The blog has been silent for a while, whilst I hurtle to the finishing line on a book. I've now sent the manuscript off to the publishers and am enjoying a short lull before they remind me of all the things I have not supplied - bibliographies, source notes, map briefings etc etc. For the past three years I've been living with the deeds of the Portuguese in the Indian Ocean. The first people to establish a sea route to India, and the first conquistadors. It's been a long and fascinating voyage for me too - leaving the Mediterranean for once for the seas beyond: a tale of ingenuity and endurance, sea battles and, at times, terrible brutality - all paving the way for the global world in which we live today.
Meanwhile, scanning the news, I've been fascinated by the discovery of a royal tomb in Greece, dating back to the time of Alexander the Great, that has temporarily distracted the Greeks from their modern woes:
As the archaeologists patiently burrow their way into an extraordinary mausoleum, the Greeks dream that it's the tomb of Alexander himself and the nation holds its breath: "We are watching in awe and with deep emotion the excavation in Amphipolis,"said the Greek culture minister. You can read the story here.