Author: Amy Brunskill

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Current Archaeology 362

This month’s cover feature explores material remains of the railway revolution that transformed early Victorian England. Birmingham’s former Curzon Street Station was a key part of this flourishing transport network, and with the site set to become a rail hub once more as part of HS2, fascinating echoes of 19th-century journeys have come to light. […]

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Dig into Shropshire’s past at Soulton Hall

PLEASE NOTE THE 2020 EXCAVATION SEASON HAS BEEN CANCELLED The Shropshire border between England and Wales is filled with impressive historic monuments, from spectactular castles and hillforts, Roman towns and ancient archaeological sites. Tucked away in a field beside Soulton Hall stands a strikingly visible rectangular mound, thought to be the rare remains of an […]

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Black Death mass grave at Thornton Abbey

Analysis of a medieval mass grave excavated at Thornton Abbey, northern Lincolnshire, has confirmed that the people within it probably died during the Black Death in the 14th century – a discovery of national importance, offering unique insights into how the pandemic affected rural communities.

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Powerful finds at King’s Seat hillfort

Excavations at King’s Seat hillfort, near Dunkeld, have demonstrated that the site was an important centre of Pictish power, occupied by an elite community who controlled craftwork production and had trade links with continental Europe in the 7th to 9th centuries AD.

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Review – Into the Wildwoods: explore the Mesolithic in Scotland’s native woodlands

This teaching resource is a companion to 2019’s The First Foresters (see CA 350), which focuses on the Neolithic occupants of Scotland’s woodlands. Into the Wildwoods delves further back in time, introducing the hunter-gatherers of the later Mesolithic (c.5800-4000 BC) in a way that will engage 8- to 12-year-olds, while also incorporating ideas about the natural world around them.

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Review – 50 Roman Finds from the Portable Antiquities Scheme

Like its predecessors, this new book in the ‘50 Finds’ series presents a range of carefully selected artefacts in a well-illustrated, brief volume, which highlights the way in which the material record vividly reflects life in the past. With the Roman period represented by more finds than any other in the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) database, the authors have chosen a wide variety of both exceptional and everyday objects that reflect the interactions between Roman and Iron Age cultures in Britain.

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Science Notes – Early medieval insights from birch bark tar

Birch bark tar (manufactured by the heating of bark in airtight conditions) has long been prized for its sticky, water resistant, and biocidal properties. Throughout human history it has seen a wide range of uses, including as a sealant (for example, in waterprooing vessels), an adhesive (for hafting weapons, repairing ceramics, or assembling composite objects like jewellery), and in perfume and medicine.

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Roman discoveries in Llanwern

A complex of Roman buildings has been uncovered on a slope overlooking the Gwent Levels at Llanwern, near Newport in South Wales. Excavations by Cotswold Archaeology identified evidence of occupation on the site that appears to date from the 2nd to the 4th centuries AD, although small quantities of pottery have been recovered which may predate the Roman conquest of the area.

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