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.’
Post-excavation analysis of the oldest wooden bowl yet found in Orkney (see CA 343), has revealed details of its Iron Age use. Found by a team from UHI Archaeology Institute, during last summer’s excavation at the Cairns site in South Ronaldsay, the bowl was discovered in a stone chamber known as the ‘The Well’, beneath an Iron Age broch. As little is known about the function of this ‘well’, it was hoped that the bowl could provide some clues.
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.
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.
Recent research on Pictish symbols has provided a new chronology for the carvings, transforming our understanding of their evolution.
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.
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.
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).
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.
In the early days of archaeology, human remains were often treated as an afterthought, deemed unable to tell us much about past populations. As we are well aware today, though, this could not be further from the truth, and in more recent decades the study of human bones has become a major component of archaeological research. But, despite this skeletal success, there is another key aspect of burials that remains relatively under-researched: the grave soil.