The Great MFA Exposé
But will it stop archaeological looting? By Hershel Shanks

Last year, on the Sunday between Christmas and New Year’s, the lead story on the front page of The Boston Globe was not about President Clinton’s impending impeachment trial in the Senate, nor about Saddam Hussein’s effort to shoot down American planes over the no-fly zone in northern Iraq, but about the Boston Museum […]

Bought on the Market
A gallery

In putting together this issue’s article on the Antiquities Problem (“The Great MFA Exposé”), our thoughts turned to unprovenanced objects that can now be studied by scholars because they were bought on the market. If these important remnants of the past had not been purchased—perhaps, in some cases, illegally—they would have disappeared from view […]

The Master from Apulia
Living in southeastern Italy during the late fourth century B.C., the Darius Painter decorated vases with scenes from Greek Mythology—sometimes inspired by Alexander the Great’s campaigns in the East. By John Herrmann

The Darius Painter not only recreated the shimmering world of Greek myth on the surfaces of his vases; he also acted as a kind of journalist-bard, painting scenes of historical events as news came in from far-flung places. A Greek-speaker, the Darius Painter probably worked both in the Greek city of Taras (modern Taranto) […]

Who Really Built the Pyramids?
A surprising discovery lay buried in the sands near the Giza pyramids—a cemetery containing tombs of the workers. By Zahi Hawass

History has not been kind to some of us. We typically refer, for instance, to the Great Pyramid of Giza, built by the Egyptian pharaoh Khufu during the Fourth Dynasty (c. 2575–2465 B.C.). But King Khufu did not build his pyramid; rather, he hired or conscripted others to do the work, a crew […]


Origins: You Can Look It Up!
Somebody had to invent the card catalogue. Why not a scholar at Alexandria’s ancient library? By J. Harold Ellens
Past Perfect: Under The Volcano
America’s foremost humorist, Mark Twain, views ancient Pompeii through the sardonic eye of a 19th-century Midwesterner.
Destinations: Kourion, Cyprus
Destroyed by an earthquake in the fourthcentury A.D., the ancient city rises again. By Julie Skurdenis
Ancient Life: Tut-tut!
Tomb robbing in ancient times
The Forum
A note of caution regarding the opium mystique. Allenby’s excellent adventure. And how to date a Pharaoh.