CA198-1This issue we start with the Hertfordshire country set  – c.150 AD. Two of the richest Roman burials ever  found in Britain have just been excavated next to a  villa at Turners Hall Farm near Roman Verulamium.  As well as fine ceramics and glassware, the graves  contained top-of-the-range bronze jugs from the  Pompeii region, plus a set of hunting arrows, and,  oddly, a woodworking tool-set. Excavator Simon  West describes the finds and tells us what he thinks  they reveal about the owners.

From the Roman South-East we go to Viking Age  Clydeside. Govan Old Parish Church in Glasgow  houses one of the finest collections of 10th and 11th  century sculpted stones in Britain – including a  splendid sarcophagus and five ‘hogbacks’. What are  the stones doing in the heart of a modern industrial  city? The answer throws light on the origins of  Scottish national identity.

From medieval Scotland to medieval Wales – or  rather, to the troubled borderland between England  and Wales in the 13th century. Our third article  features contrasting reports of two excavation
campaigns side-by-side at Trelech in  Monmouthshire, site of a 13th century ‘new town’.  Ray Howell thinks the town was laid out around the  known church and castle. Steve Clarke argues it lay
half a mile to the south. The protagonists present  the evidence in full.

Then we return to the South-East to discover that  another Anglo-Saxon cemetery has been unearthed  just a few miles from the spectacular ‘Prittlewell  Prince’ burial featured in CA 190. This time, though,  the occupants were the poor, and we learn something  of the glaring social inequalities in 6th and 7th  century England.

Finally, Pip Patrick poses the question: was Friar  Tuck based on reality? Comparing skeletons from  monastic and secular cemeteries, she finds that  medieval monks had a marked tendency to obesity –  and therefore to the deadly sin of gluttony!

And there is a lot more – the Diary, Books and News  items, and an extended Letters section.

Good reading!
Neil Faulkner

Leave a Reply