Mick Aston passed away on 24 June. His passion for archaeology inspired countless Time Team viewers to follow in his footsteps, including me. Mick was a long-standing friend of CA, and we were looking forward to following his fieldwork exploits in Winscombe for many years to come. But it was not to be. In an extended tribute, we remember Mick in his own words and those of his Time Team friends. He shares a final piece of advice in his column, while some previously unpublished extracts from a 2012 interview provide some gems from his archaeological journey. Andrew Selkirk and I were invited down to Mick’s Somerset home for that interview. It was the only occasion when I was lucky enough to meet Mick, but recollections from people who knew him well, of a welcoming, modest, and encouraging man mirror my experience. Generous with his time, that day in Somerset was a wonderful experience for someone who had grown up watching Mick on television. Elsewhere in this issue we learn how recent research has revealed that Mesolithic settlement at Star Carr was far larger than initially suspected. What does this mean for our view of highly mobile hunter-gatherer groups? Operation Nightingale has been set up to teach archaeology to soldiers recovering from injuries; read about their investigation of a mysterious building overlooking the Roman town at Caerwent. Finally, excavations in Manchester have shown how industrialisation saw green fields overrun with cramped ranks of housing. Discovery how the lost streets of Hulme returned to the heart of a community.
Discovering the true size of a Mesolithic settlement New research at the type site for early Mesolithic studies is set to overturn traditional thinking about northern Europe’s first settlers.
Digging Caerwent with Operation Nightingale We visited this pioneering project, which uses archaeological fieldwork to aid the recovery of wounded servicemen, at an enigmatic Roman site in Wales.
The archaeology and history of Victorian streetscapes Tracing the transformation of life in a Manchester suburb, and how social memory can illuminate the past.
A tribute Remembering our friend and colleague Mick Aston, in his own words and those of his Time Team family.
Evolving English Heritage; Laid to rest: Mersea’s mystery burial; Maryport’s Roman temple revealed; Getting ahead at Binchester; Canterbury’s campus finds; Exceeding Greatham expectations; Meet the Mary Rose archer.
Mick’s Dig Diary In his final column for CA, Mick teaches us the golden rule of studying historic landscapes: go out and look! Last word Andrew Selkirk commemorates Mick Aston: the hermit who changed archaeology forever. Reviews Shakespeare’s London Theatreland; The Anglo-Saxon World; Men from the Ministry; A Forged Glamour Sherds Chris Catling’s irreverent take on heritage issues Odd Socs The Emery Walker Trust and the William Morris Society
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