Category: Articles

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London’s Pompeii?

The rise and fall of a Roman waterfront   In early May the excavation of a riverbank in the heart of Roman London drew to a close. Waterlogged layers preserved here contained timber buildings and almost 10,000 small finds. Sophie Jackson, Sadie Watson, Angela Wardle, and Michael Marshall of MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) told […]

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Exclusive interview – Mick Aston: an archaeological journey

Real-life Archaeologists rarely become household names. Mick Aston is an exception. A defining voice in the development of Time Team and stalwart of the show since its first season in 1994, Mick’s resignation earlier this year ignited a media firestorm. He was in the news again in July after receiving a lifetime achievement award at […]

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Walbrook channel: mystery panel

A 6-month excavation in the heart of London has revealed thousands of artefacts illuminating the city’s Roman past — including a unique sheet of decorated leather. Working ahead of construction on the Bloomberg site, home to London’s Temple of Mithras, MOLA archaeologists have recovered around 10,000 objects spanning the whole period of Roman occupation in […]

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Work unfinished: Brading villa on the Isle of Wight

Discovered in 1880, the villa at Brading on the Isle of Wight has mosaics to compare with the best in the Roman Empire; consequently it is studied and celebrated as an example of Romano-British art at its most accomplished. New work by Barry Cunliffe, 130 years after the villa’s discovery, has revealed that the mosaics […]

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Coins and the Bible

 Render unto Caesar . . .   Many people study Roman coins, but how were they actually used? For the student of Roman coins by far and away the best source of information is the Bible, or more specifically, the Gospels.   The classical Roman writers were all far too highbrow to deal with anything […]

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After the Ice: exhibiting life at Star Carr

11,000-year-old artefacts from Star Carr, Britain’s largest-known Mesolithic settlement, will go on display for the first time tomorrow (24 May), with the opening of a new exhibition at the Yorkshire Museum. With highlights including  deer skull head-dresses, bone harpoons, and amber and shale jewellery, preserved by the peaty environment of the lakeside camp where they […]

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Digging London’s past: Syon Park excavation

This summer the Museum of London will return to Syon Park,  Hounslow, with digging opportunities for adult and children, it has been announced.   Having previously focussed on investigating the house of Sir Richard Wynne, a Parliamentarian on whose land  the 1641 Battle of Brentford was fought as anti-Royalist forces tried to stop Prince Rupert’s […]

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Current Archaeology 279

What was life really like for Medieval peasants? Renowned as the epitome of poverty, they appear as stock images performing hard manual labour in the margins of illustrated manuscripts. With the squalor they faced memorably lampooned by Monty Python, among others, it has always been assumed that the ramshackle hovels they called home have long […]

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Peasant houses in Midland England

  How the Black Death prompted a building boom It used to be thought that only high-class houses had survived from the Medieval period. Radiocarbon and tree-ring dating has now revealed that thousands of ordinary Medieval homes are still standing in the English Midlands, many incorporated into des res village houses. Chris Catling reports on […]