CA293-Cover-600pxWhen a hole appeared in the summit of Silbury Hill, English Heritage had a crisis on their hands. As a major conservation operation swung into action, a team of archaeologists grasped this opportunity to re-enter the mound. Their remarkable discoveries have demolished views of Silbury Hill as a chieftain’s vanity project.

A powerful figure may be responsible for an archaeological anomaly at Auldhame, though. Historical accounts refer to the Viking king Olaf Guthfrithsson being struck down as a punishment for attacking the churches of St Balthere. Could this raid explain the presence of a Viking burial in a recently discovered monastic cemetery?

On Salisbury Plain, a hunter-gatherer home-base is being excavated at Blick Mead. This remarkable Mesolithic missing link is rewriting the origins of the famous ceremonial landscape around Stonehenge, and raising questions about whether its earliest Neolithic monuments were inspired by the traditions of the hunt.

The transition between Roman Britain and Anglo-Saxon England also continues to excite debate. While the image of Roman soldiers waving goodbye as they sailed away has long since been debunked, could it be that the imperial twilight brought more continuity than change?

Finally, I’m off for six months to research Hadrian’s Wall milecastles. Nadia Durrani — formerly of Current World Archaeology — will take the reins while I’m away, and Chris Catling will appear as a special guest editor. For now, I would like to leave you with a piece about why I find milecastles so fascinating. I hope you will forgive this indulgence.

 

FEATURES

THE MANY FACES OF SILBURY HILL

Unravelling the evolution of Europe’s largest prehistoric mound
Emergency conservation work gave archaeologists the opportunity to reopen a tunnel into Silbury Hill that had been sealed for almost 40 years – with earth-shattering results.

 

THE SACKING OF AULDHAME

Investigating a Viking burial in a monastic graveyard
Could the unexpected discovery of a Norse warrior buried among Medieval monks shed light on the story of a saint’s vengeance and the untimely death of a king?

 

RETURN TO BLICK MEAD

Exploring the Mesolithic origins of Stonehenge’s ritual landscape
Why did Salisbury Plain become a focus of ceremonial activity during the early Neolithic period? Recently discovered evidence for intense Mesolithic activity could hold the key.

 

THE RUIN OF ROMAN BRITAIN

Exploring how the empire gave way to England
Did civilisation really collapse in the wake of Roman control of Britain ending? We consider how much cultural change the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons really wrought.

 

WHO GOES THERE?

Inside the Hadrian’s Wall milecastles
Do the small fortifications providing gateways through Hadrian’s Wall hold the key to understanding the purpose of the Roman frontier?

 

 

NEWS

Lewes’ skeleton 180: a casualty of the Norman Conquest?; A golden find: the Dorset  lunula; A fish tale in Medieval London; Elite Roman burials at Rhodaus Town; Richard III to be reburied in Leicester; Dunragit: 7,000 years of Scotiish prehistory; Unearthing an Ayrshire POW camp

 

 

REGULARS

Reviews
The Secret History of the Roman Roads of Great Britain; The Great Archaeologists; Archaeology and Celtic Myth

Sherds  
Chris Catling’s irreverent take  on heritage issues

Opinion
Ian Haynes discusses a new way to learn about archaeology

Last Word
CA‘s Editor-in-Chief, Andrew Selkirk, discusses ways to disseminate the wealth of information locked in grey literature.

Odd Socs
The Test Card Circle

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