Features

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Heritage from Home – January

Even though most of the country is in lockdown there are still plenty of ways to get explore the past! Amy Brunskill has put together a selection of online resources for you to peruse from home.

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RISE OF THE MEGA-HENGES

It was long thought that huge and complex monuments like Mount Pleasant in Dorset had developed over many centuries – but new dating evidence suggests that the diverse elements of this site came together much faster than previously imagined, with intriguing implications for our understanding of these late Neolithic enclosures. Carly Hilts reports.

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Excavating the CA archive: Yorkshire, part II

In my previous column (CA 370), I examined Yorkshire’s prehistoric archaeology. This month, I am moving forward chronologically to explore the Roman, Viking and Anglo-Saxon, late medieval, and modern archaeology of this region’s four counties. This is ground that I have covered in part before, in reviews of CA’s coverage of Viking Jorvik (CA 341, August 2018) and medieval Wharram Percy (CA 340, July 2018), but there are many other treasures to be found across the counties too.

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Science Notes – Parsing the properties of Egyptian purple pigments

Between 30 BC and the 3rd century AD, during which period Egypt was a province of the Roman Empire, a practice developed of attaching a portrait of a mummified individual to their mummy wrappings. Approximately 1,100 of these paintings have been collected over the centuries, the majority during the 19th and early 20th century – but, as many were bought and sold as works of art instead of archaeological artefacts, information about their context and provenance has disappeared.

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Contextualising Bronze Age burials on the Isle of Man

Recent assessment of a unique burial assemblage from the Isle of Man has helped illuminate a rare type of funerary practice also found in parts of Wales and northern England. This new work provides a blueprint for moving away from traditional single-object typologies towards a more holistic approach that takes into consideration multiple forms of evidence in order to get a clearer picture of varying cultural practices across different regions.

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Searching for the people of Doggerland

Around 8,150 years ago, a sudden shift in the seabed created the Storegga tsunami in the North Sea. With all known evidence pointing towards this event greatly affecting, but not completely inundating, Doggerland (the strip of land that once connected Britain to continental Europe – see CA 367), the search is now on for evidence of human occupation. While it is thought that there must have been significant Mesolithic groups living here during the period, without knowing just how populated the area was likely to be it cannot be determined how catastrophic the tsunami may have been.

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Roman villa revealed near Wrexham

The remains of a Roman villa have been revealed near Rossett, Wrexham. It is the first site of its kind to be found in north-east Wales, adding to our knowledge of the region during this period.

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Updates to the definition of Treasure

The definition of what is considered ‘Treasure’ is to be revised by the Government, to broaden its parameters and provide increased protection for archaeological finds made in England and Wales. It will be the first change made to the Treasure Act since it came into effect nearly 25 years ago.

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A new chronology for Glastonbury Lake Village

A new robust set of radiocarbon dates from the Glastonbury Lake Village in Somerset has allowed researchers to establish a more-precise chronology for how the site was used during the Iron Age. As the settlement contains so many well-preserved finds from this period, it is hoped that this new information will help to provide a better timeline for similar artefacts found across Britain and Ireland.

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