RMS Titanic is more than just a wrecked liner. The human toll of her loss is well known, with some 1,500 of the 2,200 on board perishing in the early hours of 15th April 1912. Yet ever since her resting place was located in 1985, Titanic has been at the forefront of questions about the management of wrecks. Is she a mass grave to be left in peace, a resource to be salvaged, or a monument to be studied? As the centenary of her sinking brings UNESCO recognition as underwater heritage, we ask what the last quarter century has revealed about both that fateful spring night and the mass migration that created her.

When, sometime around AD 122, the Emperor Hadrian commissioned the Wall that still bears his name, he changed life in northern England. An influx of thousands of foreign soldiers prompted the native population to look to its own identity, producing a flourishing of Celtic art. But the army also worked to forge friendships with chosen local leaders. This meddling in tribal politics had consequences the Romans did not foresee, seemingly destabilising a compliant society to create a deadly new enemy: the Picts.

The final report on the Amesbury archer and Boscombe bowmen has just been published. Dubbed the ‘King of Stonehenge’ and the ‘Band of Brothers’ in the popular press, these famous beaker burials contain travellers born far fromWessex. Carrying exotic equipment and knowledge, their precociously early date has revealed howBritainforged a link in the European gold chain.

Finally, parish church murals are normally dedicated to biblical teachings, not political point scoring. Recent restoration work at Lakenheath has revealed the true complexity of the Medieval murals there. Amongst the intricate motifs are some blunt allusions to how the parishoners felt let down by their local landowner after the Black Death.

 

FEATURES

TITANIC

The archaeology of an emigrant ship
We bring you the latest research from this world-famous wreck, 100 years after her sinking.

ROMAN SCOTLAND

War and diplomacy on the edge of the Roman world
How Roman meddling forged new societies north of the border

GOLD IN THEIR HAIR

Pioneering travellers along the copper road
Boscombe’s Beaker burials and Bronze Age bling

LAKENHEATH

Politics and painting in the Medieval church
What can recently conserved wall paintings tell us about wavering ecclesiastical loyalties and the impact of the Black Death in the Middle Ages?

NEWS

Pendle Hill’s bewitching find; Iron Age warriors; Bringing the Hebrides to Essex; Logboat high and dry; Building a Bronze Age boat; Following in Mesolithic footprints; Massacred mercenaries; Betjeman’s ‘Cathedral of Middlesex’

REGULARS

Context
Piecing together South Uist’s enigmatic jigsaw mummies

Reviews
Accidents of an Antiquary’s Life; Shadowland; Roman Pottery in the Archaeological Record; Making Archaeology Happen

Sherds
Chris Catling’s irreverent take  on heritage issues.

Odd Socs
The UK Roundabout Appreciation Society

 

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