Indefatigable Attenborough

On Monday, 12 October 2009, Sir David Attenborough participated in the Cambridge University Personal-Histories in Archaeology project. I was there, along with a capacity crowd of over 700 guests, to listen to one of television’s great pioneers.


Ice Age: archaeology and the climatic rollercoaster

We still live in the Ice Age that began around 2.5 million years ago. Our present time is an ‘interglacial’: a relatively warm period between two big freezes. Global warming looks set to change the pattern forever. In this major feature, we examine the new book by Brian Fagan and review the latest findings of […]


Bamburgh Castle: digging the home of Northumbria's kings

The Bamburgh Research Project is picking up the pieces of the archaeological work started by legendary eccentric Dr Brian Hope-Taylor, who had left virtually no record of his excavations — or so it was believed. The story of Bamburgh is two-fold: before properly investigating the site, the team must first excavate the archaeologist who worked […]


The End of Roman Verulamium

Landmark excavations at St Albans in 1955-1961 transformed ideas about Late Roman towns. Excavator Sheppard Frere claimed that urban life continued well into the 5th century AD. Now, Neil Faulkner and David Neal’s fresh study of old records is re-dating the discoveries and reversing the conclusions.


Bluestonehenge: Landscape of ancestors

The Stonehenge story continues to evolve: a whole new chapter has just been added after the remarkable discovery this summer of a second bluestone circle, located at the point where the Avenue joins the River Avon. Chris Catling reports.


Ashmolean Museum

It is always a little dangerous to revisit old friends. What will they be like? Will you still like them when you have not seen them for a long time? It was with some trepidation that I returned to Oxford for the opening of the new Ashmolean Museum on 28th October after a major rebuilding […]


PAS annual report and the Staffordshire Hoard

I attended the launch yesterday of the 2007 Portable Antiquities Scheme annual report. Held at the BM in the new temporary exhibit space housing the few objects from the Staffordshire Hoard that are on display to the public, the meeting was full of the usual luminaries as well as Fred Johnson and his wife – […]


Rome: a Barbarian's Perspective

When I went on holiday this year, I took with me some archaeological books for a little light reading. One of them was particularly interesting: Barbarians: an alternative Roman History by Terry Jones and Alan Ereira, which is the book of the television series and is published by BBC Books. It is based on a […]


Teenage girls; Galileo; early navigators; recession; guidebooks

Teenage girls wed old men shockIt sounds like a salacious headline from one of the red-tops, but actually this story comes from the ultra-respectable Antiquaries Journal, whose just-published Volume 89 reveals that young brides, only just old enough to be legally wed, were routinely married to old men not quite on their deathbeds (because they […]

The Hallaton Treasure: evidence of a new kind of shrine?

In CA 233 we reported on the discovery at Hallaton, in Leicestershire, of a rare Roman cavalry parade helmet. It was just one of a number of items of treasure found at a pre-Roman shrine that continues to excite debate. Frank Hargrave, Project Officer at the Harborough Museum describes the other finds.