Guarding the Holy Land
Who Built the Nimrud Fortress? By Ronnie Ellenblum

Nimrud is the largest and most perfectly preserved Crusader-period fortress in Palestine. It sits on the southern slopes of Mount Hermon, in present-day northern Israel, on a north-south ridge of a deep gorge. H.H. Kitchener (1850–1916)—a British engineer who conducted an archaeological survey in Palestine in the mid-1870s and later became the proconsul […]

Saved from Vesuvius
Rare Wooden Furniture from Pompeii and Herculaneum By Judith Harris

Herculaneum and Pompeii were both destroyed by the same eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. For archaeologists, however, it must seem that they were leveled by different volcanoes entirely. Pompeii was smothered beneath a shallow blanket of volcanic pebbles (lapillae) and dust. It has been relatively easy to excavate, and today two-thirds of […]

Don’t Be Fooled!
Despite what many scholars say, ancient “Alashiya” was not Cyprus By Robert S. Merrillees

For some decades now the scholarly world has been perpetuating a scam, one that has several times duped the editors of Archaeology Odyssey. In “The Last Days of Hattusa,”a for example, Trevor Bryce quotes an ancient letter from the king of Ugarit (modern Ras Shamra on Syria’s Mediterranean coast) to the “king of Cyprus,” […]

Cyprus & Alashiya
One and the same! By Eric H. Cline

The following letter recently surfaced in the antiquities collection of a noble European family and is published here for the first time. The brackets indicate illegible text that has been restored by the translator.—Ed. [Say] to the [goo]d Ambassador [Rob]ert Merrillees, my fath[er]: message of E[ric] Cline, your son. For me all goes well, […]

Alashiya Rejoinder

If there is one benefit to be derived from the ongoing dispute over the location of ancient Alashiya, it is the production of new data, such as the previously unknown letter, in alphabetical English, from a well-reputed scribe, which Archaeology Odyssey has now published for the first time. From internal evidence, however, it is […]


Origins: Counting the Hours
Somebody had to divide up the day, but why the number 24?
Past Perfect: Deciphering Darius
English army officer Henry Creswicke Rawlinson unlocks the mystery of Mesopotamian cuneiform.
Horizons: The Earth-Movers: Cahokia
An ancient metropolis in North America
Ancient Life: Saffron
The Emperor of Spice
Briefly Noted
From the Dean of Egyptologists