Current World Archaeology 105

Cover Story

An unexpected tomb: Inside an Etruscan hypogeum on Corsica Discovering a previously unsuspected Roman cemetery would normally rank as the archaeological highlight of a building project. Recent work on Corsica, though, revealed an even greater surprise.

Features

Sharing the secrets of a 2,700-year-old Phoenician shipwreck The initial exploration of an ancient Phoenician shipwreck discovered off the Maltese coast was reported on in CWA 88. Now, thanks to groundbreaking technological developments, the wreck can be explored…
Arctic: culture and climate Humans have been calling the Arctic home for tens of thousands of years. But over the millennia, changes in climate have repeatedly forced groups to adapt or make way for…
Living in luxury in rural Sicily: the late Roman villa of Caddeddi Sicily was famed in antiquity for its agricultural prosperity. An eloquent witness of its late Roman wealth is provided by the great villa near Piazza Armerina, a UNESCO World Heritage…

News

Paranthropus robustus The discovery of a two-million-year-old skull in South Africa is shedding important new light on microevolution in an early hominin species, as Jesse Martin and Angeline Leece reveal.
Victims of Vesuvius The remains of two individuals who died during the eruption of Vesuvius have been found at a suburban villa near Pompeii.
Cooking cereals in prehistoric China A project looking at the history of crops in prehistoric China has identified differences in regional diets and changes over time, which may be connected to varying cooking practices in…
Ship shape: Viking burial found Boat burials emerged in northern Europe in the 1st century AD and disappeared with the introduction of Christianity in the 10th and 11th century. The ship burial reflects the ultimate…
Rare child burial in Indonesia A sub-adult burial dating to the early-mid Holocene, c.8000 BP, has been found in Makpan Cave on Alor Island, south-eastern Indonesia. To date, only a few complete pre-Neolithic burials have…
Life and Death in Sefidkuh An ongoing study in the Makran Sefidkuh region of Iran is shedding light on the culture and archaeological remains of communities in the area, stretching back to prehistory. The remains…

Views

In praise of volunteers Comment My excavations, including Khok Phanom Di, have yielded well over 1,000 human graves, and often the dead were interred with multiple mortuary offerings from fine pottery vessels to thousands of…
Statue of Ramesses VI Objects What is it? This granite statue depicts Pharaoh Ramesses VI, who reigned 1144-1137 BC. On the back is a hieroglyphic inscription that reads: ‘May [he] live, [the] good god, son…
New thinking in scholarship Comment A paper is not necessarily of value because it is heretical, of course; it may just be wrong.
Penn Museum: a Museum for the Coming Decades Comment, Museum, Travel The symbol of the new Penn Museum is in the refurbished main entrance hall. On a prominent podium behind the ticket desks sits the Museum’s celebrated sphinx. Richard Hodges reports.
The horizon of Khufu: inside the Great Pyramid Travel The sheer scale of Khufu’s Great Pyramid is breathtaking, but there is more to this audacious monument than immediately meets the eye, as Matthew Symonds recalls.
Preserving and presenting heritage Comment Today, 757 synagogues are deemed to be at risk, which illustrates the scale of the task facing the FJH in its mission to ‘celebrate and honour Europe’s lost Jewish communities’…
A feline find The Picture Desk On the strength of stylistic comparisons, researchers have dated the feline to around 200 BC.

Reviews

City Walls in Late Antiquity: an empire-wide perspective City walls are the largest structures associated with cities in the Roman Empire, but they seem still to be far from understood – maybe simply because they are such large…
Digging Deeper: how archaeology works How do archaeologists know where to dig? How do they find out how old things are? And who gets to keep the objects they find? It is questions like these,…
Grave Disturbances: the archaeology of post-depositional interactions with the dead Grave Disturbances focuses on a much-neglected area of funerary archaeology. Disturbed human remains are frequently encountered within burial contexts, but are often given scant attention in comparison to more complete…
The Dancing Satyr of Mazara del Vallo Oliver Gilkes contemplates an ancient masterpiece plucked from the sea.
Penn Museum: a Museum for the Coming Decades The symbol of the new Penn Museum is in the refurbished main entrance hall. On a prominent podium behind the ticket desks sits the Museum’s celebrated sphinx. Richard Hodges reports.
The horizon of Khufu: inside the Great Pyramid The sheer scale of Khufu’s Great Pyramid is breathtaking, but there is more to this audacious monument than immediately meets the eye, as Matthew Symonds recalls.
Europe without borders The exhibition Iron Age – Europe without Borders is divided into cultural-historical, chronological, and geographical sections. In addition to relics of largely unknown cultures, the exhibition focuses on the legacies…

From the editor

Excavations on Corsica sprang a surprise when archaeologists discovered a set of steps descending into the ground. Work at the site, undertaken in advance of a building development, had already revealed a Roman-era cemetery. The steps, though, led to a much rarer discovery: an intact Etruscan tomb. Within, the deceased lay beside grave goods that reflected her social status and seemingly hold the key to unlocking secrets of Etruscan burial rites.

Status was also being flaunted at the Roman villa of Caddeddi, on Sicily. Today, this impressive 4th-century AD residence is little known, but portions of fine mosaics lay preserved inside. These feature scenes ranging from mythology to hunting, while clues in the compositions suggest the owner may have shunned local workshops in favour of mosaicists from North Africa.

Long-distance movements are important, too, for understanding life in the Arctic. Humans have been living in the region for at least 30,000 years, and the passing millennia have frequently forced its inhabitants to adapt to a capricious climate or to make way for incomers bearing advanced technology. Developing ways to travel over long distances allowed Arctic peoples to tap into distant trade routes, including the Silk Road.

Trade also explains the presence of a wreck off the island of Gozo, in the Mediterranean. The vessel was a Phoenician ship that foundered in the 7th century BC. Archaeological exploration of the site is producing fascinating insights into its cargo, while a new digital museum is making a virtual-reality version of the wreck accessible to all.

Elsewhere in this issue, Richard Hodges casts an eye over how we present the past when he explores the galleries and story of Penn Museum. Finally, we consider the Great Pyramid at Giza and what the monument suggests about the relationship between a pharaonic father and son.