ARCHAEOLOGY November/December 2021

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
4,66 €(TVA Incluse)
13,99 €(TVA Incluse)
6 Numéros

dans ce numéro

2 min
in rare form

Archaeologists often describe their discoveries as rare or even unique. What, in archaeological terms, do these words really mean? A number of stories in this issue vividly illustrate how some sites, artifacts, and even techniques stand out from others as truly exceptional. Two articles address the rarity of evidence left by enslaved people—in one case a single unique burial of a man in Roman Britain, and in the other, enslaved Africans in Ghana captured for the transatlantic slave trade. Archaeologists often rely on inscriptions and artifacts to help trace the personal histories of people of the past. But since both of these types of evidence are often absent for the enslaved, identifying their presence at archaeological sites is a daunting challenge. Another story explores the discovery of a massive Middle Bronze Age…

3 min
archaeological landscapes at risk

The story from White Sands National Park in this issue reminds us that our national parks and monuments are not only impressive natural landscapes, but also important archaeological ones. As readers of this magazine, you know that the interplay between cultural and natural resource management is an area of intense focus for archaeologists. From Indigenous cultures that have lived successfully in these eco-landscapes for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, we can learn about ecological resource management, the protection of biodiversity, and mitigating the effects of climate change. Today these national landscapes are at risk. The Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments in Utah have witnessed millennia of human history, from Clovis hunters and Ancestral Puebloans to explorers, pioneers, those fleeing religious persecution, and outlaws. More than 10,000 archaeological sites have…

3 min
from our readers

CONNECTIONS “Rediscovering Archaic America” (July/August 2021) by Mike Toner was fascinating and reminded me that too frequently we consider our ancestors less intelligent and capable than ourselves. The people’s achievements also reminded me of many examples of similar practices found across continents. The Poverty Point Objects (PPO) were reminiscent of both the cup-and-ring-marked stones in Britain and the amulets that represent body parts needing healing left even today at sacred wells and springs in rural Greece. The PPOs also resemble pilgrim badges, as suggested by the author. The possibility occurs to me that ideas originating with early modern humans in Africa evolved in various ways as people reached new environments. Thank you for your always interesting and enlightening articles. Doris Phillips Manchester, CT A RARE OPPORTUNITY I’ve been an avid subscriber to ArchAeology for years…

3 min
digs & discoveries

IDENTIFYING THE UNIDENTIFIED From its heart in Italy across its many thousands of miles, the Roman Empire was built and maintained by slaves. Some were born enslaved, the sons and daughters of enslaved mothers. Others were captives subjugated by the Roman army. Still others were bought and sold at slave markets. Slaves toiled in all arenas of the Roman world, including homes, schools, fields, mines, construction projects, and even entertainment. A few, including the former gladiator Spartacus, even led rebellions against Rome. Yet Roman slaves are nearly invisible in the archaeological record. They had few if any possessions, are rarely identified in texts, and their burials are seldom marked with a gravestone. “Slavery is a profound part of the Roman world and completely endemic,” says archaeologist Michael Marshall of Museum of London…

1 min
in full color

An unusual painted sculpture of a woman covered in jewels and seated on a throne dating to the fourth century B.C. was unearthed in a tomb in the southern Spanish city of Baza in 1971. As soon as it was out of the ground, the sculpture’s colors began to fade. At the time, archaeologist Francisco Presedo attempted to preserve the colors by coating the sculpture in hair spray. Later, more scientific conservation methods were applied. Now, a team of researchers led by Teresa Chapa Brunet of the Complutense University of Madrid has employed digital photographic techniques to capture the original colors of the Lady of Baza, as the sculpture is known. By using polarizing filters, which eliminate almost all reflected light, they have revealed that the sculpture appears to represent…

1 min
typing time

About 1,600 blocks of metal movable type from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries have been discovered inside an earthenware pot underneath Jongno, one of Seoul’s busiest tourist districts. This is the largest collection of movable type blocks from the period ever discovered in Korea. Six hundred of the pieces use hangul, the Korean alphabet, which was created in 1433 and gradually replaced Chinese characters. The earliest known examples of hangul metal movable type are 30 pieces held by the National Museum of Korea, dating to 1455, that were used by Korean royalty. Researchers believe the new finds date from around the same time. The blocks were found with other metal objects that commoners would normally not have had access to, including artillery and parts of an astronomical clock and a water…