Features

Figure-2a

Science Notes – Getting to the core of it: examining silver mining through ice-core analysis

This month, we are discussing something new for Science Notes: ice-core analysis. This technique is based on the fact that, as atmospheric particles settle on glaciers – whether through precipitation or wind – they become trapped in the outermost layer of ice. As these layers accumulate each year, they create a sequential time capsule. By extracting cores from these glaciers, the layers can be separated and the particles analysed, providing evidence for global climate and pollution fluctuations through history.

Close-up-of-the-archaeological-remains-of-medieval-leather-boots-(c)-MOLA-Headland-Infrastructure

Investigating London’s man of mystery

The skeleton of a man wearing thigh-high leather boots and buried face-down in the mud has been discovered in the Thames. The individual’s remains were found near Chambers Wharf in Bermondsey by MOLA Headland archaeologists working in advance of construction for the Thames Tideway Tunnel – a ‘super sewer’ intended to stop sewage pollution in the Thames.

Salisbury-hoard-Iron-Age-miniature-shields

Review – Hoards: a hidden history of ancient Britain

Hoards of different periods have been uncovered in many parts of Britain. A touring exhibition brings together some of these intriguing caches of objects hidden long ago, and explores the possible reasons behind their burial. Lucia Marchini travelled to Salisbury to find out more.

Fan

Excavating the CA archive: cover photos from the first 100 issues

In my column on the ‘great excavation’ of Shapwick (CA 345), I included one of my all-time favourite Current Archaeology cover photos, that of CA 151 (February 1997), where a then broken-legged Mick Aston (injured tripping over a holy well!) is shown on site in Shapwick along with some curious local cattle. Over the years, CA has featured some memorable cover photos, and in my column in CA 321 (December 2016), I picked some of my favourites from the first hundred issues of CA between 1967 and 1986. I will pick up this ‘cover stories’ thread again over the next few columns, commencing here with some more of my favourites from the first hundred issues, and the stories behind them.

Figure-6

Rethinking Pictish symbols

Recent research on Pictish symbols has provided a new chronology for the carvings, transforming our understanding of their evolution.

Example-clay-pipe

Dental health and poverty during the Great Irish Famine

A new study analysing the teeth of adults who died in the Kilkenny Union Workhouse at the height of the Great Famine (1845-1852) has revealed some of the possible social reasons for their poor oral health, and how this may have affected their general wellbeing.

Kirkby-Thore4

Roman fort settlement revealed in Cumbria

The remains of a settlement associated with the Roman fort of Bravoniacum has been unearthed near Kirkby Thore in Cumbria. The footprints of post-built structures were discovered by GUARD Archaeology Ltd, working with Highways England and Amey Consulting during improvement works along the A66.

ACD1680---archaeology-plan_24-10-2018

Vicus discovered in Devon?

At the opposite end of the country to the Cumbrian settlement described above, signs of another possible extramural fort settlement have been identified at Okehampton, in Devon. Working during housing development, AC Archaeology has discovered the remains of at least 25 timber buildings lining both sides of a well-preserved Roman road, leading eastward from a known Roman fort (a scheduled monument since the 1970s).

Lamprey-keratin-‘teeth’-(probably-river-lamprey)-recovered-during-excavations-near-Mansion-House-station-in-London-©-MOLA

Lamprey for dinner in medieval London

King Henry I is said to have died from eating a ‘surfeit of lampreys’, but there is no excess of these eel-like fish in the archaeological record, as their remains rarely survive. Indeed, traces of lampreys are so scarce that they had previously only been identified at two sites in the UK. Now a third example has been found during post-excavation analysis of a midden uncovered in central London.