Articles

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The Story of Burford: How to do local history

‘England’s Past for Everyone’ is a groundbreaking new project set up by one of our most venerable institutions, the Victoria County History. Chris Catling argues that their recently published Burford project is a model of how to do a town history.  

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Buried face down: Prone Burials

Archaeologists have excavated over 600 bodies from around the world, mysteriously buried face-down. Britain is the biggest hotspot — with more than 200 prone burials. What do they signify? Caroline Arcini of Sweden’s National Heritage Board has been investigating.

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Land Between the Oceans Part III: The Making of Modern Europe

Geography made a unitary empire embracing the Mediterranean and temperate Europe inherently unstable; but the wreckage of the Roman Empire contained the building blocks of modern Europe. In the third and final part of our series based on Cunliffe’s new book, Europe between the Oceans, we chart the changes from Caesar to Charlemagne.

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Allotments, spearing bison, Brookside, Brown's museum, the Olympics, nighthawking…

Let it growOne can only applaud the National Trust’s decision to create 1,000 allotments within its disused walled gardens and on land within its estates, even if that number is tiny compared to the 100,000 people currently on allotment waiting lists. Archaeologists have always made good gardeners: one Winchester-based pottery specialist, sadly no longer with […]

The Story of Burford: How to do local history

‘England’s Past for Everyone’ is a groundbreaking new project set up by one of our most venerable institutions, the Victoria County History. Chris Catling argues that their recently published Burford project is a model of how to do a town history. Archaeology and local history are very close companions, and the nearer we come to […]

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From Festivals to Garden Sheds…

When, at the IFA’s Liverpool conference in April 2004, I argued for a festival of archaeology to compare with the superb festivals of literature, history, science. jazz, folk and rock music that we already have in this country, I could find not a soul in the archaeological establishment to back the idea. Then, in 2007, […]

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Archaeology Festival Cardiff 2009

After only two years, we are already beginning to establish some Festival traditions. One is to tackle a ‘difficult’ subject. Last year Alex Bayliss, of English Heritage, explained Bayesian statistics; at each step in her idiots’ guide, instead of declaring QED, she said ‘woof, woof’, like a school teacher keeping her class alert and amused. […]

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Roman Villas in Britain: Farms, temples, or tax-depots?

We think of villas as the grand farmhouses of the Roman countryside. But were they? Bryn Walters takes a fresh look at the evidence and comes to some radical conclusions. In the mid 20th century, Sir Ian Richmond, following on R G Collingwood, argued that for too long there had been a bland acceptance that […]

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Roman Wrawby: a site that can’t decide its status

When is a Roman villa not a villa? The term villa covers many different structures, ranging from a palatial country house down to a jumped-up small farmstead. At Wrawby, we have discovered what appears to be a villa at the lower end of the range — a farmstead with pretensions.