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A handy discovery in Northamptonshire

During excavations at Warth Park in Raunds, Northamptonshire, archaeologists from Oxford Archaeology east made an unusual roman discovery: a wooden arm with an open right hand.

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Science Notes – Calculating historical population fluctuations in Ireland

Previously, large-scale changes in population were quite difficult, if not impossible, to discern from the archaeological record. But while there are still many biases and pitfalls, new statistical techniques are starting to provide innovative ways to determine movement and migration patterns. In this month’s ‘Science Notes’, we explore some of these new techniques, and examine recent research that has utilised them to assess population fluctuations in Ireland.

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Investigating the isotopes of the Blick Mead dog

In 2016, a single canine tooth was found at Blick Mead – a major Mesolithic site 2km from Stonehenge. Now further isotopic analyses have revealed a complicated picture of the dog’s diet and possible migration patterns.

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Unique Iron Age bark shield found in Leicestershire

Post-excavation analysis of an Iron Age bark shield – the only one of its kind ever found in Europe – is greatly enhancing our understanding of how such objects were made and wielded during this period.

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Blackmiddens: distilling the history of Scottish whisky

In what is thought to be the first excavation of its kind, the remains of a 19th-century Scottish whisky distillery have been uncovered in Cabrach. The project, undertaken by Peter Bye- Jensen from the Cabrach Trust along with Cameron Archaeology and local volunteers, has provided valuable new insights into early whisky production, and a period of prosperity that transformed this rural region of Scotland.

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Dissecting the diet of medieval peasants

A recent project analysing food residue on pottery from a medieval rural settlement in Raunds, Northamptonshire, has yielded detailed new information on the diet of peasants between the late Anglo-Saxon period and the 15th century – a vital aspect of medieval life that is often overlooked in the historical record.

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Roman marching camp revealed in Ayr

A previously unknown Roman marching camp has been discovered in Ayr, adding new evidence to our understanding of the Roman conquest of Scotland.

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Science Notes – Picking out Paget’s disease using proteomics

In CA 338, we discussed proteomics – the study of proteins – and how it is quickly growing as a new way of analysing archaeological remains. That month’s ‘Science Notes’ explored how it had been applied to dental calculus, or plaque build-up, to assess an individual’s diet and health. Now research has used proteomics to help with the identification and diagnosis of ancient diseases, further proving its potential to revolutionise our understanding of health through history.

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