The number of wrecks off England’s coast is a stark reminder of our reliance on shipping: 37,000 vessels, cargoes, and even ditched aircraft have been identified. Events that often spelled tragedy for crews have transformed these craft into time-capsules. While most post-date 1815, traces of scattered cargoes date back to the Bronze Age. Many lost vessels are still waiting to be found.
Something that may have been lost without us even realising is the Hastings battlefield. An Abbey founded after the fighting was believed to mark the spot, but rival candidates have recently emerged. Time Team‘s investigation led them to ask whether a roundabout now lies where Harold Godwinson was cut down.
Less severe injuries could earn the afflicted a spell in a Medieval hospital. Excavations at Cambridge revealed a hospital cemetery and gave an insight into 12th-century health care. The dig also touched on a former archaeologist’s garden,where disturbed burials had been reinterred in a way that evokes Neolithic practice.
Neolithic burial rites are also under the spotlight at the Garn Turne dolmen. As well as exposing the earliest masonry-working known in Britain, digging has shed light on how gigantic capstones were lifted using Neolithic technology.
Work at Welwyn may have uncovered a very different form of funerary monument. Burials focused on a large pit have raised questions about whether this could be a symbolic gateway to the underworld.
Finally, don’t forget to visit www.archaeologylive.co.uk for the latest conference news, and the fantastic projects, publications, and people nominated for CA awards – have your say at www.archaeologyawards.org.
Exploring England’s shipwreck heritage
Marking the 40th anniversary of the 1973 Protection of Wrecks Act, we explore relics ancient and modern of our long maritime history.
THE BATTLE FOR HASTINGS
Searching for the truth about 1066
The Norman victory at Hastings is one of those dates that every schoolchild knows – but where did the famous battle actually take place? Time Team consider the possibilities.
OLD DIVINITY SCHOOL
Excavating Cambridge’s Medieval hospital cemetery
Almost a decade of archaeological work in Cambridge’s historic heart has uncovered the city’s lost hospital cemetery, and traces of a thriving urban population from the Roman period to the 19th century.
HOW TO BUILD A DOLMEN
Exploring Neolithic construction at Garn Turne
Dolmens are an iconic form of chambered tomb. But with capstones weighing over 100 tonnes, how were these monuments created 6,000 years ago?
WELWYN’S ROMAN MYSTERY
A gateway to the underworld?
In 1990 Tony Rook uncovered the first of nine peculiar early Roman inhumations, lying in a pit cut into the Hertfordshire chalk. We ask: what do they mean?
Eagle of the Minories; Second Stonehenge bluestone quarry; Mancetter’s daughter of time; Preparing for death in Bronze Age Scotland; Newport Pagnell’s cross words puzzle; Mystery wreck on Bamburgh beach; 6,000-year-old paddle at Bradford Kaims; Solving Jersey’s Neanderthal teething problems
Current Archaeology Live! 2014 is approaching fast. This special section contains the latest details of the timetable, speakers, and Archaeology Awards nominations.
Before Farming; The Roman Invasion of Britain; Medieval Life; Time’s Anvil
Chris Catling’s irreverent take on heritage issues
Historic Chapels Trust