Treating leprosy

Were lepers reviled as ‘unclean’ outcasts of the Middle Ages? Recent excavations cast doubt on this enduring belief


When the Celtic Tiger roared: the golden years of commercial archaeology in Ireland

During the Celtic Tiger economic boom, Ireland experienced a period of prosperity which led to an unprecedented ‘golden age’ for commercial archaeology. In a four-part series, Brendon Wilkins examines the top sites, finds and controversies that defined over a decade of discovery. Imagine a place where the term ‘millionaire archaeologist’ would not sound ridiculous, and […]


After the Cuts: Scorched earth, or clean slate? (Part I)

As the government threatens to cut all its budgets, CA decided to ask a tough question of our colleagues: `The budget cuts have major implications for archaeology. But is it all bad news? Instead of just being about mass unemployment, lower wages, and fear, could it be that this is a chance to repurpose, do […]


After the Cuts: Scorched earth, or clean slate? (Part II)

Editor-in-chief, Andrew Selkirk offers his insight on some issues raised by spending cuts. How will universities fare under the new regime, where funds will go to students rather than to universities? Archaeology is not exactly a subject that will set you up to become a big earner, so will archaeology inevitably go into decline? I […]


UnRoman attitudes: exposing the myth of Britannia

We traditionally see Roman Britain from the Rome-centred view; but how did the Britons really react? Now, a new book by Miles Russell and Stuart Laycock explores a different perspective, asking: what did the Romans truly ever do for us? In 2010, 1600 years after the traditional date when Rome cut the province of Britannia […]


Vikings: Raiders and traders

A group of 51 fit and battle-ready Scandinavians met a brutal death in the years between AD 910 and 1034; crudely beheaded, their remains were thrown into a mass grave near Weymouth in Dorset. Chris Catling asks how this discovery fits in with our picture of the Vikings. Recent discoveries such as the Dorset Ridgeway […]


Conservation in the community

American-born conservator Dana Goodburn-Brown has worked around the world and made numerous appearances on television. Now, her infectious enthusiasm is inspiring a band of volunteers based in the unlikely location of a Kent shopping centre. CA‘s Caitlin McCall went to meet her. What does a conservator do? A conservator is responsible for the care, preservation […]


Liquid History: Excavating London’s great river, The Thames

Prehistoric forests, the skull of a child, the slipway of a Victorian engineering masterpiece and part of a Tudor palace jetty: all have emerged from the mud and gravel on the foreshore of the Thames, thanks to an exciting new project to record the archaeology of London’s great river.   Nathalie Cohen tells CA about […]


Howburn Farm: Excavating Scotland’s first people

At Howburn Farm in South Lanarkshire, a scattering of flints, discovered by the Biggar Archaeology Group, turned out to be evidence of the earliest human habitation in Scotland. Tam Ward and Alan Saville explain. How far north did Palaeolithic people settle in Britain? The general belief is that they did not go much further than […]

Industrial Manchester

Dark Satanic mills? The archaeology of the world’s first industrial city

By 1850, Manchester had a population of 300,000, and most of its 172 textile mills had already been built. Cotton goods were known simply as ‘Manchester goods’. Now, archaeology is adding new insights. We report on ten years’ digging of Manchester’s industrial history. In 1814, Johann Georg May wrote: ‘Manchester is famous throughout the world […]