Salt from the Garamantes

It is safe to say that few, if any, readers of Archaeology Odyssey have heard of the Garamantes. For about a thousand years, from about 500 B.C. to 600 A.D., however, they lived in the southwestern part of what is now Libya; then they disappeared from history—not long before the Arab-Islamic invasion. The area […]

Making the Desert Bloom
The Garamantian capital and its underground water system By David Mattingly

The Garamantes are not just a vanished civilization; they are a much maligned, misunderstood African people. Ancient writers from the time of Herodotus (fifth century B.C.) through the Roman period depicted the Garamantes as barbarians who menaced the Mediterranean world from desert strongholds. The first-century A.D. Roman historian Tacitus, for instance, described them as […]

Sacred Sex in the Hittite Temple of Yazilikaya

Cut into rocky pinnacles just two miles northeast of Bogûazko¬y, Turkey (the site of the ancient Hittite capital of Hattusha), are some dramatic, if puzzling, rock reliefs. These carvings at Yazilikaya (see plan and photo of sanctuary at Yazilikaya), which in Turkish means “inscribed rock,”1 wind around two natural galleries and present what is […]

Beirut Museum Survives
Like the stone monuments it displays, the venerable archaeological museum stands the tests of time By Molly Dewsnap Meinhardt

Now, if a king among kings, or a governor among governors or a commander of an army should come up against Byblos and uncover this coffin, may the scepter of his rule be torn away, may the throne of his kingdom be overturned, and may peace flee from Byblos!” This warning, inscribed more than […]


Editors’ Page: Looking Backward
What do you think of our first two years? By Hershel Shanks
Origins: 3.14159265…
Why did the ancients invent increasingly subtle and ingenious methods to arrive at an exact value of p? Human curiosity. By Kim Jonas
Past Perfect: Beneath the Pyramids
A British cartoonist spoofs his fellow travelers
Destinations: The Gateway to Hell
Eleusis, Greece was the site of the infamous Eleusinian Mysteries
Ancient Life: Just Swill!
Toasting the pharaohs
The Forum
Remembering Heinrich Schliemann, marketing (some) antiquities, and rebuilding the Roman Forum.