ARCHAEOLOGY magazine offers readers incisive reporting, vivid storytelling, compelling photography – and the latest news from around the globe – all devoted to exploring the world’s ancient past. Whether reporting from a dive on an Arctic shipwreck, trekking through Afghanistan, or digging just beneath Beirut, ARCHAEOLOGY’s editors and writers bring readers the science, and the magic, of archaeological discovery.

United States
Archaeological Institute of America
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6 Numéros

dans ce numéro

2 min
food and finance

Two universal experiences appear in several of this issue’s stories: one that we look forward to every day, usually several times a day; the other we mostly meet with dread each April (or October). The first is eating. The other is paying taxes. While it’s true that food features in some way in every issue—remnants of food often survive in the archaeological record—in this issue the profound transformation in the way people acquired food starting about 11,000 years ago, during the Neolithic Revolution, takes center stage at one of the ancient world’s most extraordinary sites. Unearthed on the slopes of an otherwise-anonymous hillside in southeastern Turkey, Göbekli Tepe is known for its circular buildings and T-shaped pillars decorated with carved animals and symbols. At the same time that people were building…

2 min
sutton hoo and the dig

Archaeology fans around the world got a treat early this year with the release of the Netflix movie The Dig. Focused on the discovery of the Sutton Hoo ship burial in Suffolk, England, on the eve of World War II, it tells the story of Mrs. Edith Pretty, a wealthy landowner who hired the polymath and self-taught archaeologist Basil Brown to excavate the mounds on her property. Once Brown realized he had found the remains of a ship, he and Pretty brought in a “dream team” of professionals, Peggy and Stuart Piggott among them, to methodically excavate Mound 1. The magnificent Anglo-Saxon royal ship burial and its opulent treasures that the team unearthed rewrote history. The finds’ glittering artistry, sophisticated design, and evidence of far-flung trade showed that the early…

3 min
from our readers

HIGH-WIRE ACT Is it definite that the Chachapoya had no climbing ropes (“Mapping a City in the Clouds,” March/April 2021)? Marlene DalloAtlanta, GA Archaeologist J. Marla Toyne replies: There is excellent preservation of completely textile-wrapped mummy bundles, including wood materials, feathers, and soft tissue remains, at some nearby archaeological sites and a few remains at Diablo Wasi. Some of the mummy bundles are wrapped in plant-based fiber cordage in either a wrapped form or woven net-like around the body. Although we don’t have any rope remains in situ or in tombs at the necropolis sites, some of the wooden poles that project from the cliff near tombs appear to have wide grooves in them that might indicate that they may have had abrasive contact with ropes being pulled over them. It remains a…

3 min
you are how you cook

It turns out that what you eat may have as much to do with how you cook as with what’s available at the farmers market. In Bronze Age China, established cooking styles had a profound impact on the speed with which new domesticated crops were adopted into regional cuisines, says archaeologist Xinyi Liu of Washington University in St. Louis. “There is a deep-seated divide between eastern and western cooking preferences in China: boiling and steaming in the east, and grinding and baking in the west,” Liu explains. “When grains like wheat and barley, which are rooted in the grinding and baking tradition, enter a cuisine that favors boiling and steaming and eating whole grains, what’s going to happen?” Will people accustomed to beginning their day with a steaming bowl of…

1 min
after the fall

It has long been thought that when Roman rule of Britain ended in the early fifth century A.D., the population retreated to the countryside to eke out a living through subsistence farming. But new dating of a mosaic at Chedworth Roman Villa in Gloucestershire suggests that at least some continued to appreciate the finer things. Radiocarbon dating of charcoal and bone found in a trench dug to build one of the walls of the room where the mosaic was laid down shows that the fancy flooring was crafted in the mid-fifth century A.D. “It’s really exciting to imagine that these people carried on a Romanized way of life and that crafts like mosaic making survived,” says National Trust archaeologist Martin Papworth.…

1 min
consider the craniums

The two-million-year-old skull of a male hominin unearthed in the Drimolen Main Quarry north of Johannesburg has changed how scholars imagine one of our distant human cousins. The skull, dubbed DNH 155, belongs to the earliest known and best-preserved member of the species Paranthropus robustus, a small-brained hominin that lived around the same time as Homo erectus, our direct human ancestor. P. robustus had large, powerful teeth that had evolved to eat tough food such as tubers and bark. The species was thought to have been highly sexually dimorphic, meaning that males and females were drastically different in size and build. Paleoanthropologists had drawn that conclusion because the exclusively female skulls discovered at Drimolen Main Quarry were much smaller than those of male skulls discovered at nearby Swartkrans Cave, which…