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In this issue

Music from Mesopotamia Tuning in to the musical instruments that were played at the feasts of the great and mighty king Ashurbanipal. Richard Dumbrill Under the volcano What was life like in Pompeii and Herculaneum before the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79? Andrew Wallace-Hadrill Shake, rattle and roll Earthquakes may have been responsible for the collapse of more ancient cities and civilisations than were previously thought. Andrew Robinson A time of balance A lavish exhibition in the Eternal City celebrates a rare period of peace, stability, and prosperity in the Roman Empire. Dalu Jones A body of work The work of internationally acclaimed sculptor Antony Gormley has a timeless quality that has drawn inspiration from a range of sources, including Oceanic art and Buddhist meditation. Lindsay Fulcher From cave to showcase Carved during the Ice Age from ivory, steatite, and mammoth tusk and engraved on bone fragments, the world’s earliest figurative art makes an astounding show at the British Museum. Jill Cook Rock of ages A prehistoric site at the foot of a dramatic limestone escarpment in Burgundy has yielded a mass of animal bones, fine flint tools, and even an adjective – Solutrean. David Miles Vying with the Vikings Not all rape and pillage and no horned helmets – a new exhibition in Edinburgh shows us the more civilised side of the raiders who landed on our shores during the 9th and 10th centuries. Andrew Goldberg A short walk in Helmand province Surveying and preserving the ancient monuments of Afghanistan involves not only expertise but also diplomacy – and a steady nerve. Jolyon Leslie

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