The ancient world: a place that gets bigger, more exciting and more complex by the day

The past is never dead – it isn’t even past. Nor is it just about history, or even just about people. The ancient world has been liberated from a worldview based on Greece and Rome, and – ever edgier – from the written word. Today, it’s about the past in all its glorious diversity, discovered through history, certainly, but also through ancient languages, archaeology, palaeontology, genetics, anthropology, archaeobiology, climatology . . .

It’s about Homo naledi in South Africa, an argument about humanity; the Natufian culture making the first bread from wild grain about 12,500BC in the Levant, and argument about agriculture and society; the latest news on population movements from the Pontic Steppe to Scandinavia, an argument about roots and origins; how the bluestones got to Stonehenge, a rather geological argument . . . let’s go fossick. I hope it’s going to be fun.



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