In 1929, a bright young scholar named Eric Birley arrived at Vindolanda, the Roman fort and settlement lying just south of Hadrian’s Wall. Eric was to embark on an archaeological journey that forms an important part of British history, and is a voyage of discovery pursued by his family to this day. From his son’s unearthing of the eponymous tablets that report on socks, underpants, and (nasty) little Brits, to his grandson’s recent excavation of a temple dedicated to the eastern god Jupiter Dolichenus, what is the story of Vindolanda — then, and now? Andrew and Tony Birley take us behind the scenes at this most extraordinary and personal site.
Moving through time, we turn to a very different sort of history: the heritage of textile mills, but with a twist. We tend to associate such mills with the North, so it may come as a surprise to discover that many of the earliest (and most beautiful) mills are to be found in the green valleys of the Cotswolds, Somerset, Devon, and Dorset, as Chris Catling reveals.
From there, we embark on a royal detective mission at Tewkesbury Abbey, which houses bones traditionally held to be those of the Duke of Clarence, elder brother of Richard III, plus those of his young wife. But is this really so? John Ashdown-Hill has gone in search of the truth.
Finally, we have brought you a bumper issue of CA this month, with our annual Digs Special, an extra section with sites and advice on where to excavate in 2015.
Happy digging, and good reading!
IN THIS ISSUE:
Revelations from the Roman frontier
The inside story on the excavations of – and the latest discoveries at – a remarkable Roman fort and settlement.
MILLS, DOWN SOUTH
Exploring a forgotten heritage
Not so much dark and satanic as architecturally pleasant and diverse, we examine the history of textile mills outside their traditional habitat of the industrial North.
OPENING THE CLARENCE VAULT
The search for Richard III’s brother
For two centuries, human remains held by Tewkesbury Abbey were assumed to be those of George, Duke of Clarence, and his wife, Isabel Neville – but recent research has revealed that the truth is not so simple.
THE ‘REAL-TIME’ TEAM
The future of fieldwork
A snapshot of how digital technology is helping to revolutionise archaeological recording, with a look at the ongoing investigations at Leiston Abbey.
Rare Roman tombstone in Cirencester; A French jousting casualty in medieval Hereford?; Anne Boleyn’s royal rooms rediscovered’ Rich Anglo-Saxon burial found near Diss; Mesolithic grains of truth; Leicester’s lady in lead revealed; Bedlam burials uncovered; Meet England’s medieval immigrants; Stonehenge landscape’s earliest standing stone?
Digs Special 2015
With the summer rapidly approaching, this special bonus section brings you a selection of exciting excavations and archaeological experiences available this year in Britain and Ireland.
A round-up of what happened at Current Archaeology Live! 2015
Celtic art in Europe; Early ships and seafaring; Medieval York
Jorvik Viking Festival
We explore the annual celebration of York’s Norse heritage
Chris Catling’s irreverent take on heritage issues
The Quilters’ Guild.