Sharing elements with a standard regional study of a hillfort in geographical context, this series of papers is distinctly wider in scope. It is neither underpinned by recent excavation, nor by reassessment in detail of the 1930s interventions. Instead, ten authors tackle three themes in 14 chapters. They examine the detailed configuration and Iron Age regional setting of the hillfort, before assessing aspects of its cultural biography and that of its surroundings over more-recent centuries, continuing through to military impact during the World Wars. A critical examination of the planning framework and decision-making in regard to housing developments that threatened (and seemingly still threaten) to encroach on the site’s setting follows.
Review – The Chadwell St Mary Ringwork: a late Bronze Age and Anglo-Saxon settlement in southern Essex
This volume in the British Archaeological Reports series presents the results of excavations by Archaeological Solutions Ltd in advance of gravel-quarrying on a hilltop next to the Thames Estuary in Essex, just to the south-west of the Mucking ridge, where comparative Bronze Age and Anglo-Saxon occupation is well documented.
Review – The Life Biography of Artefacts and Ritual Practice: with case studies from Mesolithic to early Bronze Age Europe
Within the context of burial and ritual, archaeologists have found it near-impossible to understand why mundane objects became the focus for ritual deposition. I suppose it is all too easy to look at anthropology and ethnography to get some of the answers, especially when we look at our own throwaway society. Clearly, objects in late and early prehistory took on several roles through the duration of their use: from utilitarian tool to a venerated item that would have possessed supernatural power and provided essential help for the afterlife (and beyond).
Archaeologists excavating the Welsh hillfort Beacon Ring (Caer Digoll) made an unexpected discovery relating to the 19th-century Ordnance Survey this summer, which has cast new light on early map-making fieldwork.
Matthew BlakeBAR Publishing, £35ISBN 978-1407316697Review John Blair Early medieval Staffordshire was very important, but its importance must be reconstructed from the slightest of clues. This study of Pirehill Hundred applies a multidisciplinary approach (archaeology, topography, place-names, occasional documents) to four thematic strands. First, barrows: it is shown not only that the number of Anglo- Saxon […]
Few archaeological discoveries have generated the same level of public interest as the Staffordshire Hoard. Its discovery in 2009 created a worldwide sensation and, 11 years later, it retains its appeal, giving the appearance of this report an importance beyond that of most academic publications. Now we have it: does it live up to our hopes and expectations?
Explore the latest news from the past is in this month’s issue of Current Archaeology!
In April 2010, a metal-detectorist found a pot containing 52,503 Roman coins near Frome in Somerset. As one of the largest hoards ever found in Britain, its discovery rekindled an age-old debate regarding why Roman coin hoards were buried: were they stashed savings which were never retrieved, valuables hidden in turbulent times, or offerings to the gods? Using a dataset of more than 3,260 hoards from throughout Britain, this volume attempts to resolve this debate, adding a much-needed archaeological perspective in a field frequently dominated by numismatists with patterns of coin circulation on their minds.
It is not easy to describe 400 years of activity stretching from southern England almost to the edge of Scotland, but Denise Allen and Mike Bryan take to the challenge in Roman Britain and Where to Find It, a new touring guide to Roman sites across the country. Each chapter (representing different regions of the UK) contains a brief summary of Roman history in the area, before going on to describe the individual sites, along with directions for visiting.
Grave AX at Yeavering remains one of the most-extraordinary discoveries in Anglo-Saxon archaeology. Its occupant lay in a slightly flexed posture, with a goat’s head at the feet, a broken spear laid diagonally across the torso, and, running down the central axis of the grave, above the body, a Roman-style groma.