Welcome to the first issue of The Past – the new bimonthly world archaeology magazine, written by experts, packed with the latest discoveries and debates. Fully digital, the whole magazine is designed for online reading – illustrated like a print magazine but with the depth of an ebook. We open in Herculaneum, AD 79. What were the last hours, minutes, and seconds like for the victims of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius? Fine-grained research has the answers, reported in Death on the Beach.
From there, we probe an issue in the spotlight: gender. As we swig a beer or bat our lashes, can we assume gender roles are ‘natural’? In Blueisfor Boys, we ride a gender roller-coaster through time and space.
In The Indus Enigma, Andrew Robinson explores the tantalising Indus valley civilisation of today's Pakistan. With none of the usual evidence for social classes, organised religion, or warfare, this was a civilisation quite unlike any other.
Further surprises are uncovered in Florida, USA. Drawing on the latest digs and discoveries, Brian Fagan unlocks the secrets of a sophisticated pre-colonial culture in AKingdom of Fish and Shell. Then we dive beneath the surface to analyse a key historical issue: the military revolution that transformed Ancient Egypt into an expansionist imperial power and led to the great Armageddon battle. We round off with columns from our Archaeologist at Large, David Miles, who writes from France, while Time Team Roman expert Guy de la Bédoyère reflects on his Life in Archaeology. We close with review features that explore the Neanderthals and an exceptional Egyptology museum.
Nadia Durrani and Neil Faulkner
The Past | April/May 2021