Cypriot Land Mines
Military, political and archaeological By Hershel Shanks

We couldn’t get to the fifth-century B.C. tomb at Pyla, said to be one of the finest of the period, because minefields were being cleared that day and the road was closed. Pyla, on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, lies near the border between the Republic of Cyprus in the south and the Turkish […]

The Guardians of Tamassos
Rescuing Cyprus’s 2,500-year-old sphinxes and lions By Marina Solomidou-Ieronymidou

On a cold and rainy morning in January 1997, I received a phone call from Orthodoxos Liasides, the foreman of a maintenance crew working on the monumental tombs of Tamassos, 15 miles southwest of Nicosia. The men were insulating the tombs from the destructive effects of dampness in the soil, and they were digging […]

Was She Really Stoned?
The oracle of Delphi By Jelle Zeilinga de Boer, John R. Hale

Archaeologists are good at recovering things left behind by the past, such as buildings, incense altars, tools and relief carvings. What they are not so good at recovering are the ideas, feelings and emotions—the innerness—of sentient ancient beings. It’s one thing to examine a temple’s holy of holies; it’s another thing to understand […]


Editors’ Page: Peering into the Past
A little girl and an ancient ring By Jack Meinhardt
Past Perfect: On Terra Sancta
19th-century British artist David Roberts captures the rich barrenness of the Holy Land
Destinations: The Impregnable Rock of Van
An Urartain sanctuary in eastern Turkey By Ronan James Head
Ancient Life: Letter Perfect
The Roman postal service
The Forum
Disease in ancient Mesopotamia—and a running debate on how to stop archaeological looting