Author: Kathryn Krakowka

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Reassessing Avebury

A team from the universities of Leicester and Southampton recently re-examined previous Avebury excavations and conducted new surveying of the site (in a study published in the journal Antiquity), establishing a possible new chronology of the monument’s construction and shedding new light on its use.

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Science Notes – In the limelight: how modern agriculture could affect isotopic studies

The study of isotopes – chemical signatures preserved in our bones and teeth that shed light on diet and movements during life – are increasingly becoming a major part of archaeology, frequently redefining how we look at different periods and featuring in most post-excavation analyses. But we still have a long way to go in terms of being able to use them to confidently pinpoint a person’s specific origins. At the moment, most isotopic maps are still fairly crude and the science is better at identifying local vs non-local rather than confidently determining exact locations. A new study, recently published in Science Advances, has highlighted the need to make sure these maps are more accurate, bringing up the potential impact that agricultural practices might have in certain regions.

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Cold War monitoring post uncovered near Wokingham

An unusual underground Monitoring Post (UGMP), used during the Cold War, has been revealed during an excavation by Wessex Archaeology near Wokingham. The structure is part of a national network of 1,563 UGMPs, which were built for the Royal Observer Corps (ROC) between 1957 and 1965 as part of preparations for the reporting of radioactive fallout should a nuclear strike occur.

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Current Archaeology 351

This month marks 40 years since Wessex Archaeology was founded. Milestone birthdays are often a time of reflection as well as celebration, and in this issue we are exploring four of Wessex Archaeology’s recent projects to shed light on widely contrasting aspects of commercial archaeology. At New Covent Garden Market, Battersea, detailed osteological analysis of […]

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Review – Thurrock’s Deeper Past: a confluence of time

Christopher Tripp takes readers on a tour of Thurrock’s past, from the Palaeolithic (tools having been found at Purfleet, for example) to the Saxon period (Mucking being the stand-out site in this period). In between, there is the Iron Age enclosed settlement at Orsett, Roman pottery kilns at Grays, and much more besides.

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Review – Nineteenth Century Childhoods

When we think about Victorian childhood, we probably conjure up images of ragged Dickensian street urchins, strict educations, and children seen and not heard. As we might expect, though – and as demonstrated in this book – the reality was far more varied and interesting.

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Review – The Archaeology of Underground Mines and Quarries in England

It is little surprise that geology initially evolved as a British science, for within a set of smallish islands the British Isles have been blessed by an almost unseemly range of rocks of all ages. Beneath our green and pleasant land sits a varied mineral wealth that has been exploited for four millennia (metals) and tens of millennia before that (lithics).

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Review – The Times of their Lives: hunting history in the archaeology of Neolithic Europe

Alasdair Whittle’s most recent contribution to this fascinating period in European prehistory argues cogently against the concept of wholesale change at a particular point in time. As for all prehistoric archaeology spatial and temporal development, adaption, and adoption create a complex narrative. This complexity has been made convincingly clear from recent innovations in chronometric dating techniques, which in turn have assisted Bayesian modelling research.

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