150 years ago, the site gave its name to the second half of the Iron Age across much of Europe, and objects of La Tène type are often equated with the Celts. But what was found at La Tène? Andrew Fitzpatrick and Marc-Antoine…

Great Zimbabwe’s water system

In the south-eastern margins of the Zimbabwe plateau sit the ruins of southern Africa’s first major city, Great Zimbabwe. The city was established as the capital of the Karanga kingdom in the 11th century AD, and remained occupied until the 17th century. How Great Zimbabwe successfully kept its residents and…

Sicily: An isle of myth

The impressive ancient temples, villas, and theatres of Sicily understandably attract the attention of many visitors, but looking beyond the monuments to their spectacular natural surroundings and the stories they inspired also offers a way to understand the island’s ancient societies. David Stuttard guides us through Sicily’s mythological landscapes.…

Tracing the origins of the Benin Bronzes

A recent study has used geochemical analysis to compare brass manillas traded with West Africa in the 16th-19th centuries with the materials used to make the famous Benin Bronzes, in order to find out more about their possible origins.…

Liman Tepe: A bridge between worlds

For over 30 years a pioneering project has investigated the prehistory of the Izmir region of Turkey. What has it discovered? Vasıf Şahoğlu told Matthew Symonds an epic tale of rise and fall, connectivity and technology, and the long shadows cast by devastating natural disasters.…

Gold bracteate

What is it? This gold pendant, known to specialists as a bracteate, is 5cm in diameter and comes from a Danish hoard dated to the 6th century AD – the object itself dates to the early 5th century. The front of the pendant bears the image of a man in…

The World of the Ancient Silk Road

REVIEW BY TIM WILLIAMS This book is a collection of papers that focus on themes of human migration, communication, and cross-cultural exchange along the Silk Roads, from the 3rd millennium BC to the early 2nd millennium AD. The volume is organised in four parts, with the very loose themes of…

Europe’s Lost Frontiers – Volume 1 : Context and Methodology

REVIEW BY GEORGE NASH Due to current climate change, the coastline of north-western Europe is in a state of flux, resulting in the slow but inevitable inundation of the sea. This change in coastline is clearly witnessed by the ongoing disappearance of land along the eastern seaboard of England. The rise will…

The Museum of the Wood Age

REVIEW BY ROLAND ENNOS Given the preponderance of stone, bronze, and iron artefacts found at archaeological sites, and their usefulness in enabling archaeologists to date their finds, it has perhaps been inevitable that so much research has concentrated on these materials. But it has distorted our view of our ancestors,…

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