Worship, Death and Taxes: the story of Higham Ferrers

Two very important discoveries have been made at the multi-period site of Higham Ferrers, in Northamptonshire: one a Romano-British shrine complex, and the other an example of the realities — and occasional brutalities — of Middle Saxon regional government. Oxford Archaeology’s Alan Hardy takes up the story. Higham Ferrers lies in what is now an […]


Hadrian's Wall Pilgrimage – again

One should not start a project that one cannot complete. Having started writing a blog on the first day of my pilgrimage to Hadrian’s Wall I must confess that I failed to keep it up. It was not for lack of trying. Every night in my room I wrote up my diary, often over 2000 […]

Metal Detecting & Archaeology

This is a book that reflects the uncomfortable truce that has been reached between pragmatism and ideology within the archaeological community in regard to metal detecting. Papers on metal detector use in Poland and South Africa describe regimes wherein freelance metal detecting is banned; detectors may only be used under licence within a controlled research […]


Greening the valleys:

the archaeology of industrial Wales Wales  was  central to  the world’s first industrial revolution; the abandoned remains of 200-year-old coal and iron industries litter the valleys. Frank Olding reports on the Green Mines Project, which is conserving and presenting the physical remains in Blaenau Gwent and regenerating this once-plundered landscape. An 18th century ironworks; a […]

Hill Hall: home of a Tudor intellectual

In 1969, fire raged through this exceptional Elizabethan house. Paul Drury explains what archaeologists were able to rescue from the burnt-out husk. Since 1952, Hill Hall, at Theydon Mount, in Essex,   had been a women’s open prison whose unwilling guests included Christine Keeler. To architectural historians, this was indeed a fall from grace for […]


Galloping down the centuries: new light on Britain's chalk-cut hill-figures

With the widespread use of optical stimulated luminescence (OSL) for dating soil samples, the mysterious giant hillside carvings of horses and men are finally being placed in an historical context. Paul Newman, author of a comprehensive survey of the subject, considers our current knowledge of these impressive relics, set against the many ways we have […]


Making a mint: the archaeology of a Late Iron Age industry

There were no credit crunches in the Late Iron Age: highly skilled Celtic mintmasters took painstaking care to ensure money had real, solid, and unchanging value. Mark Landon has studied two huge hauls of coin-making debris from North Hertfordshire and reports on his findings.


Buckles, belts and borders

How soldiers’ fashions reflect political turmoil in Late Roman Britain A Romano-British army in Spain. Anglo-Saxon mercenaries in eastern England. A great tribal confederation spanning south Britain. Stuart Laycock has been finding fresh evidence for the storm and strife at the end of Roman Britain in collections of buckles and belt-fittings.


BIN09: Digging at Binchester

‘BIN09′ is the site code for  this year’s season of  the major new field project at the Roman fort of Binchester, run jointly by Durham County Council, Durham University and Stanford University, where I  have just spent a week digging.  In addition to the on-site professional staff (Dr David Mason, David Petts, Jamie Armstrong, Janice […]


The Hadrian's Wall Pilgrimage

The Hadrian’s Wall pilgrimage is going well.   The Pilgrimage is one of the great events of British archaeology.   It began in 1849 when a group of young men decided they would ‘walk the wall’ and it has continued every 10 years since then except for the war years: this is now the 13th […]