Author: Kathryn Krakowka

Neolithic-Britain

Neolithic Britain: the transformation of social worlds

Over the recent past there has been a flurry of literature concerned with the Neolithic of the British Isles, each book promoting a new interpretation on the life and death of its people. This book is no exception. The literature has clearly shown that the Neolithic is a complex world of social relations and entanglement with ramifications to our present: we are products of this significant period in our history.

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Late Iron Age Calleva: the pre-Conquest occupation at Silchester Insula IX

The decades leading up to the Roman conquest of Britain must have been a dynamic and turbulent time, a period of tribal manoeuvrings, with alliances made and loyalties tested in the face of increasing political and material influence from the Continent. From an archaeological perspective, however, the period can be frustratingly bland, with many sites in southern Britain lacking closely dated ceramics, giving only a hedge-betting chronology either side of AD 43. That late Iron Age Calleva presents solid evidence for pre-Conquest occupation, with more than a hint of the political and social complexities, is just one of the aspects that makes this a welcome and exciting volume.

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Underneath the abbey: Uncovering more than 1,000 years of religious life in Bath

Modern Bath Abbey overlies the site of what was one of the largest cathedrals in medieval England. Now its remains, together with traces of the Anglo-Saxon monastery that preceded it, have been brought to light once more. Kirsten Egging Dinwiddy, Bob Davis, Cai Mason, Bruce Eaton, Sophie Clarke, and Marek Lewcun explain.

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Marylebone cold case

Given the recent cold weather, the discovery of a massive underground ‘ice house’, unearthed next to Regent’s Park in London, seems rather fitting. Built in the late 18th century, the subterranean chamber escaped damage during the Blitz bombings that destroyed the houses that stood above it, as well as local rebuilding in the 1960s. It was recently rediscovered by MOLA archaeologists working on behalf of Great Marlborough Estates during the residential development of Regent’s Crescent.

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Exploring the lives of London’s 19th-century poor

A cemetery excavated on the site of New Covent Garden Market in Nine Elms, near Battersea, is illuminating the lives of some of 19th-century London’s poorest inhabitants. The investigation, which uncovered nearly 100 burials, was carried out by Wessex Archaeology as part of modernisation work on the site by the VINCI St Modwen, in partnership with the Covent Garden Market Authority.

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Roman lead coffins recovered in Surrey

Two decorated Roman lead coffins have been uncovered during recent work at a quarry in Surrey. Only a few hundred burials involving such caskets are known from the whole of Britain, with these latest examples discovered by Wessex Archaeology during work on behalf of Sibelco, a raw materials company.

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Cernunnos in Cambridgeshire

A figurine thought to be Britain’s only known example depicting the Celtic god Cernunnos has been found during the excavation of a late Iron Age/early Roman settlement in Cambridgeshire.

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The mystery of Leochel-Cushnie’s modern monument

When a strikingly well-preserved example of a Recumbent Stone Circle was identified in Aberdeenshire farmland (shown above), archaeologists were intrigued by its unusual design. After further investigation, however, the reason behind the Leochel-Cushnie monument’s quirks became all-too-apparent: rather than being an ancient site, the stone circle was built only 20 years ago.

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Science Notes – Identifying vitamin D deficiency in the Roman Empire

Several previous ‘Science Notes’ have featured osteological analysis tangentially (see CA 337, 338, 342, and 344), but we have not explored it in depth – until now. This month’s column considers the effects of vitamin D deficiency, how it can be identified in skeletal remains, and what it can tell us about past populations.

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Revisiting the Mote of Urr

Some 65 years after it concluded, the results of Brian Hope- Taylor’s excavation of the Mote of Urr – a motte-and-bailey castle near Dalbeattie in Dumfries and Galloway (shown above) – have finally been published.