In 1700, Liverpool was a small town with a dock that was in danger of silting up. Yet it was a town with prospects: Chester, which had hitherto been the main port in the north-west, was silting up even more. The discovery of the Americas had increased the importance of ports facing the Atlantic, [...]
English Heritage has just spent £2.1 million recreating an Elizabethan garden based on an eyewitness description published in a letter in 1575. But was the letter a spoof made up by rivals for the Queen’s favour, and what part did archaeology play in pinning down the truth? Chris Catling investigates.
High on the moor at Silloans, within the Otterburn Training Area, lies the well-preserved remains of a trench system.
To get to the bottom of why, and how, the Ministry of Defence looks after archaeology on an active firing range, CA Editor Lisa Westcott spent some time with the people on the front line.
A new BBC documentary presented by Alice Roberts has been charting the spread of modern humans across the globe. Is it really true that we are all Africans? Current Archaeology assesses the latest evidence.
A 9th century palace, an enormous 3,000-year-old Neolithic earthworks and the origins of Scottish kingship: Gordon Noble and colleagues from the University of Glasgow investigate.Few visitors notice the plaque in the village of Forteviot, Perthshire, Scotland, that records the death of Kenneth Mac Alpin, a 9th century king of Scotland. It refers to a passage [...]
Archaeologists have excavated over 600 bodies from around the world, mysteriously buried face-down. Britain is the biggest hotspot – with more than 200 prone burials. What do they signify? Caroline Arcini of Sweden’s National Heritage Board has been investigating.
Geography made a unitary empire embracing the Mediterranean and temperate Europe inherently unstable; but the wreckage of the Roman Empire contained the building blocks of modern Europe. In the third and final part of our series based on Cunliffe’s new book, Europe between the Oceans, we chart the changes from Caesar to Charlemagne.
‘England’s Past for Everyone’ is a groundbreaking new project set up by one of our most venerable institutions, the Victoria County History. Chris Catling argues that their recently published Burford project is a model of how to do a town history.
‘England’s Past for Everyone’ is a groundbreaking new project set up by one of our most venerable institutions, the Victoria County History. Chris Catling argues that their recently published Burford project is a model of how to do a town history. Archaeology and local history are very close companions, and the nearer we come to [...]
We think of villas as the grand farmhouses of the Roman countryside. But were they? Bryn Walters takes a fresh look at the evidence and comes to some radical conclusions. In the mid 20th century, Sir Ian Richmond, following on R G Collingwood, argued that for too long there had been a bland acceptance that [...]
When is a Roman villa not a villa? The term villa covers many different structures, ranging from a palatial country house down to a jumped-up small farmstead. At Wrawby, we have discovered what appears to be a villa at the lower end of the range – a farmstead with pretensions.
We think of villas as the grand farmhouses of the Roman countryside. But were they? Bryn Walters takes a fresh look at the evidence and comes to some radical conclusions.
In the second part of our mini-series based on Barry Cunliffe’s new book Europe between the Oceans, our focus is the period c.2800-140 BC. We see the rise and fall of great civilisations, and a looming clash between a Mediterranean-based superpower and the Celtic peoples of Iron Age Europe. Once again, it is the movement [...]
The perception that much of prehistory was relatively peaceful is changing. New research has identified evidence of violent assault in the Neolithic. What does this tell us about Stone Age life as a whole? Forensic archaeologist Martin Smith explains.Whilst many Neolithic burials have been excavated during the last 150 years, they have received only limited [...]
Did 9th century Anglo-Saxon propaganda distort the records for the turbulent 5th and 6th centuries? Rather than Briton versus Anglo-Saxon – as in the myth of Arthur – was it simply a murderous struggle between rival British warlords? Archaeologist Miles Russell has been re-reading Dark Age history books.
Barry Cunliffe’s latest book represents the synthesis of half a century studying the archaeology of Europe, an achievement comparable with that of Gordon Childe in the 1930s. In this article, and in two more to follow in succeeding issues, Current Archaeology summarises his conclusions.
The British Museum’s Richard Hobbs has been playing detective – investigating the 60-year-old mystery surrounding the spectacular Mildenhall Treasure and here he reports on the outcome of his enquiries. One of the most celebrated hoards ever recovered from British soil, the Mildenhall Treasure consists of 34 pieces of exquisitely decorated Roman silver tableware of the [...]
A neglected and deprived part of Belfast has been excavated by archaeologists to reveal its transformation from 17th century farmland to squalid, overcrowded 19th century urban slums.In 1853, the Rev. W M O’Hanlon, Congregationalist minister for Upper Donegall Street Church, published a series of letters in the Northern Whig, a Belfast newspaper, detailing the filth [...]
Thirty years ago, David Breeze and Brian Dobson wrote a history of Hadrian’s Wall from the archaeological evidence. Still in print in a revised edition, it is one of the most successful archaeology books ever written. With a major British Museum exhibition devoted to Hadrian opening this July, we asked David Breeze to take a [...]