The young man pictured on our cover was 16 or 17 when he died, and was buried in the shadow of a great Bronze Age barrow on Salisbury Plain. He belonged to an Anglo-Saxon community whose grave goods tell of a strong martial connection. It is rather fitting then, that he and his warrior brethren were discovered as part of Operation Beowulf, an initiative by Wessex Archaeology and Operation Nightingale, the Ministry of Defence project that harnesses archaeological fieldwork to aid the recovery of injured personnel; see p.28 for the inside story.
Meanwhile, at Cliffs End Farm on the Isle of Thanet, another intriguing cemetery has been found. The buried include a Bronze Age woman, arm extended with index finger pointing, and two lambs in her lap. Not only is this site radically revising our perceptions of prehistoric mortuary practices, but detailed skeletal analysis is also providing surprising insights into the origins and diversity of the population.
Thereafter, we visit the sublime landscape of North Wales’ slate industry, so integral to the culture and history of the region. It is now being proposed as a World Heritage Site, but given slate extraction is a living industry, how will UNESCO respond?
Other highlights include a look at the vital work being undertaken by CITiZAN, a newly launched community project that seeks to record as many heritage sites as possible along England’s at-risk coastline and tidal estuaries. Finally, this is my last CA before Matthew Symonds returns as editor. It’s been a wonderful 13 months, and I do hope you’ve enjoyed reading the magazine as much as I’ve enjoyed editing it.
IN THIS ISSUE:
ON SACRED GROUND
Migrants and mass graves at Cliffs End Farm
What can the remains of dozens of Bronze and Iron Age people buried on the Isle of Thanet tell us about the diversity of ancient funerary customs and Kent’s prehistoric population?
Chiselling through time
We explore an industry that is integral to the culture of North Wales, and consider how to protect a living heritage landscape.
EXCAVATING BARROW CLUMP
Soldier archaeologists and warrior graves
Wessex Archaeology and the MoD initiative Operation Nightingale have been investigating an at-risk Anglo-Saxon cemetery surrounding a Bronze Age barrow. What did they find?
COAST TO COAST
Recording England’s vanishing heritage
Introducing a new community-led project working to record the thousands of threatened heritage sites along England’s coastline and tidal estuaries before they disappear forever.
Back to the Neolithic
Experimental archaeology centre Butser Ancient Farm has added a Neolithic longhouse to its collection of reconstructed buildings. We learn how the project came together.
Dorset Iron Age dig goes to town; Veteran vessel reopens; A lasting impression at Vindolanda; York’s medieval hospital takes centre stage; Mar’s Mesolithic mountaineers; Rethinking rock art at Roxby; Getting ahead on Achill Island; Forth Bridge is World Heritage; Towton bones tell their tale
Thinking Big; Between the Wind and the Water; What the Victorians Threw Away
Chris Catling’s irreverent take on heritage issues
The British Button Society