In the centuries while Eastern England succumbed to Germanic takeover, Britannia Prima still flew the flag for Rome. Only in 1278, when Edward I captured Caernarfon, did this last outpost of the Western Roman Empire fall to a ‘barbarian’ king. Roger White of the Ironbridge Institute, University of Birmingham, describes how Romanitas endured on the [...]
‘Look after the soldiers’ was Roman emperor Severus’ advice to his successors. Officers were especially favoured, with centurions in the ancient equivalent of modern semis, and regimental COs in veritable mansions. With a new full-size reconstruction now open at South Shields, Nick Hodgson, Principal Keeper at Tyne and Wear Museums, describes a major project to [...]
It was not easy for the Romans to keep a close track on time. They did not work by minutes, let alone seconds, their smallest unit being the hour. Even that was not standardised, but varied according to season and location. By day, a Roman hour was a 12th of the time between sunrise and [...]
The Brough of Deerness is a sea stack in east Mainland, Orkney, Scotland. Its grass-covered top, surrounded by 30m cliffs, holds the remains of an enigmatic Viking Age settlement interpreted as a chiefly stronghold or monastery. The co-occurrence of a Viking Age church and approximately 30 associated buildings in such an exposed location make it [...]
Conflict archaeology – the archaeology of communities preparing for, or involved in, military or civil strife – is a relatively new discipline, asking questions about the physical and cultural landscapes of wartime Britain. In this light, the order quoted above becomes a check-list for the landscape of defence created by the British Government between 1936 [...]
Royal Hospital Greenwich was the naval equivalent of the more famous Chelsea Hospital for army veterans. It was a retirement home for ‘seamen worn out or become decrepit by age and infirmities in the service of their country’. Among them were at least 93 men who fought at Trafalgar.
When large amounts of rare pottery, Venetian tea bowls, Cuban silver coins and pottery from the Caribbean began to turn up in 16th and 17th century cesspits in London’s Narrow Street, archaeologists were more than a little perplexed.
Medieval historian Geoffrey of Monmouth claimed Arthur was conceived at Tintagel, a myth that has helped make it one of the most visited archaeological sites in Britain. What do we really know about this iconic site? A major excavation project, begun in the 1990s, has just published its conclusions.
A stunning hoard of Iron Age gold coins was found in Suffolk in spring 2008, and has turned out to be one of the largest and most spectacular finds of its kind in Britain. Unusually, for a find of this size, almost all the coins were found actually in situ at the base of the [...]
We’ve gone through the last 12 months of CA and picked out some of the sites, projects, books and personalities that have made an impression and generated feedback. The next step is up to you: we need your votes to determine who will be the recipients of the inaugural Current Archaeology Awards. Click here to [...]
Current Archaeology, Cardiff University and the National Museum Cardiff are pleased to announce the 2nd annual Archaeology Festival, 6-8 February 2009
Archaeologists in York have uncovered a Viking house at Hungate earlier this month. The building dates from the mid to late 10th century and is of the same type as those found at Coppergate during excavations in the late 1970s and early 1980s – now part of the famous JORVIK Viking Centre.
A lump of chalk carved to resemble a piglet with snout and floppy ears has been found in the grave of a prehistoric child buried near Stonehenge.
Shakespeare is associated mainly with the Globe and the South Bank. But most of his early plays were first performed at a playhouse in Shoreditch called simply ‘The Theatre’. Museum of London archaeologists think they have just found it.
A tiny fragment of granite and a sherd of pottery, unearthed at the tail end of an excavation in Northern Ireland, signalled the discovery of the world’s oldest excavated tide mill. Chris Catling reports back from Nendrum.
Enamelled bronzes from Roman Britain have turned up all over the Roman world. This poses an interesting question: were Celtic artists making tourist knick knacks for Roman soldiers to take back home? Leading expert Ernst Künzl puts a British ‘souvenir’ into context.
English Heritage archaeologists have recently had a rare chance to investigate Britain’s first ‘Palladian’ country house – Chiswick House in West London.
In 1970, writing in CA 21, architect-turned archaeologist Chris Musson estimated that there were perhaps 200 roundhouses known in archaeological literature. The result of recent work is that now, 30 years after Musson’s estimate, we can suggest that the number of excavated roundhouses in Britain must be rapidly approaching 4,000 – a staggering 20-fold increase [...]
The moated site at North, or Little, Conesby was seen as being one of Scunthorpe’s ‘most charming beauty spots’. It was probably built by the d’Arcy family who owned the manor for over 300 years after acquiring it in the aftermath of the Norman Conquest.
Historical sources show that the expansion of cod fishing from the 15th century onward played in important role in European colonisation of the North-West Atlantic. It is also known that fishing was important earlier in the medieval period, but the records usually go back no further than the 12th century at the earliest. By then, [...]