September is Scottish archaeology month. In celebration we open with two projects delivering spectacular results.
The largest excavation ever undertaken in Aberdeen has uncovered four churches, and the remains of over 2,000 individuals. These reveal the impact of improved living standards, and a gradual Reformation.
A suspected Viking harbour on Skye has been big news. But this remarkable Medieval naval base is only part of the western Scottish seaboard story. Renowned for its tranquillity today, this was once a bustling maritime highway.
The St Giles Rookery in London was a notorious den of Victorian vice and squalor that both fascinated and repelled contemporary commentators. How accurate was their testimony? Recent excavations have produced a more nuanced picture, showing pockets of wealth amongst the poverty.
Everyone who has been on a dig knows they are powerful bonding experiences. The hard graft required to peel back the centuries forges friendships that last a lifetime. We explore how great excavations have shaped modern archaeology, and individual lives.
Finally, Sherds dissects the stir Cllr Alan Melton caused by casting archaeologists as obstacles to development. However ill-informed his views may be, they serve as a reminder that those who love heritage can never be complacent. Despite the discoveries flowing from developer-funded archaeology, there are those who are itching to bulldoze it away without record.
ABERDEEN’S MITHER KIRK
Uncovering seven centuries of cemeteries
The largest excavation in Aberdeen uncovers four Medieval churches and 700 years of burials. What does this tell us about changes in both the church and the lives of its worshippers?
Surveying Scotland’s maritime superhighway
Evidence of a Viking naval base has emerged on Skye, at Rubh’ an Dùnain. How did this fit in with western Scotland’s wider maritime landscape?
Exploring London’s worst slum
An artist’s exploration of urban landscapes is furthering our understanding of the archaeology of 18th-century London’s ‘citadel of vice and crime’.
Thoughts and reminiscences about how classic summer training excavations developed into a life-long passion for some of Britain’s top archaeologists.
Roman refugee camp; Carlisle’s frontier gallery; Grave affair at St Bride’s Bay; Thor teeth; Medieval ethnic cleansing; Hetty Peglar’s Tump reopened; Britain’s first construction boom
Recording the archaeology of remote Boreray island in the North Atlantic.
Above Scotland: the national collection of aerial photography; Great Crowns of Stone: the recumbent stone circles of Scotland; Prehistoric Cumbria.
Chris Catling’s irreverent take on heritage issues.
Andrew Selkirk mourns the passing of old friends.
The List and Index Society.