001_CA307_Cover Final_MESC.inddWe are used to seeing the Celts through the filter of Greek and Roman propaganda. Ancient writers poke fun at the luxuriant moustaches sported by Celtic warriors, and cast them as the barbaric foils to Classical civilisation. Celtic art, though, tells a different story. Hidden among its graceful curves and elegant motifs are elusive abstract animals, conjured by master craftsmen. These designs allow us to catch a glimpse of the Celts on their own terms.

The vestiges of a rather larger grand design lie concealed beneath Rochester Cathedral. In the 11th century, work on a magnificent new edifice was launched by Bishop Gundulf, a celebrated architect renowned for designing the Tower of London’s keep. But less than a decade after the cathedral was consecrated in 1130, it was ravaged by fire. Now, new investigations are teasing out the details of its lost east end.

How many secrets — that archaeology can resolve — does a well-studied monument like Stonehenge still hold? The answer is quite a few. We take a look at ten little-known facts that allow us to see Stonehenge and its landscape in a new light.

There is also far more to the late Iron Age roundhouses in Broxmouth hillfort than immediately meets the eye. The use of stone in their walls was once seen as an expression of their inhabitants’ eagerness to embrace Roman know-how. Artefacts secreted in these homes, though, reveal a society dedicated to commemorating their ancestors’ ways.

Matt Symonds

 

IN THIS ISSUE:

FEATURES

 

THE CELTIC RIDDLE

Deciphering hidden meanings in shape-shifting art
Who were the Celts? We explore an upcoming exhibition that seeks to provide a glimpse of their world, using the intricate artwork they crafted.


REWRITING ROCHESTER

A lost cathedral found
Excavation in the cathedral crypt has revealed medieval masonry obscured by layers of later construction work – transforming our understanding of early Norman ecclesiastical buildings.


FULL CIRCLE?

Ten new facts about Stonehenge
Despite being one of the world’s most-studied prehistoric monuments, Stonehenge still offers plenty of surprises.


ANCESTRAL HOMES?

Constructing memory at Broxmouth hillfort
We take a look at the revolutionary findings from the largest investigation of an Iron Age hillfort ever undertaken in Scotland, which shed new light on life on the edge of the Roman Empire.


 

NEWS

Earliest Pictish fort found at Dunnicaer; Aberdeen’s Dominican friary unearthed; A window into Enfield’s Tudor past; Revisiting Ribchester Roman Fort; Digging Marden Henge; Rare mace-head found at West Kennet; Holt Castle restored to royal glory; Touching Sedgeford’s Anglo-Saxon past; Norwich’s Augustinian friary revealed.

 

REGULARS

Context
Binchester’s bathhouse: working up a sweat on Rome’s northern frontier, at one of the most complete Roman buildings to be found in Britain for half a century.

Scottish Archaeology and Heritage Festival
Highlights from this inaugural festival celebrating archaeology in Scotland.

Reviews
The Archaeology of Caves in Ireland; Caithness Archaeology; Hadrian’s Wall

Sherds
Chris Catling’s irreverent take on  heritage issues

Odd Socs
The Vernacular Archaeology Group

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