Why a piece of ancient pot and a scrap of Virgil’s poetry speak to us down the ages

Perhaps we don’t need to know why someone inscribed an everyday pot as it dried in a workshop: it is enough to know they did it

There are moments when an ancient object emerges from the soil and seems, for a second, to close the gap between you and the deep and slumbering past. Then, almost as soon as a picture has shifted into bright focus, the illusion of connection passes: one is left with the same old sensation of puzzle, of seeing a long-distant world indistinctly and partially, as if through a misted-up pane of glass.

Read more from Charlotte Higgins in The Guardian here.