Features

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Druce Farm villa: luxury living in Roman Dorset

A fine example of a Roman villa with well-preserved mosaics has been discovered in Dorset and excavated by a group of amateur archaeologists. Lilian Ladle described the preliminary results to Andrew Selkirk. Is it possible to do an ‘amateur’ dig these days? At Druce Farm in Dorset, Lilian Ladle has been excavating a rather splendid […]

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South Africa: the art of a nation

The latest exhibition at the British Museum offers an overview of South African art from manuports to Mandela and beyond. Lucia Marchini finds out more. Between 1948 and 1994, when the ruling National Party was enforcing apartheid legislation, the official version of South African history portrayed the country as a terra nullius before European settlement […]

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Opus anglicanum

A selection of the most luxurious of English embroideries, much desired by the rich and powerful of medieval Europe, have been brought together for a new exhibition at the V&A. Lucia Marchini takes a look. The Latin term opus anglicanum has been used in English to describe grand embroideries since the 13th century, and it gives much […]

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The cist on Whitehorse Hill

Inside an Early Bronze Age burial Scores of prehistoric cists on Dartmoor were opened by antiquarian investigators in the 19th century. On occasion, their curiosity was rewarded with a flint tool or, if they were very lucky, a pot. More often than not their endeavours were met with an empty cavity. When an eroding cist […]

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Great Ryburgh: A remarkable Anglo-Saxon cemetery revealed

Archaeological work beside the River Wensum in Norfolk has revealed more than 80 rare Middle Saxon log coffins and plank-lined graves, preserved by their waterlogged environment – the first time that such coffins have been found in these numbers and such good condition in Britain. What can the unusual finds tell us about an early […]

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Rothwell charnel chapel: the nameless dead

Exploring the Rothwell Charnel Chapel Project Why were bones placed in charnel chapels, and just how common was this practice in medieval England? Work at Rothwell, Northamptonshire, is shining remarkable new light on the significance of these ossuaries. Elizabeth Craig-Atkins, Jennifer Crangle, and Dawn Hadley from the University of Sheffield explain the domain of the […]

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The Mary Rose revisited

The Mary Rose museum at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard was reopened 471 years to the day since the sinking of Henry VIII’s flagship – for the first time giving the public a clear view of her hull. Lucia Marchini went along to find out what else is new. When the new Mary Rose museum first opened […]

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Rethinking Durrington Walls: a long-lost monument revealed

Durrington Walls, two miles from Stonehenge, is named after the Neolithic henge that calls the location home. But with ongoing research revealing a massive and previously unknown monument hidden beneath its banks, the site’s history is set to be rewritten. Carly Hilts spoke to Vince Gaffney, Mike Parker Pearson, and Nick Snashall to find out […]

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Because I’m worth it: Apethorpe preserved

Very few people had heard of Apethorpe in 2004 when the government used a compulsory purchase order to take the Northamptonshire building into the care of the state. Two decades and several million pounds later, the house has been sold to new owners who will complete the restoration and open it to the public. Chris […]

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Glastonbury Abbey: the archaeological story

Excavators were repeatedly drawn to Glastonbury Abbey during the 20th century, but the fruits of their labours rarely made it into print. Roberta Gilchrist is spearheading a major project to separate archaeological fact from the rich mythology the abbey attracts.   The site of Glastonbury Abbey in Somerset is inscribed with legends that are at […]