Category: Features

Worship, Death and Taxes: the story of Higham Ferrers

Two very important discoveries have been made at the multi-period site of Higham Ferrers, in Northamptonshire: one a Romano-British shrine complex, and the other an example of the realities — and occasional brutalities — of Middle Saxon regional government. Oxford Archaeology’s Alan Hardy takes up the story. Higham Ferrers lies in what is now an […]

Greening the valleys:

the archaeology of industrial Wales Wales  was  central to  the world’s first industrial revolution; the abandoned remains of 200-year-old coal and iron industries litter the valleys. Frank Olding reports on the Green Mines Project, which is conserving and presenting the physical remains in Blaenau Gwent and regenerating this once-plundered landscape. An 18th century ironworks; a […]

Hill Hall: home of a Tudor intellectual

In 1969, fire raged through this exceptional Elizabethan house. Paul Drury explains what archaeologists were able to rescue from the burnt-out husk. Since 1952, Hill Hall, at Theydon Mount, in Essex,   had been a women’s open prison whose unwilling guests included Christine Keeler. To architectural historians, this was indeed a fall from grace for […]

Galloping down the centuries: new light on Britain's chalk-cut hill-figures

With the widespread use of optical stimulated luminescence (OSL) for dating soil samples, the mysterious giant hillside carvings of horses and men are finally being placed in an historical context. Paul Newman, author of a comprehensive survey of the subject, considers our current knowledge of these impressive relics, set against the many ways we have […]

Making a mint: the archaeology of a Late Iron Age industry

There were no credit crunches in the Late Iron Age: highly skilled Celtic mintmasters took painstaking care to ensure money had real, solid, and unchanging value. Mark Landon has studied two huge hauls of coin-making debris from North Hertfordshire and reports on his findings.

Buckles, belts and borders

How soldiers’ fashions reflect political turmoil in Late Roman Britain A Romano-British army in Spain. Anglo-Saxon mercenaries in eastern England. A great tribal confederation spanning south Britain. Stuart Laycock has been finding fresh evidence for the storm and strife at the end of Roman Britain in collections of buckles and belt-fittings.

Roman Mosaics of Britain: the view from the South East

David Neal and Stephen Cosh have reached the South East England stage in their marathon undertaking to publish every known Romano-British mosaic. Chris Catling reports on what, in mosaic terms, sets this region apart.

Who killed Lindow Man?

In the summer of 1984, archaeologists recovered the well-preserved remains of a 2,000-year-old body from a bog in Cheshire. Years later, the file is still open on this ancient whodunnit.   Features Editor Neil Faulkner asks: is the traditional interpretation of ritual killing correct?It was on 1 August 1984 that a worker at a peat-cutting […]

The Old Dock: How Liverpool grew to greatness

  In 1700, Liverpool was a small town with a dock that was in danger of silting up. Yet it was a town with prospects: Chester, which had hitherto been the main port in the north-west, was silting up even more. The discovery of the Americas had increased the importance of ports facing the Atlantic, […]