Déjà vuThe Times published a letter on 2 June 2009 signed by Professors Martin Biddle and Brian Fagan, who called on the nation not to forget the 150th anniversary of the historic lecture given by John Evans to the Society of Antiquaries on 2 June 1859, in which he presented crucial evidence for human antiquity [...]
Déjà vu, Stones and bones, Sunspots and destiny, ‘Dr Livingroom, I presume?’, Mosaic funding, A hermit’s life, Leaping to the defence of the church
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 [...]
Jargon: which words would you ban?The Local Government Association has published a list of words and phrases that it thinks council staff and members should not use because they make it harder for the electorate to understand what councils do. In truth, many of them should simply be banned because they are empty of meaning. [...]
Let it growOne can only applaud the National Trust’s decision to create 1,000 allotments within its disused walled gardens and on land within its estates, even if that number is tiny compared to the 100,000 people currently on allotment waiting lists. Archaeologists have always made good gardeners: one Winchester-based pottery specialist, sadly no longer with [...]
When, at the IFA’s Liverpool conference in April 2004, I argued for a festival of archaeology to compare with the superb festivals of literature, history, science. jazz, folk and rock music that we already have in this country, I could find not a soul in the archaeological establishment to back the idea. Then, in 2007, [...]
After only two years, we are already beginning to establish some Festival traditions. One is to tackle a ‘difficult’ subject. Last year Alex Bayliss, of English Heritage, explained Bayesian statistics; at each step in her idiots’ guide, instead of declaring QED, she said ‘woof, woof’, like a school teacher keeping her class alert and amused. [...]
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 [...]
In 2002, launching the first ever ‘Heritage Counts’ digest of statistics on the health of the historic environment, Tessa Jowell, then Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport, pulled a surprise speech out of her back pocket: ‘I am launching a thorough review of heritage protection laws,’ she said, ‘with the aim of making [...]
The world’s media reported in August that a huge timber fence was used to separate ordinary mortals from the privileged classes at Stonehenge. Josh Pollard, of Bristol University, whose team of diggers has found the post pits for a 20ft high fence snaking for nearly 3km (2 miles) around the stone circle, was quoted [...]
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
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 [...]
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.