Archaeology and the Ancient World

History Today, November 2003 | Go to article overview

Archaeology and the Ancient World


In Britain BC: Life in Britain and Ireland before the Romans (Harper Collins, 25[pounds sterling]), Francis Pryor marshals the archaeological evidence to show that British civilisation existed long before the Romans, and that pre-Roman culture continues to have an impact today.

Wolfram Gratetzi studies attitudes to death in Egypt from 5000 BC to AD 200 in his ambitious project, Burial Customs in Ancient Egypt Life in Death for Rich and Poor (Duckworth, 14.99 [pound sterling]).

Egyptian death is also one of the topics covered in Joann Fletcher's The Egyptian Book of Living and Dying (Duncan Baird. 9.99 [pounds sterling).

Egypt 4000 Years of Art by Jaromir Malek (Phaidon, 24.95) examines a range of Egyptian artefacts from architecture and sculpture to painting and jewellery.

David Silverman's Ancient (Reference Classics, Duncan Baird Publishing, 14.99 [pounds sterling]) offers a good overview of the history and culture of this mysterious civilisation.

Periplus have launched the new 22-volume Encyclopedia of Underwater Archaeology and aim to add up to six instalments per year, starting with Master Seafarers the Phoenicians and the Greeks. The Encyclopaedia is geared not only towards the avid diver or archaeologist, but also towards the general reader, keen to find out how sonar detection systems and remote-controlled submersibles have allowed modern man to reclaim symbols of human history once considered to be inaccessible.

Historical Atlas of the Holy Lands (Eurospan, 26.95 [pounds sterling]) by Karen Farrington forms part of this publisher's Historical Atlas series and, above all, examines the most recent research into events and legends depicted in the Bible. Angus Konstam explores the political and cultural history of the Greeks in Historical Atlas of Ancient Greece (Eurospan, 26.95 [pounds sterling] as part of the same series.

Adrienne Mayor's timely study, Greek Fire, Poison Arrows & Scorpion Bombs: Biological and Chemical Warfare in the Ancient World (Duckworth, 20 [pounds sterling]), poses questions about the ethical nature of warfare, a key issue highlighted by recent events in the world.

Andrew Dalby uses poems, narrative, myths and dramas to help tell the story of the celebrated Greek and Roman god of wine in Bacchus: A Biography (British Museum Press, 14.99 [pounds sterling]).

Roman Wives, Roman Widows: The Appearance of New Women and the Pauline Communities by Bruce W. Winter (Eerdmans, 18.99 [pounds sterling]) studies the 'new woman' the first century AD, a woman who did not conform to traditional models of femininity.

Rubicon: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic by Tom Holland (Little, Brown 20 [pounds sterling]) offers a vivid narrative of the Roman republic from the fall of Carthage to that of Caesar, 150 years later.

In Tiberius, Reluctant Caesar (UpFront Publishing, 20. …

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