Below the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico lies a submerged world of extraordinary beauty. Caves once created a subterranean labyrinth that the earliest human settlers seemingly associated with magic. After these passageways flooded at the end of the last Ice Age, they created reservoirs that proved essential for the success of Maya cities. Now a fascinating project is revealing the remarkable range of archaeology preserved in this underworld.
Goddesses and spiritual beings also display an impressive range, in this case of powers. There can be a tendency for modern audiences to focus on a single attribute – Venus as the goddess of love, for instance – but this obscures the remarkable breadth of gifts they could bestow on worshippers. An exhibition examining the nature of feminine power provides an opportunity to consider the divine and the demonised.
This year, events are taking place across the country to celebrate the 1,900th anniversary of the construction of Hadrian’s Wall (the eagle-eyed among you may have spotted that this most-famous Roman landmark has also featured, in some capacity, in every issue of CA since January).
This month our cover story considers whether the Romans too may have commemorated the Wall’s construction – and we also have an opinion piece asking how sure we can be about its date.
From monumental stonework to modern quarrying, we next head to Bedfordshire to learn about archaeological investigations at Black Cat Quarry, carried out before extraction works began on the site. There, excavations have revealed an impressive multi-period landscape, including Neolithic and Bronze Age settlements, a significant Roman farmstead, and what may be the remains of a Viking ‘fort’ referred to in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.
Science Magazine – June 3, 2022: A 10th-century Maya structure at Chichen Itza, Mexico, is often called the Observatory for its expansive view of the sky and a design seemingly guided by key positions of the Sun, Moon, and planets. The historic Maya anchored their calendars and rituals to celestial events, and their astronomical knowledge is now coming into sharper focus thanks to new analyses of archaeological relics and insights from today’s Maya.
The archaeological ruins of Pompeii, Campania, Italy walking tour in 4k. January 2, 2022.
Pompeii is a vast archaeological site in southern Italy’s Campania region, near the coast of the Bay of Naples. Once a thriving and sophisticated Roman city, Pompeii was buried under meters of ash and pumice after the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. The preserved site features excavated ruins of streets and houses that visitors can freely explore
Video timeline: 00:00 Preview 01:27 Piazza Anfiteatro (Entrance) 04:00 Anfiteatro / Amphitheater 11:00 Praedia di Giulia Felice 14:00 Via dell’Abbondanza 16:25 Casa di Octavius Quartio 20:50 Via di Castricio 23:10 Via dell’Abbondanza 24:00 Taverna di Sotericus 25:36 Casa di Trebio Valente 27:25 Casa del Frutteto 29:00 Casa di Giulio Polibio 29:45 Casa e Thermopolium di Vetutius Placidus 33:20 Thermopolium di Asellina 34:30 Casa degli Epidii 39:36 Panoramic view of Pompeii 43:30 Via dell’Abbondanza 45:25 Via Stabiana 46:35 Casa del Citarista 50:00 Porta di Stabia (Gate of Stabia) 52:20 Teatro Piccolo (Small Theater) Odeion 53:03 Quadriportico dei Teatro o Caserma dei Gladiatori (Quadriportico of the Theater or Barracks of the Gladiators) 54:30 Teatro Grande 1:04:05 Terme Stabiane (Stabian Baths) 1:11:50 Forum 1:24:50 Granaries of the Forum (Casts) 1:28:30 The garden of the fugitives (Casts) 1:30:00 Necropoli di P. Nocera
“Bagan is actually a splendid site. You can imagine in only in this, like, fifty square kilometers, they have more than 3,000 monuments. And then all the monuments have different styles and different architecture”.
The ancient past of Bagan, Myanmar, is still visible today in the more than 3,000 temples, monasteries, and works of art and architecture that remain at the site. Beginning around 1000 CE, Bagan served as the capital city of the Pagan Kingdom. Many of the surviving monuments date from the 11th to 13th centuries. A number of these temples are still used by worshippers and pilgrims today. A 2016 earthquake, which damaged over 400 structures, brought renewed international attention to Bagan and its future.
In February 2020, a team from the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) returned from doing intensive preparatory work with international and local colleagues in Bagan to launch a long-term conservation project there. Soon after, the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 closed borders and halted travel. In February 2021, a coup d’état staged by the Burmese Military plunged the country into further uncertainty.
In this episode, Susan Macdonald, head of Buildings and Sites at the GCI, and Ohnmar Myo, the GCI’s consultant in Myanmar, discuss the history of Bagan, the demands and challenges of conservation there, and their hopes for the future of the site. Myo is a former project officer of the Cultural Unit, UNESCO, and was a principal preparator of the report that confirmed Bagan’s World Heritage Site status in 2019. This conversation was recorded in January 2021, under very different circumstances, but it captures the curiosity, ambitions, optimism, and collaborative spirit that guided the project at that time.
Dr. Albert Lin is investigating the true origin of the ancient story of the great flood. In his search for answers he comes to the lost city of Chan Chan where the Chimú people have recorded a violent shift in the ocean currents.
Chan Chan is located in the mouth of the Moche Valley and was the capital of the historical empire of the Chimor from 900 to 1470, when they were defeated and incorporated into the Inca Empire. Chimor, a conquest state, developed from the Chimú culture which established itself along the Peruvian coast around 900 AD.
Chan Chan is in a particularly arid section of the coastal desert of northern Peru. Due to the lack of rain in this area, the major source of nonsalted water for Chan Chan is in the form of rivers carrying surface runoff from the Andes. This runoff allows for control of land and water through irrigation systems.
Dr. Albert Lin is exploring the ancient architecture of the Nabateans, and recreates one of their lost cities using lidar.
The Nabataeans, also Nabateans, were an ancient Arab people who inhabited northern Arabia and the southern Levant. Their settlements—most prominently the assumed capital city of Raqmu —gave the name Nabatene to the Arabian borderland that stretched from the Euphrates to the Red Sea.