Narmer’s Enigmatic Palette
What Does It Tell Us About Egypt’s First Kings? By David O’Connor

Rarely do I come across works of art that make my blood run almost cold with excitement. One such image, carved on a stone cosmetic palette some 5,000 years ago, has fascinated Egyptologists as the first fully articulated example of Egyptian royal representation—so that it seems to stand as a symbol of dynastic Egypt […]

Uncovering Nineveh
A New Review of the 1849 Bestseller Nineveh and Its Remains By Deborah A. Thomas

Nineveh and Its Remains: A Narrative of an Expedition to Assyria During the Years 1845, 1846, & 1847 Austen Henry Layard (Guilford, CT: Lyons Press, 2001; this revised abridgment orig. published 1882) 384 pp., $16.95 025 “Wasted is Nineveh; who will bemoan her?” With this prediction, the Old Testament prophet Nahum consigned the great […]

Birth of Narrative Art
How Writing Led to Picture Painting By Denise Schmandt-Besserat

Pottery painting was a major art form in the ancient Near East as early as the seventh millennium B.C. For thousands of years, the designs painted on ceramic pots were largely limited to geometric or animal patterns, though these decorations were often very elaborate and striking. Then, in the third millennium B.C., Mesopotamians and […]

TV Archaeology

These days most people get their information about archaeology from educational programs on such TV networks as The Learning Channel, Arts and Entertainment, The Discovery Channel, PBS and NBC. But how accurate are these programs? Are facts fudged to grab better ratings and to entertain? Are some networks better than others at reporting archaeology? […]


Editors’ Page: Losing Iraqi Antiquities For Good
Proposed Legislation Will Cause Only Harm By Hershel Shanks
Origins: Filthy Lucre
A simple invention, coins, completely transformed the world.
Past Perfect: 3-D, 19th Century Style
Instrument makers Henry Negretti and Joseph Zambra immortalize London’s Crystal Palace in stereoscopy
Ancient Life: Tying the Knot
Marriage in Ancient Greece
Briefly Noted
Her Royal Majesty