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ARCHAEOLOGY March - April 2015

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.

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United States
Archaeological Institute of America
6 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
history’s largest megalith

A team of archaeologists at a 2,000-year-old limestone quarry in Lebanon’s Bekka Valley recently excavated around a megalith weighing approximately 1,000 tons and dubbed Hajjar al-Hibla, or “stone of the pregnant woman.” It was intended for the Temple of Jupiter, which sits on three limestone blocks of similar size at the nearby site of Baalbek. To the team’s shock, they unearthed yet another block, this one weighing an estimated 1,650 tons, making it the largest known megalith. The German Archaeological Institute’s Margarete van Esse says excavation was suspended when the trench became dangerously deep. “Hopefully in a following campaign we can dig down to the bottom of the block,” she adds. The team wants to find clues there that will show how the megaliths were transported.…

1 min.
aia hosts first-ever conference for archaeology educators in new orleans

MORE THAN 40 PEOPLE, including museum specialists, K–12 teachers, and federal employees from around the country participated in the AIA-organized conference for archaeology and heritage educators, “Building a Strong Future for Archaeological Outreach and Education.” T e two-day conference was created to allow these dedicated and enthusiastic professionals to evaluate the current state of heritage education and plan for the future. The idea for the educators’ conference emerged out of discussions held at various events, including the meeting of the Society for American Archaeology (SAA), meetings of the SAA’s Public Education Committee, and an AIA-organized education summit at Boston University. T e main goals of the conference were to create a network of archaeology and heritage educators who can work in a supportive and collaborative manner to build a strong future…

1 min.
treason, plot, and witchcraft

Remember, remember, the fifth of November.” In one of the United Kingdom’s largest and most historic homes, archaeologists have found a lingering memory of the paranoia and angst that followed the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, when Robert Catesby and a group of Catholic conspirators (including Guy Fawkes) attempted to blow up both houses of Parliament and kill the Protestant King James I. Six-hundred-year-old Knole House in Kent was then owned by Thomas Sackville, Lord Treasurer. Sackville was having the home renovated to host the king himself, work that included creating the “Upper King’s Room,” where the monarch would have stayed (but never actually did). As part of a five-year project of study and conservation, researchers recently pulled up floorboards in the room and found what are known as apotropaic marks—also called…

2 min.
off the grid

Krakow, one of Poland’s oldest cities, is well-known for its churches, but it also hosts the country’s most significant collection of Jewish monuments and buildings. At the end of the fifteenth century, the city’s Jewish population was driven out of the center and directed to settle in the district of Kazimierz. Known as the Oppidum Iudaeorum, or “Jewish City,” it grew into a religious and cultural center for the region’s Jews. By the 1930s more than 60,000 lived there, but the Nazi occupation rendered the district a virtual ghost town. Recently scholars, historians, and archaeologists have taken a new interest in the area. Dariusz Niemiec of the Institute of Archaeology of the Jagiellonian University and a team of students are excavating in and around the Old Synagogue, the country’s oldest…

1 min.
figurines of novae

From the mid-first to the fifth century A.D., the site of Novae in the province of Moesia (now Bulgaria) served as a military outpost of the Roman Empire. Novae flourished throughout its history, with all the trappings of a busy provincial camp, including workshops, a hospital, barracks, administrative buildings, latrines, temples, altars, and monumental defensive walls and towers. Over the last five decades, researchers have uncovered these structures and countless artifacts. Most recently, archaeologists from the University of Warsaw have been excavating in what may have been the house of the centurion (a Roman officer) of the Legion I Italica, first raised by the emperor Nero and deployed to Novae in A.D. 69. The team, led by Piotr Dyczek, uncovered three second-century bronze figurines, two depicting speakers dressed in togas…

1 min.
uncover the extraordinary story of jesus christ

The early Christian claim that Jesus of Nazareth was God completely changed the course of Western civilization. For that reason, the question of how Jesus became God is one of the most significant historical questions and, in fact, a question that some believers have never thought to ask. What exactly happened, such that Jesus came to be considered God? To ask this question is to delve into a fascinating, multilayered historical puzzle—one that offers a richly illuminating look into the origins of the Western worldview and the theological underpinnings of our civilization. In the 24 provocative lectures of How Jesus Became God, Professor Bart D. Ehrman of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill takes you deeply into the process by which the divinity of Jesus was first conceived by…