Author: Lucia Marchini

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Druce Farm villa: luxury living in Roman Dorset

A fine example of a Roman villa with well-preserved mosaics has been discovered in Dorset and excavated by a group of amateur archaeologists. Lilian Ladle described the preliminary results to Andrew Selkirk. Is it possible to do an ‘amateur’ dig these days? At Druce Farm in Dorset, Lilian Ladle has been excavating a rather splendid […]

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Current Archaeology 323

Our cover feature takes us inside a well-appointed Roman villa in Dorset. There we find many of the sumptuous, if occasionally garish, decorative touches favoured by the elites in Roman Britain. Alongside the mosaics, painted wall plaster, and showy roofing are more intimate details. One mosaic had to be patched after it was worn down, […]

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South Africa: the art of a nation

The latest exhibition at the British Museum offers an overview of South African art from manuports to Mandela and beyond. Lucia Marchini finds out more. Between 1948 and 1994, when the ruling National Party was enforcing apartheid legislation, the official version of South African history portrayed the country as a terra nullius before European settlement […]

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Opus anglicanum

A selection of the most luxurious of English embroideries, much desired by the rich and powerful of medieval Europe, have been brought together for a new exhibition at the V&A. Lucia Marchini takes a look. The Latin term opus anglicanum has been used in English to describe grand embroideries since the 13th century, and it gives much […]

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Great Ryburgh: A remarkable Anglo-Saxon cemetery revealed

Archaeological work beside the River Wensum in Norfolk has revealed more than 80 rare Middle Saxon log coffins and plank-lined graves, preserved by their waterlogged environment – the first time that such coffins have been found in these numbers and such good condition in Britain. What can the unusual finds tell us about an early […]

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Current Archaeology 322

Archaeology is alive with uncertainties. Time and again new sites or technologies upend longstanding theories. All this month’s featured sites show the sometimes fractious relationship between fresh research and what we think we know. Early digging at a newly discovered Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Great Ryburgh unearthed a rare coffin created from a hollowed-out tree. The […]

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Rothwell charnel chapel: the nameless dead

Exploring the Rothwell Charnel Chapel Project Why were bones placed in charnel chapels, and just how common was this practice in medieval England? Work at Rothwell, Northamptonshire, is shining remarkable new light on the significance of these ossuaries. Elizabeth Craig-Atkins, Jennifer Crangle, and Dawn Hadley from the University of Sheffield explain the domain of the […]

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Current Archaeology 321

Legend has it that the Rothwell charnel chapel was discovered when a grave digger tumbled into an underground vault stacked with bones. This alarming incident brought to light a rare example of an intact medieval ossuary in England. Our cover feature explores why the dead were assembled in this manner, and how common the practice was. […]

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The Mary Rose revisited

The Mary Rose museum at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard was reopened 471 years to the day since the sinking of Henry VIII’s flagship – for the first time giving the public a clear view of her hull. Lucia Marchini went along to find out what else is new. When the new Mary Rose museum first opened […]

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Glastonbury Abbey: the archaeological story

Excavators were repeatedly drawn to Glastonbury Abbey during the 20th century, but the fruits of their labours rarely made it into print. Roberta Gilchrist is spearheading a major project to separate archaeological fact from the rich mythology the abbey attracts.   The site of Glastonbury Abbey in Somerset is inscribed with legends that are at […]

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