Articles

Landscape-Beneath-the-Waves

Review – Landscape Beneath the Waves: the archaeological investigation of underwater landscapes

Caroline Wickham- Jones offers a useful, if at times rather dry, overview of current research on submerged landscapes around the world. The realisation that sea levels were up to 140m lower globally at the height of the last Ice Age (26,000 to 19,000 years ago) – reaching present-day levels only around 5,000 years ago – is arguably one of the most important advances in archaeology over the last decade. Despite numerous scientific papers and important projects, an accessible overview of this work has been lacking and, as a result, this book is to be welcomed.

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Review – A Survival Story: prehistoric life at Star Carr

An exhibition at Cambridge’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology brings together artefacts from early excavations at Star Carr, the latest finds from the celebrated site, and more, to conjure up what Mesolithic life was like beside Lake Flixton. Lucia Marchini went along to take a look.

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Excavating the CA archive: cover photos from issues 301 onwards

In this final column exploring the stories behind Current Archaeology cover images, I am bringing things right up to date by examining covers from issue 301 (April 2015) onwards. Despite the challenging environment for archaeology in recent years, with particularly worrying cutbacks in local-authority heritage services, there has still been some amazing work and some spectacular sites and finds to celebrate.

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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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