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.
Northern England’s monetary history was quite distinct from that of the south in the pre-Viking period, and Abramson’s ambitious book is one of the few sustained discussions of it. Across eight chapters that fizz with new information, he establishes the idiosyncratic framework of Northumbrian coinage in terms of what he (with tongue only partly in cheek) calls gold, silver, and bronze.
When we think of the First World War, our minds inevitably turn to the barren quagmires of war-torn northern France and Belgium, the squalid conditions and boredom of life in the trenches, the excitement and fear of going over the top, and what seems to us to have been the senseless slaughter of millions of soldiers. While this is all true, Legacies of the First World War reminds us that the war was fought on many fronts, not least in England, with much of the evidence of the home front still present for us to discover.
The traditional chronological divisions of prehistory are a useful means of breaking down a dauntingly long period of human history, but carry the risk of presenting prehistory as a series of self-contained chunks, rather than a continuum. In this exciting volume, Alex Davies demonstrates the value of looking beyond a single period to investigate change and continuity over a thousand years or so in the Thames Valley.
In 1974, later prehistoric structures, including the remains of a kerb-chambered cairn, were discovered at Udal on the Hebridean island of North Uist. The discovery prompted archaeologist Iain Crawford to undertake a three-year excavation of the site during the early 1990s. This revealed a variety of burial-ritual structures, comprising a stone cist with datable human remains, bowl pits, and two late Neolithic structures incorporated into a larger ritual complex.
This highly anticipated volume brings together the results of excavations of Roman kilns and associated features by volunteers in a public park in the London borough of Haringey, and detailed analysis of some 1,200kg of recovered pottery. As if making up for lost time, the authors treat readers to information in several forms. There is the traditional monograph, a free digital version, and an online typology.
Anybody interested in the rich archaeology of London will be familiar with high-standard and detailed publications by the Museum of London and other professional archaeological companies. London’s Waterfront, published by Archaeopress, is no exception, but it stands out by adding new dimensions to what we know and what we do not yet know about the capital’s history.
Hoards of different periods have been uncovered in many parts of Britain. A touring exhibition brings together some of these intriguing caches of objects hidden long ago, and explores the possible reasons behind their burial. Lucia Marchini travelled to Salisbury to find out more.