In April 2010, a metal-detectorist found a pot containing 52,503 Roman coins near Frome in Somerset. As one of the largest hoards ever found in Britain, its discovery rekindled an age-old debate regarding why Roman coin hoards were buried: were they stashed savings which were never retrieved, valuables hidden in turbulent times, or offerings to the gods? Using a dataset of more than 3,260 hoards from throughout Britain, this volume attempts to resolve this debate, adding a much-needed archaeological perspective in a field frequently dominated by numismatists with patterns of coin circulation on their minds.
It is not easy to describe 400 years of activity stretching from southern England almost to the edge of Scotland, but Denise Allen and Mike Bryan take to the challenge in Roman Britain and Where to Find It, a new touring guide to Roman sites across the country. Each chapter (representing different regions of the UK) contains a brief summary of Roman history in the area, before going on to describe the individual sites, along with directions for visiting.
Grave AX at Yeavering remains one of the most-extraordinary discoveries in Anglo-Saxon archaeology. Its occupant lay in a slightly flexed posture, with a goat’s head at the feet, a broken spear laid diagonally across the torso, and, running down the central axis of the grave, above the body, a Roman-style groma.
Lithological provenancing has featured heavily in the pages of Current Archaeology recently. In one of last month’s features, we discussed the recent evidence behind the potential origins of the Stonehenge bluestones, and this month we are examining the source of the monument’s celebrated sarsens. As we have yet to explore petrology or geochemistry within ‘Science Notes’, I thought it a good opportunity to rectify this and delve into the details of some of the techniques used for these projects.
A project – led by Dr Elizabeth Craig-Atkins from the University of Sheffield, and Dr Richard Madgwick and Dr Ben Jervis from the University of Cardiff – has examined the impact of the Norman Conquest on diet. Using finds excavated in Oxford and dated to between the 10th and 13th centuries, the team applied a multiproxy analytical approach, combining ceramic residue analysis, isotope analysis of both human and animal bones, incremental isotope analysis of tooth dentine, and palaeopathological analysis of skeletal remains.
A survey of the area around the site of an Augustinian priory near Harlow, Essex, has uncovered the location of an annual medieval fair granted to the priory’s patron by Edward III in 1332.
New research involving a combination of geophysical mapping, sediment sampling, and the study of place-names has identified a network of waterways that ran through West Mainland Orkney in the Viking and late Norse period.
Excavations at Wintringham Park, Cambridgeshire, have revealed evidence of ongoing occupation at the site throughout much of the late Iron Age. Located on clayland to the east of St Neots, above the Ouse Valley, the site offers a significant opportunity to enhance our understanding of this region in later prehistory.
In this column Joe Flatman explores the heritage sites of Merseyside, Liverpool, and Greater Manchester visited by CA over the years.
As a growing number of museums and heritage sites reopen, we are, of course, looking forward to visiting them in person, but there is still a wealth of ways that the internet can bring archaeology from all over the world to your door. Amy Brunskill has compiled more resources to help you explore the past from the comfort of your home, as well as a list of some of the latest places that are welcoming visitors again.