Can Chuka Umunna save the Palace of Westminster? Somebody has to

Chuka Umunna, says Janan Ganesh in the Financial Times, is “the man Tories fear most”. He’s bright, “an alpha-male politician”, and perhaps “a future candidate for the leadership of the Labour party” (Guardian) – “a potential future leader” (Telegraph). In other words, in five years’ time he could be pulling off what Ed Miliband failed to … Continue reading Can Chuka Umunna save the Palace of Westminster? Somebody has to

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Festival of Archaeology 2015

I’m busy with the next edition of British Archaeology, which again will have an extraordinary range of interesting stories, thanks to the curious things archaeologists get up to. One topic we will naturally be covering is the UK-wide Festival of Archaeology, now in its 25th year, which runs from July 11 to July 26. I’ll … Continue reading Festival of Archaeology 2015

Democracy, or brute force? Guess who wins in the end

I thought again of the British Museum’s Assyrian carvings as I voted on Thursday morning, explaining to my daughter as we walked back home why I had folded the paper. A ballot is secret, I said. Can you vote lots of times, she asked, like the X-Factor? No, only once. (Our discussion backfired a bit … Continue reading Democracy, or brute force? Guess who wins in the end

Nimrud: Battle ignorance and brutality with education and sharing

Before I wrote about the British Museum’s Assyrian galleries, Islamic State released shocking footage of ultimate vandalism at Nimrud (the images here are screen grabs). It shows men using power tools and large amounts of dynamite to destroy classic and important examples of the type of works in the BM, and other museums, that had … Continue reading Nimrud: Battle ignorance and brutality with education and sharing

Never write off heritage

Ancient sites really are being bulldozed in western Asia, as these shocking images show. Yet as archaeologists know, there is always much more to a landscape than what stands up on it or is visible on the surface. In a new Antiquity paper, Paul Newson and Ruth Young have looked at a severely damaged site in Lebanon … Continue reading Never write off heritage