Author: Kathryn Krakowka

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Migration and disease in the Iron Age

Scientific analysis of a human skeleton discovered at Tarrant Hinton in Dorset has shed new light on life – and the transmission of infectious disease – in Iron Age Britain. The remains were originally found during excavations at a small Iron Age/Romano-British settlement between 1967 and 1985. Examination and radiocarbon dating of the skeleton indicated that it was that of a man, aged between 30 and 40, who had died between 400 BC and 230 BC.

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Prehistoric settlement uncovered in Aberdeenshire

Evidence for an extensive settlement, possibly dating to either the Bronze Age or Iron Age, has been uncovered on the outskirts of Cruden Bay in Aberdeenshire, on a site overlooking the North Sea. It is the first major prehistoric site to be identified near Cruden Bay, making it an important discovery to add to our growing knowledge of Aberdeenshire during this period.

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Witch marks discovered in Stoke Mandeville?

Unusual graffiti have been discovered among the ruins of the medieval church of St Mary’s in Stoke Mandeville, Buckinghamshire. Archaeologists from Fusion JV have been carefully excavating and deconstructing the church ahead of HS2-related construction. The building was supposedly demolished after it was decommissioned in 1866, when a new church was built closer to the village, and so it came as a surprise to the team to discover that the walls of St Mary’s actually survived to a height of c.5ft, with the floors almost completely intact.

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Spectacular prehistoric discoveries from County Sligo

COVID-19 restrictions have not stopped the Sligo Community Archaeology Project, which can boast of some very exciting prehistoric discoveries in the county over the past few months. This initiative (undertaken in partnership with the Heritage Council) aims to connect archaeologists and members of the public in order to properly record chance finds within the county.

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Judicial facial mutilation in Anglo-Saxon England?

Anglo-Saxon law codes speak of facial mutilation as a punishment for certain crimes, but until recently no archaeological evidence had been found for it in England. Now the skull of a young woman discovered in Oakridge, Basingstoke, has been identified as the first possible example. It also suggests that this brutal practice had a longer history than had been previously thought.

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Review – 1520: the Field of the Cloth of Gold

Published 500 years after the event took place, this book serves as a quincentenary celebration of the legendary first meeting between Henry VIII, the English king (r. 1509-1547), and Francis I, the French king (r. 1515-1547). Known as the Field of the Cloth of Gold, the festivities were held over the course of two weeks in June 1520 and served as an attempt at brokering a friendship between the two often-combative nations.

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Current Archaeology 369 – on sale now

As Autumn draws towards its close, this is a time of year when thoughts turn towards people and places that have gone before. Our cover feature concerns a voyage that took place 400 years ago: the sailing of the Mayflower, which set out for the New World in 1620.

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Science Notes – The disappearing Neanderthal Y chromosome

In this month’s ‘Science Notes’, we explore the evolution of the Y chromosome in Neanderthals and Denisovans (an extinct subspecies of humans, who appear to have been concentrated in Asia during the Lower and Middle Palaeolithic).

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Delving into Viking DNA

A large study, led by researchers from the University of Copenhagen, has mapped the DNA of the Viking world. The results paint a complex picture of population movement across Europe during this period.

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Ipswich’s medieval population investigated

In 2012, an extensive excavation was carried out in the Stoke Quay area of Ipswich by Oxford Archaeology and Pre-Construct Archaeology. Covering an area of 1.2ha, the project was a major undertaking and made finds spanning the early medieval period through to the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The results have now been published, unveiling exciting new details of the city’s early history as one of Britain’s first port towns.

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