Even here at CA, we are not immune to the Royal Wedding fever sweeping the nation. Issue 254 opens with our nod to the most magnificent of royal occasions, covering every angle: the venue! Thefamilies! The dress! And most importantly — the dirt. Joking aside, what can archaeology tell us about royal weddings? We highlight several excavations, and examine the shift in monarchical matrimony  from private political mergers to publicly inclusive love-matches.

For our non-Royalist subscribers, we have included a story from the other end ofthe spectrum, with a look at two different projects examining conflict landscapes in the long-suffering Scottish Highlands. Finally, we have a dispatch from the Portable Antiquities Scheme, which has turned up evidence for a new cult celebrating the Roman soldier’s god, Toutatis.

And, it is that time of year: the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and archaeologists everywhere are dusting off their trowels ahead of the summer season. Our annual Digs Guide has all the dates, details, and dos-and-don’ts you need to go digging this summer.

FEATURES

THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF ROYAL WEDDINGS

In search of past pomp and pageantry

We have the dirt on the most magnificent of Royal occasions.

WESTMINSTER ABBEY

Looking for the early abbey

Mick Aston discusses excavations at the Abbey, looking for the pre-Norman structure.

TAMING THE HIGHLANDS

The palace at Stirling Castle

Two projects examine the archaeology of human conflict in the Scottish Highlands.

TATSFIELD

Excavating the last Welsh Prince of Wales

The Medieval home of the rebel Owain Lawgoch has been discovered in a field in Surrey.

LORD OF THE RINGS

Roman  finger-rings and the cult of Toutatis

An enigmatic series of votive rings are bringing new cult evidence to light.

News

Stonehenge rocks; Stonehenge in high definition; Cheddarskull cups; Dirty rats! DNA confirms cause of plague; British Museum buys Assyrian treasures; Measures to combat heritage crime; Roman roads built on Iron Age foundations.

REGULARS

Reviews

Bloodline: the Celtic Kings of Roman Britain; Battles, Boats and Bones; Social Relations in Later Prehistory

Context

Sites, artefacts, monuments and moments: in pictures.

Current ArchaeologyLive! 2011

Conference review.

Odd Socs

The Brewery History Society

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