Relief of the Council of Chalcedon

Reassessing Christian history

While Christianity may strive to sing in a single voice, no one modern denomination ought to claim a monopoly on the truth. The region’s history is in fact far more eclectic.

Fortifications in the style of the brilliant French military engineer Sebastian de Vauban (1633-1701) . Engraving c1890

On guard: the contemporary salience of military fortification

Fortresses, border walls and guard towers – today’s excessively guarded age is on a global scale far exceeding famous past efforts including that of Roman Emperor Hadrian and the Great Wall of China. Often unremarked on, these fascinating structures tell us a story of changing global power struggles and political might.

Steatite bowl with mythological scenes from the Khafalji tribe, possibly of Elamite origin. The figure could be the goddess Inanna.

Uruk and the origins of the sacred economy

Peering into the hearts and minds those living four thousand years ago is an impossible task. However, when it comes to the worship of the Mesopotamian goddess Inanna, it seems clear to be, quite literally, a labour of love and fear.

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