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Issue 123 February/March 2024 Volume 11 • No.3

m aga zine On the cover: A detail of a tomb fresco at Takamatsuzuka.

Credit: The History Collection / Alamy Stock Photo

Editorial Editor: Dr Matthew Symonds matt@archaeology.co.uk

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In ancient Japan, royal burial mounds could be magnificent monuments. The distinctive keyhole-shaped earthwork associated with the semilegendary Emperor Nintoku, for example, is 486m long and ranks as one of the largest tombs ever constructed. In our cover feature, we explore how these burial mounds could create a potent statement of royal power, while also containing sumptuous grave goods that provide a fascinating glimpse of traditions in both life and death. Some display clear connections with continental Asia, revealing the role of overseas influences in elite power. When it comes to subterranean finds in Spain, cave art has recently been discovered at Cova Dones, near Valencia. The region has not previously been renowned for such imagery, and it was initially suspected that there would only be a handful of paintings at the site. A surprising twist came during survey work, though, when it was realised that the Ice Age artists had used an unusual technique to create many more images. Could this approach have been more widespread than currently appreciated?

It is a concentration of sites at Khirbet al-Khalde, along the former Roman frontier, that is attracting attention in Jordan. Among the remains are a Roman fortification, an apparent roadside inn, an aqueduct, and a cemetery. Today, these ruins appear isolated in remote desert, but in antiquity they would have formed part of a global exchange network.

In our travel section, Richard Hodges investigates the results of a remarkable campaign of excavations at Monte Cassino, which sheds fascinating light on one of the wonders of Christendom. Meanwhile, Carly Hilts has been exploring Sydney, Australia, and takes a look at the results of the Big Dig , which explored early life in the British colony.

Unauthorised reproduction in whole or part is prohibited without written permission. The publisher, editor and authors accept no responsibility in respect of any products, goods or services which may be advertised or referred to in this issue. Every effort has been made to secure permission for copyright material. In the event of any material being used inadvertently or where it has proved impossible to trace the copyright owner, acknowledgement will be made in a future issue. 09012429

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Surveying Khirbet al-Khalde, p. 28 Craig A Harvey is an assistant professor of Roman archaeology at the University of Alberta. He focuses on Roman baths, construction, and imperialism and the environment in Rome’s eastern provinces.

www.world-archaeology.com

Surveying Khirbet al-Khalde, p. 28 Emanuele E Intagliata is an assistant professor of mediaeval archaeology at the University of Milan. His research focuses on the defensive system of the eastern Roman frontier and everyday life in late antique borderlands.

Surveying Khirbet al-Khalde, p. 28 Rubina Raja is professor of classical archaeology and art at Aarhus University and director of the Centre for Urban Network Evolutions. Her research focuses on Rome and the Eastern Mediterranean.

Jailhouse Rocks, p.46 Carly Hilts is editor of C WA's sister-magazine Current Archaeology. She studied Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic at Cambridge University, and has worked as a researcher for Time Team and the Horrible Histories TV show.

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