For this month’s ‘Science Notes’, CA’s Deputy Editor Kathryn Krakowka visited the ancient DNA (aDNA) lab at the Natural History Museum in London, to talk to Professor Ian Barnes and Dr Selina Brace about the history of aDNA research, the functions of the lab at the NHM, and what projects they are currently working on.
This month has brought a flurry of Roman news (as you can see on preceding pages), and one more discovery of this period is a 4th-century cemetery from Suffolk that was home to an unusually high number of ‘deviant’ burials.
For the past two decades, Brighton Museum & Art Gallery has had no dedicated space exploring the area’s archaeology. Now, though, thanks to a long-running campaign and a gift from a local benefactor, a stunning new gallery has just been opened. Carly Hilts went along to find out more.
In last month’s column I highlighted some of my favourite covers from issues 101-200 (1986- 2005). Now I pick up where I left off, continuing my explorations of this era through the pages of Current Archaeology, and roving in time from the 3rd millennium BC to the 18th century AD, and in space from northern Scotland to the south coast of England.
Modern Bath Abbey overlies the site of what was one of the largest cathedrals in medieval England. Now its remains, together with traces of the Anglo-Saxon monastery that preceded it, have been brought to light once more. Kirsten Egging Dinwiddy, Bob Davis, Cai Mason, Bruce Eaton, Sophie Clarke, and Marek Lewcun explain.
Given the recent cold weather, the discovery of a massive underground ‘ice house’, unearthed next to Regent’s Park in London, seems rather fitting. Built in the late 18th century, the subterranean chamber escaped damage during the Blitz bombings that destroyed the houses that stood above it, as well as local rebuilding in the 1960s. It was recently rediscovered by MOLA archaeologists working on behalf of Great Marlborough Estates during the residential development of Regent’s Crescent.
A cemetery excavated on the site of New Covent Garden Market in Nine Elms, near Battersea, is illuminating the lives of some of 19th-century London’s poorest inhabitants. The investigation, which uncovered nearly 100 burials, was carried out by Wessex Archaeology as part of modernisation work on the site by the VINCI St Modwen, in partnership with the Covent Garden Market Authority.
Two decorated Roman lead coffins have been uncovered during recent work at a quarry in Surrey. Only a few hundred burials involving such caskets are known from the whole of Britain, with these latest examples discovered by Wessex Archaeology during work on behalf of Sibelco, a raw materials company.
A figurine thought to be Britain’s only known example depicting the Celtic god Cernunnos has been found during the excavation of a late Iron Age/early Roman settlement in Cambridgeshire.
When a strikingly well-preserved example of a Recumbent Stone Circle was identified in Aberdeenshire farmland (shown above), archaeologists were intrigued by its unusual design. After further investigation, however, the reason behind the Leochel-Cushnie monument’s quirks became all-too-apparent: rather than being an ancient site, the stone circle was built only 20 years ago.