It has been a year of non-stop turbulence in the news – from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to the continuing upheaval of Covid-19, and from record-breaking heatwaves to the return of rampant inflation. These seismic events have provided us with daily reminders that the study of history – both ancient and modern – is not simply about understanding the past, but also about acquiring the tools to form a critical perspective on the present and future too.
In our first full year of operation here at The Past, it has been our pleasure to play a small part in this by bringing you the latest news, the most exciting stories, and the very best writing from the worlds of history, archaeology, ancient art and heritage, as reflected in the pages of Current Publishing’s unique stable of accessible specialist magazines.
In Military History Matters, we uncovered new research into what really happened to the Spanish Armada; we learned about the military disasters that made 1942 (not 1940) Churchill’s real ‘darkest hour’; we analysed the five key battles that shaped the Soviet Union; and we heard how the BBC came of age during World War II.
In Current Archaeology, we delved into the wonderful world of Stonehenge at the British Museum; we travelled to Scotland to catch up with the latest discoveries relating to the spectacular Galloway Hoard; we celebrated the half-century of Butser Ancient Farm, the pioneering archaeological open-air museum in Sussex; and we raised a cheer for the welcome return of Time Team.
In Current World Archaeology, we surveyed 3,000 years of daily life in Rome; we read up on eyewitness accounts of the building of the Great Pyramid, gaining new insights into its construction; we heard about the life and death of the alpine ‘iceman’ Ötzi; and we revealed what sculpture can tell us about the legendary desert city of Palmyra.
In Minerva, we uncovered the riches of China’s Bronze Age kingdoms; we got the lowdown on the rise of Christianity in the Caucasus; we looked into rituals of renewal among those facing climate crisis in Mississippian world; and we examined the art and power of precious manuscripts down the ages.
And last but not least, in our brand new sister magazine Ancient Egypt, we celebrated the centenary of the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb: we heard how Howard Carter’s long search in the Valley of the Kings was finally rewarded; we investigated the strange early theories about the identity of a royal individual about whom only his name was known; we revealed what new research is now telling us about the mysterious boy pharaoh; and we even caught up with Carter’s other career as a painter.
We hope you enjoy this small selection from among the many hundreds of articles published this year on The Past – and if it leaves you hungry for more, don’t forget to have a go at our latest Quiz, which this week is themed around some of the anniversaries we marked in 2022.
Of course, we hope very much that you will join us to discover more about history in 2023 – but until then, on behalf of everyone here at The Past, we wish you a happy new year!
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Whether you are an armchair historian, a budding archaeologist or a heritage enthusiast, we hope that you like what you find on The Past – and if you do, we hope very much that you might also consider taking out a subscription. Subscriptions cost £7.99 per month, or £79.99 for the whole year. But early visitors to the website can save £30 – subscribe by the end of January 2023 and pay just £49.99 by entering the code January23 at the checkout.