Articles

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Dental health and poverty during the Great Irish Famine

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.

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Roman fort settlement revealed in Cumbria

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.

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Vicus discovered in Devon?

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).

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Lamprey for dinner in medieval London

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.

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Science Notes – Hidden in the soil: assessing the chemical composition of graves

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.

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Digging Bronze Age Drumnadrochit

Bronze age cists were discovered in the Kilmore area of the village in 2015 and 2017, and excavation this year has once again shown how rich the region’s prehistoric landscape is, with a third example found during an investigation ahead of a new care-housing development.

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London Mithraeum: Reimagining the famous Roman temple

On 14 November, London’s Temple of Mithras – now known as the ‘London Mithraeum’ – reopened to the public as the first new interpretation of a Roman ruin in the capital for nearly 20 years. Sophie Jackson, the lead archaeologist on the project, reports on the temple’s 63-year journey from its initial discovery in 1954 to its recent reconstruction and installation on the site of Bloomberg’s European headquarters.

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Review – Links to Late Antiquity

For decades, pottery of eastern Mediterranean origin found at 5th- to 7th-century sites in western Britain has been claimed as evidence for the survival of cultural links and direct trade between the two areas in the aftermath of Roman Britain.

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Review – Archaeologists in Print: publishing for the people

A unique addition to the history of British archaeology, Archaeologists in Print is a closely researched examination of the story archaeology has told about itself. It explores archaeology across the 19th- and 20th-century British world, as told in two-shilling children’s archaeology books, breathless biographies, and all the books in between.

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Review – From Roman Civitas to Anglo-Saxon Shire

Bruce Eagles has spent more than 50 years studying and analysing the early medieval archaeology of Wessex – the area of south-central England. This book brings together a number of papers he has published on this subject, in some cases significantly revising and updating them in light of more recent work. Cumulatively, they present an important thesis on the ways in which a region of England developed from late Roman to Anglo-Saxon times.

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