Cave archaeology has a long pedigree. Romantic images of our earliest ancestors sheltering in caverns led to many being  stripped of their stratigraphy in the 19th century — when  recording techniques were still in their infancy. New work has  revealed remains that escaped antiquarian attention, shedding  light on a once-vibrant world under the uplands.

Research in Oakington, Cambridgeshire, is unearthing an  Anglo-Saxon Fenland community. The project has battled to bring modern villagers face to face with their forebears by securing a permit to excavate skeletal remains  openly. Now everyone can share in the investigation of a settlement and cemetery,  complete with rare examples of 6th-century infant burial rites.

Alderney has been famous for its fortifications ever since the British government  ordered it transformed into a new Gibraltar. But the oldest of its defences has long  defied dating. ‘The Nunnery’ has a groundplan that is otherwise uniquely Roman, yet  archaeologists who studied it in depth tended to conclude it was Medieval. As recent  excavations progressed, stripping ivy from the walls demonstrated that clues to the  site’s origin do not just lie underground.

Finally, a survey of the Brecklands is piecing together the  elements of a forgotten luxury industry. For centuries, rabbit  fur and meat were prized goods. Massive artificial warrens were  overseen by wardens living in fortified lodges and tasked with  protecting their furry charges from predators and violent bandit
gangs. Join us for a rabbits-to-riches tale.

FEATURES

UNDER THE UPLANDS

Cave archaeology in the Yorkshire and Lancashire Dales
New research is allowing the conclusions of pioneering cave archaeologists to be  tested — and revealing an underground world of extinct animals and Roman cults.

ANGLO-SAXON OAKINGTON

Cemetery, settlement, and life beside the East Anglian Fens
What can the graves of a pregnant woman, an old warrior, and an unusual number  of children tell us about life and death in the 6th century?

THE NUNNERY

Alderney’s Roman fort?
Is the enigmatic site overlooking Longy Bay a Medieval ruin or a remarkably  well-preserved Roman military fortification?

THE WARRENS OF BRECKLAND

From rabbits to riches
‘Bunny huggers’ fight back with a new study of the historic rabbit farms that  helped shape the landscape of Norfolk and Suffolk.

NEWS

Kent’s latest home from Rome; Ringing the changes on the North Downs;  Pictish symbol stone found on Highland farm; The case for community  archaeology; the Antonine Wall on display; Roman west not so wild

REGULARS

Conference

Some initial details to whet your  appetite for the upcoming conference.

Reviews

Frontiers of Imperial Rome; Brooches  in Late Iron Age and Roman Britain;  Visions of Ancient Leicester;  Rediscovering Bradford

Sherds

Chris Catling’s irreverent take  on heritage issues.

Last Word

Andrew Selkirk  celebrates the  60-year project to reconstruct  a lost Tudor palace.

Odd Socs

The  Regional Furniture Society

2 Comments

  1. Jimmy Cox
    April 24, 2015 @ 1:22 am

    I am looking for a reprint of the Alderney Nunnery article in issue 261

    Reply

    • Carly Hilts
      July 6, 2015 @ 10:40 am

      Hi Jimmy,
      My colleagues in Subscriptions should be able to point you in the right direction re: back issues – you can reach them at subs@currentpublishing.com, or 020 8819 5580.
      Thanks for your interest!

      Reply

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