The road more travelled: Rónán Swan discusses life on the road schemes with CA Editor Lisa Westcott. Why did you become an archaeologist? My father, Leo Swan, was an archaeologist, so I grew up with it. All my holidays were spent on sites, or fieldwalking places like the Dublin mountains, Tara, and the Boyne Valley. My [...]
Alice Roberts, one of the most popular presenters of archaeology on TV, discusses the bare bones of her new series with CA Editor Lisa Westcott. How did you get involved in TV archaeology? I started out in medicine and was a junior doctor in south Wales. But I wanted to indulge my interest in anatomy [...]
Dr Mike Heyworth, Director of the Council for British Archaeology, tells CA Editor Lisa Westcott about the CBA, pubs and politics. How did you first get involved with archaeology? When I was 14, I went along to a weekend excavation at Old Down Farm, near Andover. My main reason for wanting to go was that [...]
CA editor Lisa Westcott is blown away by a demonstration of authentic Roman glassmaking. The Roman Glassmakers opened shop in 1989, and ever since have specialised in researching the techniques involved in making Roman glass vessels and in reproducing Roman glass (CA 186). Now, they have expanded into English Medieval glass, complicated Roman luxury items, and other [...]
One of Britain’s most prolific and colourful archaeologists dishes the dirt with CA Editor Lisa Westcott. Why did you become an archaeologist? My first great loves were literature and poetry. I had no interest in archaeology until I was about 26 years old, on a military posting in Arabia, and came across a site called [...]
On Monday, 12 October 2009, Sir David Attenborough participated in the Cambridge University Personal-Histories in Archaeology project. I was there, along with a capacity crowd of over 700 guests, to listen to one of television’s great pioneers.
I attended the launch yesterday of the 2007 Portable Antiquities Scheme annual report. Held at the BM in the new temporary exhibit space housing the few objects from the Staffordshire Hoard that are on display to the public, the meeting was full of the usual luminaries as well as Fred Johnson and his wife – [...]
‘BIN09′ is the site code for this year’s season of the major new field project at the Roman fort of Binchester, run jointly by Durham County Council, Durham University and Stanford University, where I have just spent a week digging. In addition to the on-site professional staff (Dr David Mason, David Petts, Jamie Armstrong, Janice Adams and Matt [...]
Day three at WAC and the conference mates are well.Following our prehistoric musical interlude yesterday afternoon, I attended a session on development-funded archaeology in Ireland. As you can imagine, following the massive building boom in Ireland, the amount of such archaeology has climbed dizzy heights.
As I type, it is lunch time. One thousand delegates are thronging around the coffee and sandwich tables. Suddenly, into the crowd emerge two archaeo-blokes (sandals mandatory) carrying a 5 foot-long curving metal object. One of them is blowing enthusiastically, and continuously, down the back end of the metal object. The crowd is stunned. How [...]
Lisa Westcott and Nadia Durrani head out to Dublin for the 6th World Archaeological Congress, the Olympics of Archaeology. First impressions: Dublin is cold and grey – and full of archaeologists! I've never seen so many of us in one place at one time, from all aspects of the discipline and all countries of the [...]
The dust has settled on our first big Current Archaeology event, and I am happy to report it was a great success. Over 500 people attended, including delegates, speakers, moderators, press and guests; not bad for a first try! With big events like conferences, there will always be something that could have gone better, however overall [...]
On February 14, I attended the Society of Antiquaries London and the Annual All-Party Parliamentary Archaeology Group Lecture to hear Hungarian archaeologist Dr Zsolt Visy (a Fellow and expert in the Roman archaeology of central Europe) discuss his work in establishing provenance for the Sevso Treasure. This meeting was quite exciting, it being the first [...]
It is now just 3 short days until the Archaeology 2008 conference, which we are co-sponsoring along with the British Museum Department of Portable Antiquities and Treasure and the Traveller. For the first time in Britain, representatives from all aspects of our discipline will be together in one room: academics, diggers, bureaucrats, freelancers, amateurs, professionals, [...]
On January 28, I was fortunate to attend the London Society of Antiquaries Tercentenary lecture No. 3, The Dawn of Civilization, by Professor Lord Renfrew at the Royal Museum of Scotland. The lecture was followed by a reception at Old College, the University of Edinburgh. It was extremely well attended (which was no surprise, given [...]
Yesterday evening, I was killed at least 50 times. I was stabbed, slashed, poked, cut, beheaded, dismembered and left for dead. In other words: I attended my first class at the Schola Gladiatoria.
Deep in the heart of Silbury Hill I was lucky enough to be invited along on the press tour of the Silbury Hill excavations on Wednesday, October 24. So, taking my life in my hands, I hopped in the infamous Selkirk camper van and headed down with Andrew. There's more going on there than I [...]
Were the Great Plagues in Britain really caused by rats and fleas, or is a cosmic event responsible for poisoning the atmosphere? I attended a lecture at the Society of Antiquaries to find out.