A response to Miles Russell’s and Stuart Laycock’s theory of UnRoman Britain. In their interesting essay UnRoman Britain, in CA 249, Miles Russell and Stuart Laycock argue that Romanisation in Britain was only a veneer, and that most of the population of the country remained firmly ‘UnRoman’. I disagree. I think that their argument is [...]
Editor-in-chief, Andrew Selkirk offers his insight on some issues raised by spending cuts. How will universities fare under the new regime, where funds will go to students rather than to universities? Archaeology is not exactly a subject that will set you up to become a big earner, so will archaeology inevitably go into decline? I [...]
Four miles east of Newcastle upon Tyne, Hadrian’s Wall comes to an end. It’s not quite at the sea — Tynemouth is still 4 miles further on, but here the River Tyne is broad enough to allow the Wall to come to an end. Here there is a fort known appropriately as Wallsend from which [...]
Chesters is the nicest of the Hadrian’s Wall forts. It lies 20 miles west of Newcastle and forms the beginning of the dramatic central part of Hadrian’s Wall. Chesters is still ‘civilised’: it lies in fertile farm land at the point where the Wall crosses the river North Tyne.
In CA 237 I reported on the re-opening of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. Now it is the turn of the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, best known for its pictures and magnificent porcelain collection. But there is also an important antiquities department on the ground floor, which has just received a complete overhaul. The big [...]
It is always a little dangerous to revisit old friends. What will they be like? Will you still like them when you have not seen them for a long time? It was with some trepidation that I returned to Oxford for the opening of the new Ashmolean Museum on 28th October after a major rebuilding [...]
When I went on holiday this year, I took with me some archaeological books for a little light reading. One of them was particularly interesting: Barbarians: an alternative Roman History by Terry Jones and Alan Ereira, which is the book of the television series and is published by BBC Books. It is based on a [...]
One should not start a project that one cannot complete. Having started writing a blog on the first day of my pilgrimage to Hadrian’s Wall I must confess that I failed to keep it up. It was not for lack of trying. Every night in my room I wrote up my diary, often over 2000 [...]
The Hadrian’s Wall pilgrimage is going well. The Pilgrimage is one of the great events of British archaeology. It began in 1849 when a group of young men decided they would ‘walk the wall’ and it has continued every 10 years since then except for the war years: this is now the 13th pilgrimage. For [...]
In view of the current debate about the rights and wrongs of suicide, Terry Jones in his recent book on ‘Barbarians’ provides some interesting background material. The Christian doctrine about suicide, he argues, goes back to St Augustine’s attack on the Donatists: “In the early fifth century, very large numbers of poor African Romans [...]
If your accounts for the year are not quite as good as you might wish— if, for instance, you make a loss of £2.5m on a turnover of £1.6m – how do you convey the news to your members?The past year has been one when many organisations have had accounts that are less satisfactory than [...]
The Staffordshire Hoard has thrown up a problem. It is it is all very well to say the finder or the landowner should receive an award, but when that award is £3.3m, who is going to pay for it? The museum that receives the hoard? The British Museum has already declined any interest, but local [...]
How does Heritage Link work? Heritage Link is a strange organisation that aims to help heritage charities work better. It presents an image of the utmost political correctness, so as the AGM was to be held just round the corner from me at the old Hampstead Town Hall, I decided to go along and find [...]
The Council for Independent archaeology is holding its annual get-together at Monmouth on Saturday the 30th August, and all archaeologists are invited to attend.
A new exhibition on Hadrian has just opened at the British Museum. At the same time, an exhibition on Skeletons has opened at the Wellcome Collections. Current Archaeology has visited them both. We report back
At the Brading Roman Villa in the Isle of Wight, new excavations are being planned by Barry Cunliffe and Michael Fulford. As we were recently in the Isle of Wight, we went along to see what it was all about.
The next issue of Current Archaeology will be devoted to the work of one of the world’s great museums – the University of Pennsylvania Museum in Philadelphia. The Penn Museum is one of the world’s greatest museums. Every year, expeditions are sent out round the world, and many of the great discoveries are made by [...]
Just how popular is archaeology? Over the May Day holiday, I took part in two very different events with two very different answers.
O G S Crawford was one of the greatest figures of 20th century Archaeology, but why did he fall in love with Marxism and spend the rest of his life in disillusionment? Here we review a major new biography which reveals the hidden story of his life.
After a gap of some forty four years, Stonehenge is once again being excavated. Admittedly, this time it is only a very small hole, and is only being dug for a fortnight, but it is a very important hole, and on April the 9th, we were invited down to Stonehenge to inspect it.