AO Magazine - January 2019

Over the last 20,000 years, North America has undergone an immense transformation, and, like most societies, many aspects of its history are controversial, divisive, and indeed tragic. But in our January issue, which throws a spotlight on North America, we examine some of its special achievements. We look at the accomplishments of the Hopewell Culture, which swept over a vast territory of the continent over 2,000 years ago, constructing great burial mounds and elaborate earthworks encoded with celestial alignments. We also feature the living images of the Hopewell people, and their predecessors the Adena, brought to life in vivid recreations by the sensational artist Marcia K Moore. 

Turning to the Colonial era, we travel along an ancient road of the 1600s – the King’s Highway. Stretching more than 1300 miles across 10 states, it is the oldest road still in continuous use in the United States, yet it is the events that took place along this road that also give it a special place in American history. 

The past hasn’t shared all its secrets though. We revisit an unsolved mystery and wonder what really happened to the early English settlers of Roanoke Island who vanished completely, leaving behind a coded message? What is the truth behind more than 1000 skeletons of giant stature found across the continent? And who really won the race to reach the New World first?

In our January issue, we cover a range of fascinating subjects from Medieval belief in fairies to Ancient Egyptian fashion. But this issue also holds a very personal connection to me. In ‘Mungalla: An Australian Story’, we hear of an early pioneer in Australia’s history who stood up to his peers and fought for the rights and safety of the Aboriginal people who were being decimated by Europeans at the time. That man is my great, great grandfather and it is only recently that his amazing story has become known to me. In the month that Australians celebrate their National day, what better story to tell than one in which indigenous and non-indigenous people lived and worked alongside each other in harmony. For me, it offers a positive vision for Australia’s future rather than simply a focus on its turbulent past.


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