Archaeology Odyssey, March/April 2003



Stone Age Death Masks

A new interpretation of some of the world’s earliest human images

By Denise Schmandt-Besserat

In the Neolithic period (c. 8000–4000 B.C.), Near Eastern peoples created a number of arresting images to represent (or influence) their world. They carved small female figurines immodestly presenting their breasts or pregnant stomachs, for instance, and they depicted animals being viciously stabbed with flints. Perhaps the...Read more ›

Ferocious Elegance

The mosaics of Sicily’s Villa Romana del Casale

By Francine Prose

In Sicily’s Villa Romana del Casale, the fourth-century A.D. Roman mansion decorated with the most extensive collection of mosaics to have survived the destruction of the empire, the Cyclops depicted on the floor of the Vestibule of Polyphemus has three eyes. Two regular eyes, normally set, and...Read more ›

Villages of Stone

Sardinia’s Bronze Age Nuraghi

By Robert H. Tykot

“It lies outside; outside the circuit of civilisation.” That’s how D.H. Lawrence described Sardinia in Sea and Sardinia (1923), and until recently that’s what many thought about this island: During the third and second millennia B.C., Sardinia remained isolated from the vibrant cultures of...Read more ›



Ancient Records of Egypt

Reviewed by Josef Wegner