News

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Getting to the core of Stonehenge

A long-forgotten piece of one of Stonehenge’s famous sarsen stones, which make up the outer ring of the monument, has travelled thousands of miles from the USA to return to the Salisbury Plain site. The core was drilled from one of the stones during excavation work in 1958, when archaeologists raised an entire fallen trilithon.

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Remains of Kirkwall Castle revealed

The remains of a long-destroyed medieval castle have been unearthed by the Orkney Research Centre for Archaeology (ORCA) during a watching brief for a road infrastructure project in the centre of Kirkwall, Orkney.

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Unusual Iron Age burial uncovered at Childrey

A settlement dating to the Iron Age and the Romano-British period has been uncovered near the village of Childrey in Oxfordshire, ahead of works to lay new water pipes for a Thames Water project.

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Science Notes – Fashioning the face of man’s best friend

Facial reconstructions have become an increasingly common output of archaeological analysis. From the dark-skinned Cheddar Man (see CA 337) to the battle-scarred men from the Mary Rose, these life-like models put a face (literally) on the past in a way that artefacts cannot. Now, a reconstruction has been created from the skull of a Neolithic dog, opening up new possibilities for the ways in which this forensic technique may be used in the future. But how are these models created, and how accurate are they? In this month’s ’Science Notes‘, we explore the details of this technique and how it was applied to a canine from Orkney.

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Remains of Cook’s cottage recovered

The foundations of a house built by Captain Cook’s father – which stood in Great Ayton, North Yorkshire, until it was moved stone by stone to Australia in 1934 – will be on public display this summer following their recent rediscovery.

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Rediscovering the lost Govan Stones

Three long-lost gravestones belonging to one of the most significant collections of Viking Age sculpture in Britain and Ireland have been found during a community dig in the churchyard of Govan Old Parish Church in Glasgow. The stones were (re)discovered by Mark McGettigan, a 14-year-old student volunteering on his very first excavation, which was run by Northlight Heritage.

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Monumental meeting points in Neolithic Britain

Previous isotopic analysis of animal remains from Durrington Walls, a large henge enclosure 3km northeast of Stonehenge, demonstrated that both cattle and pigs were brought to the complex from across Britain (see CA 334). Now, a further study looking at pig bones from three other nearby Neolithic sites, as well as examining the Durrington Wall pigs more thoroughly, has found that this was not an anomaly – it seems that all these complexes served as meeting points for people from across the British Isles.

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Finding Æbbe’s monastery

A lost monastery founded by an Anglo-Saxon princess may have been rediscovered, potentially bringing an end to a search that has gone on for decades.

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Return to Rat Island

In Current Archaeology 339, we reported the discovery of a number of human skeletons on the ominously named ‘Rat Island’ in Gosport, Hampshire. These burials had been exposed as a result of erosion following winter storms and were found to be those of adult males – probably prisoners from the prison hulks that had been moored in the harbour in the 18th and 19th centuries.

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Reassessing Avebury

A team from the universities of Leicester and Southampton recently re-examined previous Avebury excavations and conducted new surveying of the site (in a study published in the journal Antiquity), establishing a possible new chronology of the monument’s construction and shedding new light on its use.

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