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Science Notes – Updating radiocarbon-dating techniques

In last month’s ‘Science Notes’ we took you on a tour of the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, discussing the intricacies of radiocarbon dating. There is the risk of portraying the process as fixed and static, but it is always being updated with new treatments and techniques – to make the method even more precise and […]

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New evidence for Nero’s links to Roman Silchester

Over the decades there have been tantalising hints about the Emperor Nero (r. AD 54-68) and his possible connections with the Roman city of Calleva Atrebatum in modern-day Silchester. Now archaeologists at the University of Reading have uncovered more evidence to support this idea. Professor Michael Fulford and teams from the University of Reading having […]

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Reused burial stones hints at Dundee graveyard’s medieval foundation

In April, a survey was conducted on the 1,800 gravestones in Dundee Howff cemetery by the Dundee Howff Conservation Group, aided by archaeologist Dr Oliver O’Grady of OJT Heritage. The aim was to create a detailed map of the site and to research the origins of some of the headstones, as well as the generations […]

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Original resting place for Richard III gains protected status

Richard III was reburied in Leicester Cathedral in 2015 (see CA 303), but his original resting place has not been forgotten. The site of Leicester’s Greyfriars church, underneath that now-legendary car park, has been granted protection by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport on the advice of Historic England. ‘The site of Greyfriars […]

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Redating Repton

A team from the University of Bristol, led by Cat Jarman and Mark Horton, is reanalysing the Viking site at Repton in Derbyshire and challenging previously held theories about it. Repton was first excavated between 1974 and 1993 by Martin Biddle and Birthe Kjølbye-Biddle in order to investigate the Anglo-Saxon origins of St Wystan’s Church; […]

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Breaking ground at Barrow Clump

During November, Wessex Archaeology, with the support of the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), returned to Barrow Clump – a Neolithic settlement on Salisbury Plain reused as a burial site during the early Bronze Age and the Anglo-Saxon period – to salvage archaeological remains that are under threat from the activity of tunnelling badgers. This time […]

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Neolithic wanderings in Wales

The Mesolithic–Neolithic transition in Britain is a widely debated topic, particularly with regard to the role migration played in spreading Neolithic farming practices from the Continent to Britain. Now researchers from Durham University are using isotope analysis to examine the childhood origins of early Neolithic Britons, in an initiative aiming to address this question.

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Electrifying discoveries at Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace is currently undergoing a massive, multiphased electrical upgrade, its first since the 1960s, which has provided the rare opportunity to carry out archaeological excavations on the site before the new infrastructure is installed.

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Gluttony at Glenfield Park

Just west of Leicester, between the villages of Glenfield and Kirby Muxloe, archaeologists from the University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS) have uncovered a large archaeological site with evidence of long-term occupation from the Iron Age through to the Roman period.

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Laboratory spotlight: Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit (ORAU)

For this month’s ‘Science Notes’, we went to the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit (ORAU ) to explore the enigmatic process behind radiocarbon (14C) dating, sitting down with Professor Tom Higham, the deputy director of ORAU, and Dr David Chivall, the lab’s chemistry manager, to discuss ORAU’s history, laboratory practices, and current research, as well as future prospects.

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