When archaeologists announced they had found the body of King Richard III beneath a car park on the site of Leicester’s Grey Friars, it made world news. But project leader Richard Buckley’s original plan had been simply to discover more about the friary, rating the chance of actually finding the king’s body as close to zero.
Now a major on-site Richard III visitor centre has just opened, and plans are in motion for his body to be reinterred in Leicester Cathedral. CA met with Buckley for the inside story. Why did the dig start with disappointment? What about those months of waiting as the scientific data were processed? And what happens next?
From a named king to the forgotten fliers of World War I: to mark the centenary of the Great War, we begin the first of three special features exploring sites related to the world’s first fully industrialised conflict.
A very different military community is then explored as we step back to the Roman era and visit the fort site of Inveresk, just east of Edinburgh. But why were several decapitated bodies discovered there?
Yet more unusual burials were found at Cumwhitton in Cumbria. Here, the chance detection of an unusual brooch led to the unique find of a whole Viking-era cemetery, rich with ritual and grave-goods.
Finally, is there anything other than ‘ritual’ that can explain stone circles? Chris Catling looks at a new book that suggests there is.
PS The next CA Live! conference takes place on 27-28 February 2015 — we’ll have more details soon, but do save the date!
IN THIS ISSUE:
Excavating Cumwhitton’s cemetery
We explore how the chance discovery of a Viking brooch helped to unlock the secrets of a high-status burial ground.
GREAT STONE CIRCLES
Beyond ritual and religion
Why did our Neolithic ancestors build stone circles? Thought-provoking developments in this debate suggest that we should see them as more than ceremonial centres.
BODYGUARDS, CORPSES, AND CULTS
Everyday life in the Roman military community at Inveresk
Bringing you the latest discoveries, including two spectacular altars, from a cosmopolitan settlement on the north-western edge of the Roman Empire.
Revealing Sedgeford’s lost WWI aerodrome
Marking the centenary of the First World War, we launch the first of three features investigating British sites linked to the conflict.
FINDING RICHARD III
Behind the scenes at the Grey Friars dig
We catch up on the triumphs and tribulations of excavating a king — and take a sneak peek at the new visitor centre that explores his life and times.
Snapshot of London’s Saxon shore; Vindolanda’s first gold coin; Winterborne Kingston: family matters; Colchester casualties of the Boudican revolt?; Twin sister for Seahenge; Corieltavi cache in a cave; Antrim’s A26 archaeology; Lost and found
The Lod Mosaic
Scottish Gold; The Staffordshire Hoard; The Archaeology of Anglo-Jewry in England and Wales 1656-c.1880
Chris Catling’s irreverent take on heritage issues
The Scottish Castles Association
David Miles explores the work of Alasdair Whittle, who has transformed our knowledge of Neolithic Britain