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Volume 53, Number 5 September/October 2002

In This Issue

September/October 2002
The Captain and the King
Written by Peter Harrigan
Photographed by William Henry Irvine Shakespear

In the spring of 1914, the photographer—also British diplomat, botanist, geographer and adventurer—trekked the Arabian Peninsula from his post in Kuwait westward to Egypt. Among those he met along the way was King 'Abd al-'Aziz Al Sa'ud, then the ruler of central Arabia, whom Shakespear had befriended over some four years. After his journey, Shakespear assembled a personal photographic album. Its pages are filled with dramatic panoramic images, many of which have never been published before.

Çatalhöyük and the New Archeology
Written by Graham Chandler
Photographed by Mehmet Biber

A shard is a shard...or is it? The questions facing archeologists today run as deep as their trenches: Who gets to say what an artifact means? How do the ways archeologists work affect what they say? Should non-archeologists be included? Ian Hodder welcomes such questions as part of a "reflexive archeology" that has reopened one of Turkey's most famous Neolithic sites. His methods make for a lot more work, but it's time to do the job right, he says. His results may shed light on why early humans decided to settle down and why, at Çatalhöyük, they produced so much art.

A Community of Arab Music
Written by Piney Kesting
Photographed by Robert Azzi

For a week each summer since 1997, leading Arab musicians have gathered in South Hadley, Massachusetts to teach quarter-tone scales, maqam principles and Arab instruments. This year, the Arabic Music Retreat attracted the largest, most diverse group ever: 75 musicians, from ensemble leaders to teenage students, half of them with no Arab heritage. All shared a flourishing passion for a rich classical music tradition that is gradually gaining recognition in Europe and North America.

Desert Truffles Galore
Written and photographed by John Feeney

"I once enjoyed, in a humble restaurant in Damascus, a whole plateful of raw, sliced black desert truffles as a salad, dressed in olive oil and lemon. Now where, in all of Europe, could you enjoy such a thing? It would cost a king's ransom. With the desert truffle, however, even people of relatively modest means can splurge on a kilo or two." When the winter rains are just right, this elusive delicacy flourishes like buried treasure each spring under sands from Morocco to the Arabian Peninsula. But to find it—that's the secret.