Features

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Science Notes – Identifying vitamin D deficiency in the Roman Empire

Several previous ‘Science Notes’ have featured osteological analysis tangentially (see CA 337, 338, 342, and 344), but we have not explored it in depth – until now. This month’s column considers the effects of vitamin D deficiency, how it can be identified in skeletal remains, and what it can tell us about past populations.

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Revisiting the Mote of Urr

Some 65 years after it concluded, the results of Brian Hope- Taylor’s excavation of the Mote of Urr – a motte-and-bailey castle near Dalbeattie in Dumfries and Galloway (shown above) – have finally been published.

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Review – I am Ashurbanipal

When the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal took the throne in 669 BC, his empire was at its height. As well as defeating enemies in violent confl ict and hunting lions, Ashurbanipal saw himself as a scholar and amassed a vast royal library. A major exhibition at the British Museum takes a close look at this self-described ‘king of the world’ and the Assyrians in Iraq, Syria, and beyond. Lucia Marchini went along to find out more.

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Excavating the CA archive: cover photos from issues 101-200, part I

In last month’s column, I picked some of my favourite covers from the first hundred issues of Current Archaeology, the years 1967-1986, a period that has come to be seen by some as a ‘golden age’ of rescue archaeology, and by others less happily as a desperate scramble to gather sufficient resources to stem the tide of destruction. Continuing with this theme, in this and next month’s column I will explore the stories behind some of the covers in issues 101-200, the years 1986-2005.

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Time-honoured places: Defining the Neolithic sense of history

The latest contribution to our understanding of Neolithic lifestyles in the British Isles comes in the form of a wide-ranging book by Keith Ray and Julian Thomas. In it, they demonstrate that many Mesolithic sites of gathering continued to be regarded as special places throughout the Neolithic. This deliberate commemoration of the past gives important insights into the minds of the first farmers. Chris Catling investigates.

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Further chariot burial discovered at Pocklington

When archaeologists from MAP Archaeological Practice discovered a remarkable Iron Age chariot burial during the final stages of an excavation at Pocklington, East Yorkshire, in 2017, along with an impressive 164 burials and 74 square burials, they did not realise that more amazing discoveries were to come. At the end of last year, though, another seven-month excavation on the site – undertaken in advance of a 200-house development by Persimmon Homes Yorkshire – revealed two Iron Age barrows, the contents of which archaeologists on site have described as ‘most impressive, with no British parallel’.

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Anglo-Saxon cemetery found in Lincolnshire

A previously unknown Anglo-Saxon cemetery has been revealed in Scremby, Lincolnshire. On a chalky outcrop of the Lincolnshire Wolds, it was found by a local metal-detectorist, who discovered a number of Anglo-Saxon artefacts, including copper gilded brooches, iron shield bosses, and spearheads.

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Another record year for the Portable Antiquities Scheme

A record number of Treasure finds have been recorded by the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) for the second year running. At the launch of the 2016 Treasure Act Annual Report and the 2017 Portable Antiquities Scheme Annual Report, held at the British Museum last December, it was announced that 1,267 Treasure items had been recorded across England, Wales, and Northern Ireland in 2017.

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Winners of 2018 Heritage Angel Awards announced

The winners of the 2018 Heritage Angel Awards – a programme established in 2011 and supported by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation – have been announced. The aim of the awards, as outlined by the Foundation, is to ‘celebrate the achievements and determination of “unsung heroes”, the individuals and groups who show passion, commitment, and initiative in tackling often challenging restoration projects, who work tirelessly to protect their local historic buildings, and who keep our heritage alive and thriving for the next generation.’

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