ARCHAEOLOGY November/December 2020

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 Números

en aquest número

2 min.
a world of connections

One of the most fascinating things that happens when we are putting together an issue of ARCHAEOLOGY is that, more often than not, we start to see connections between the stories. Sometimes this happens when multiple archaeologists are looking at the same site or region. This is the case in three stories that explore early human history in South Africa. “Our Coastal Origins” follows the quest of early modern humans to find new sources of food, and “Alcohol Through the Ages” features the same Paleolithic people, who may have made the world’s first fermented beverages. You will also encounter these early humans in “Paleolithic Bedtime,” in which the residents of South Africa’s Border Cave looked for a good night’s rest after a long day hunting and gathering shellfish and honey.…

2 min.
shifting perspectives

Archaeology helps us tell the stories of our past where historical documents are silent. On the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower in 1620, we can see this in two complementary ways: first, in the ongoing story that is unfolding about the ship itself. The original Mayflower sailed back to England in spring 1621. An appraisal of 1624 suggests the ship was in ruins; its material may have been sold for scrap. A full-scale reproduction designed by naval architect William Avery Baker was built between 1955 and 1957 in Brixham, England, as a gift to Americans from the British people. Over the course of 60 years in Plymouth, Massachusetts, the Mayflower II has welcomed some 25 million people aboard to imagine the Pilgrims’ experiences on that historic crossing…

1 min.
archaeological institute of america

OFFICERS PRESIDENT Laetitia La Follette First Vice President Elizabeth S. Greene Vice President for Cultural Heritage Brian Daniels Vice President for Outreach and Education Laura Rich Vice President for Research and Academic Affairs Thomas Tartaron Vice President for Societies Sabrina Higgins Treasurer David Seigle Executive Director Rebecca W. King GOVERNING BOARD Elie Abemayor David Adam Deborah Arnold Jeanne Bailey David Boochever Thomas Carpenter Jane Carter, ex officio Arthur Cassanos Larry Cripe Joshua Gates Elizabeth M. Greene Julie Herzig Desnick Mark Hurst James Jansson Morag Kersel Mark Lawall Gary Linn Jarrett A. Lobell, ex officio Kathleen Lynch Richard MacDonald Tina Mayland H. Bruce McEver Barbara Meyer John Papadopoulos Sarah Parcak Kevin Quinlan, ex officio Betsey Robinson Kim Shelton Thomas Sienkewicz Patrick Suehnholz Anthony Tuck Maria Vecchiotti John Yarmick Past President Jodi Magness Trustees Emeriti Brian Heidtke Norma Kershaw Charles S. La Follette Legal Counsel Mitchell Eitel, Esq. Sullivan & Cromwell, LLP ARCHAEOLOGICAL INSTITUTE of AMERICA 44 Beacon Street • Boston, MA 02108…

4 min.
from our readers

A SPECTACULAR SETTING Your September/October 2020 issue is just packed full of wonderful articles accompanied by excellent photos. Please ask the archaeologists working at Dukki Gel (“A Nubian Kingdom Rises”) what the structures pictured on page 30 are. I have been a subscriber for decades and have never seen blocks of small round objects, U-shaped forms, circles with lobes, et cetera, in any ancient city. Barbara A. Welch Ruckersville, VA Matt Stirn replies: This type of curved architecture is fairly unusual in the ancient world and is what led Charles Bonnet to think that the style stemmed from traditional African architecture; it bears some similarities to structures in places such as South Sudan and southern Ethiopia. As far as the function of the buildings, the ones with more ornate features have been interpreted as…

3 min.
our coastal origins

As much as 100,000 years ago, modern humans in southern Africa began to settle down. Just how and why this momentous shift in our distant ancestors’ way of life occurred is difficult for scholars to say. Prehistoric hunter-gatherers from this era are among the most challenging humans to study. They did not leave behind any permanent structures as evidence of their presence, and their stone tools are rarely found along with contextual information such as the remains of plants or bones. Other artifacts, including beads or ochre paint, are very rare, and materials such as leather and wood do not survive. But one available resource is evidence of the food they ate. Changes in their diet may have had profound consequences in the transition from living in highly mobile bands…

2 min.
off the grid

Though it is perhaps the most heavily looted archaeological site in Cambodia, the vast settlement of Preah Khan of Kompong Svay still beguiles archaeologists and tourists with its size and beauty. Some 50 miles east of Angkor—the capital of the Khmer Empire, which spanned much of mainland Southeast Asia between the ninth and fifteenth centuries A.D.—Preah Khan is believed to have served as an important Buddhist pilgrimage center and a wealthy way station for the raw materials that fueled the empire’s expansion. First built in the eleventh century, the site consists of four concentric enclosure walls that surround several temples made of brick, laterite, and sandstone. “Preah Khan is an enigma because it is the single largest construction ever built by the Khmer,” says archaeologist Mitch Hendrickson of the University…