Rome changed Britain. New roads opened up this country as never before, creating a captive market — weary travellers. Settlements seeking to part them from their sestertii sprung up rapidly, but they are rarely excavated. Now work at Syon Park has revealed life in one of Britain’s first service stations.
When Conan Doyle loosed his spectral hound on Dartmoor, he painted it as a desolate wilderness. In doing so he glossed over a once thriving industry. Often eclipsed by the metalworkers of Cornwall, it is Dartmoor that holds this country’s finest relics of Medieval mining.
While archaeology brings some aspects of the past tangibly closer, others remain impossibly distant. Ninety-nine years ago Mr Cocks excavated Yewden villa, and uncovered so many baby burials he suspected infanticide. Recent research supports his conclusion, giving a harrowing insight into a world where rearing newborns was a choice.
Nottingham’s soft sandstone has long invited underground exploration. There are estimated to be 500 manmade caves in and around the city, where people lived, worked, and worshipped. Recent laser survey has captured this subterranean city.
Finally, I am thrilled to announce that next year’s Current Archaeology Live conference will be held on 2-3 March 2012, at Senate House in London, in conjunction with the Institute of Classical Studies. More details next issue, but this celebration of archaeology will provide the perfect opportunity to be informed and entertained by the experts. I hope to see you there.
SYON PARK SERVICES
Life and death on the Roman roadside
Checking in at Syon Park, where the weary traveller in Roman Britain could find bed and board.
DARTMOOR: INDUSTRIAL LANDSCAPES
Mining the Moor
Among Dartmoor’s famous prehistoric monuments lie clues to a flourishing Medieval industrial history.
INFANTICIDE IN ROMAN BRITAIN
The Yewden Villa babies
Have excavations at a wealthy Roman villa unearthed an ancient murder mystery?
How a subterranean city was used through the ages
Laser-scanning has produced stunning new images of underground houses, chapels, drinking dens, and bomb shelters.
Stonehenge’s sister?; Ham Hill; Silchester; Harbouring legions; Aldborough amphitheatre; England’s ancient landscapes; Scottish redware; Priddy Circles bulldozed; Protecting Ireland’s recent past; Wedding cheer to a sad burial feast
Reconstructing the Roman fortlet at Castleshaw in the Peak District.
Burial in Later Anglo-Saxon England c.600-1100 AD; Becoming an Archaeologist; How to Read Industrial Britain
Chris Catling’s irreverent take on heritage issues.
Andrew Selkirk comes face-to-face with Councillor Alan Melton, and talks ‘bunny huggers’.
The Battlefields Trust