Known as ‘Fayum portraits’, after the area in Middle Egypt where they were found, these vivid likenesses date from the Roman occupation of Egypt between 30 BC and the middle of the 3rd century AD. Painted on wood panels or linen, the portraits were attached to the bound bodies of their subjects. Today, more than 1,000 of these mummy portraits survive in museums and collections around the world. They depict a range of men and women, from the very young to the very old – but little is known of the artists who created them, or where and how they were made.
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ROMAN DISCOVERIES AT ANCIENT AUGUSTODUNUM
More than 230 graves have been uncovered at a necropolis in the French city of Autun, revealing a diverse mix in burial practices over a period of nearly 200 years, as well as luxury grave goods from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD that highlight the wealth of some of its ancient inhabitants.
SHAPING THE WORLD: SCULPTURE FROM PREHISTORY TO NOW
The sculptor Antony Gormley and the art historian and critic Martin Gayford have been talking about sculpture with each other for 20 years.
Amelia Edwards (1831-1892)
“I am essentially a worker, and a hard worker, and this I have been since my early girlhood.”
THE GREAT BEYOND
The ancient Greeks thought much about the dead – how their remains should be disposed of, how their spirits might be summoned, how malignant they could be if unavenged. Classicist David Stuttard brings us face to face with the Greek dead.
INTO THE VALLEY OF THE QUEENS
The Great Royal Wife of Ramesses II, Nefertari, was buried in one of the most spectacular tombs of Egypt’s Valley of the Queens. Well-educated and well-travelled, Nefertari played a crucial part in the political life of the pharaoh, and her importance was reflected through her magnificently decorated tomb. Lucia Marchini speaks to Jennifer Casler Price to find out more.
DEIR EL-BAHRI, 1894
Tensions were already high among the archaeologists, surveyors, and artists of the Archaeological Survey of Egypt in 1891 when an eventful dispute arose on Christmas Eve.
When the Etruscans expanded to the south and the vast plains of Campania, they found a land of cultural connections and confrontations, as luxurious grave goods found across the region reveal. An exhibition at the National Archaeological Museum in Naples sheds light on these ancient Italians at the frontier. Paolo Giulierini, director of the museum, is our guide.
CUZCO 'CENTRE AND HEAD OF ALL THE LAND'
Cuzco was the heart of the vast Inca empire, but all changed in the 16th century when the capital was conquered by Spanish invaders. Michael J Schreffler investigates the Inca city, and how it went from the centre of one empire to the periphery of another.
A STUDY IN PURPLE
A tiny speck of purple paint from the 2nd century AD may yield clues to how ancient artists created the extraordinary portrait panels that accompanied mummified bodies into the afterlife.
WHAT'S IN THE BOX? PLYMOUTH'S NEW MUSEUM OPENS
stories from the world of archaeology, art, and museums
Tanner Novlan (Finn, B&B)
Christel Khalil (Lily, Y&R)
IN THE REIGN OF THE SUN KINGS
Old Kingdom pharaohs faced a reckoning that reshaped Egypt’s balance of power
THE PRINCESS AND THE BABY
A long time ago in Egypt, there was a young Hebrew girl named Miriam. Her family had just had a beautiful baby boy. There was a big problem, though. The Pharaoh of Egypt had issued a decree that all Hebrew baby boys be killed to decrease the population of the Hebrew people, who were enslaved by the Egyptians.
Praise for the Pomegranate
The ancient fruit with modern influence
A Rare Egg
Egyptian ostrich egg perfume case
Anubian Kingdom Rises
Excavations at a city on the Nile reveal the origins of an ancient African power
Race, History, and the Body
Humanity on Display
The Fourth Pyramid Of Giza
We get a sneak peak at 2020’s most anticipated opening: the Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza – the world’s largest archaeological museum
One country’s legislative assault on the press