7 READERS WRITE Bubbling issue; Carved in stone; Home improvements; Write on. 8 LETTERS EXTRA Following last issue’s book review, Paul Bahn and John Flenley discuss the controversial Easter Island findings. 10 WORLD NEWS Latest on archaeological news, discoveries, and scientific research from around the world. 16 EGYPT AFTER HAWASS Egypt’s most prominent – and controversial – archaeologist has gone. Tom St John Gray asks: what now for the Land of the Pharoahs? 20 CHARLES HIGHAM Rice, revolution, and the 64,000 dollar question of prehistory in South East Asia.
JAPAN FOCUS FEATURES
22 TIDAL WAVE: The worst earthquake to hit Japan in 1,000 years was followed by a deadly tsunami. What remains of the country’s ancient heritage?
25 SURVIVING THE TSUNAMI: In the wake of the tsunami, we visit archaeological sites in the devastated region.
30 TAGAJO AND SENDAI: From the humble beginnings of simple wooden forts, grew the splendid fairy tale castles of Japan. 36 IRAN PERSIAN SPLENDOUR: Who built the three opulent palaces so close to each other, and why?
44 BRIAN FAGAN ELIXIR OF LIFE: How our ancestors managed their precious water resources – and how future civilisations may learn from them.
TRAVEL 52 LANGUEDOC Francophile David Miles searches for Neolithic farmers in the South of France. 54 POSTCARD FROM KNIDOS Richard Hodges reawakens memories of his undergraduate dig, and the discovery of the beautiful goddess Demeter. 58 CULTS, CHRISTIANITY, AND THE VATICAN Is the strange Mithraic statue at the exit to the Vatican museum a clue to what lies beneath?
REVIEWS 63 EXHIBITION DURA-EUROPOS: Following the launch of a new exhibition in New York, we look at this unusually multicultural city in Ancient Syria. 64 BOOKS Reading Maya Art; When in Rome; Knowledge is Light.
GREAT DISCOVERIES 66 THE ROYAL TOMBS OF UR The rich grave goods of these tombs in the Sumarian city of Ur revealed the sophisticated but brutal world of the Ancient Mesopotamians.