The Yarwhosians?
You may not have heard of them, but the civilized Neolithic Yarmukians created some of the world’s earliest clay sculptures. By Yosef Garfinkel, Michele Miller

Prepare to fall in love—with our friends the Yarmukians. Since they lived almost 8,000 years ago, about 3,000 years before people began communicating in writing, you can’t ask them who they were. And even if you could, it’s doubtful you would understand their answer; we don’t even know what language they spoke. But […]

“My Life’s Shattered Work!”
The strange ordeal of Hermann Hilprecht By Bruce Kuklick

European archaeologists were digging in the ancient Near East before the age of Napoleon. Americans, by contrast, were latecomers. The United States did not launch its first formal archaeological expedition in the Near East until the late 1880s, when an odd collection of scholars, soldiers of fortune, educational bureaucrats and financiers organized an excavation […]

Eternal Architecture
In ancient Rome, Vitruvius kept alive the classical ideal By Thomas Gordon Smith

Around 25 B.C. the Roman architect Vitruvius wrote this dedication to the emperor Augustus: I have drawn up definite rules so that by observing them you might understand what previous works were like and what future works will be like … In the following volumes I have disclosed all the principles of the discipline.1 […]

The Right Kind of Multiculturalism

The field of archaeology is under a political cloud because of its allegedly racist and exploitative history. American Indians have protested the “desecration” of tribal burial grounds by archaeological digs. A longstanding argument rages about the legal ownership of antiquities acquired by museums through donation or purchase since the late 18th century. The brief […]


Editors’ Page: AIA Does Dallas
Healthy, though spare and spiceless, fare By Hershel Shanks
Past Perfect: On the Road to Paradise
A 12th-century Spanish Jew finds wisdom and mercy in Baghdad
Destinations: City of Marble
Chimtou, Tunisia, once supplied the building blocks of ancient Rome By Hershel Shanks
Ancient Life: Ancient Egyptian dreambook
What were they thinking?
The Forum
Our readers ask: Is America the modern Rome?