In New York this past summer — hiding amid the gods and heroes of the Met’s blowout exhibition of Hellenistic sculpture — was an ardent, astounding suite of pen drawings of a temple’s ruins, sketched by an amateur two hundred miles from Constantinople. “We have found an entire artistic epoch!” the German engineer Carl Humann exulted at Pergamon, and he was savvy enough to know it despite having no archaeological training of any kind. Humann was a road planner, surveying the western extreme of Asia when he stumbled upon the remains of the ancient capital in the late 19th century. You can visit his grave on a hillside in Turkey, a country where history — as the artist Aslı Çavuşoğlu explains in this issue — has become a literal battlefield. He might remind you that the past is everyone’s business, and that modern life requires a constant excavation.
"We roamed widely to complete this fifth issue of Even, our largest ever, and traveled not only across the globe but into the history books. Over the course of a year’s reporting, Anna Altman examined an unlikely new art museum in the West Bank (itself a cauldron of archaeological dispute), whose vacant galleries might as well be debating chambers. In Cape Town, M. Neelika Jayawardane met a group of young artists for whom South Africa’s vicious past is not merely source material; it’s the armature of their daily lives, and calls out to be reassembled or else dismantled. Google Earth may tell you the whole world’s been mapped, but there is more to the present than can be captured by camera or code. Once you stop looking for answers beyond the horizon you may find them beneath your feet."