Monty Python’s pithy question ‘What have the Romans ever done for us?’ cuts to the heart of the pros and cons of conquest. Debate about how Britons fared under Roman rule weighs the balance between exploitation and opportunity, but rarely strays into the arena of overseas travel. There is little sign in ancient texts that Britons enthusiastically seized their chance to see the (Roman) world, but does archaeology tell a different story? We go in search of the Britons abroad.
The famous Stonehenge bluestones are notoriously well travelled. A link between these monoliths and Pembrokeshire has been suspected for almost a century, but recent excavations at two outcrops in the Preseli hills have revealed prehistoric quarry works. The geologies match, but radiocarbon dates suggest a lag-time of 400 years between extraction and erection in Wiltshire. Where were the bluestones in the interim?
Mucking has recently undergone a journey of a different kind. For decades many of the findings from this legendary excavation campaign remained hidden away in archived records. Now, as the final volumes of the site-report approach publication, we salute both the original diggers and the team bringing their work to fruition.
Ensuring that the vestiges of Yorkshire’s alum industry did not disappear without record required a band of archaeologists to abseil down sea cliffs. Working against time and tide, they have teased out the secrets of a dirty and dangerous industry.
IN THIS ISSUE:
The untold story of emigration and object mobility from Roman Britain
Clusters of British-made brooches, found in continental Europe, reveal an untold story of emigration and object mobility from Roman Britain.
Secondhand Stonehenge? • Go west
We trace the Welsh origins of Wiltshire’s most famous monument, pinpointing the Preseli outcrops from which some of its bluestones were quarried, and explore the latest evidence for when, and why, they travelled to Salisbury Plain.
Lives in land
Digging through the archives of a legendary excavation, we explore its remarkable findings and how the gargantuan task of drawing them all together was completed.
INDUSTRY ON THE EDGE
Recording Yorkshire’s coastal alum sites
Scattered along the Yorkshire coast are sites connected to processing alum – a vital component in the textile industry, but one that was very complex to create. Now, as these industrial relics begin to erode into the sea, the race is on to record them before they vanish forever.
Roman Londoners revealed; Rare Alfredian coins in Viking hoard; Silchester’s sign of the times; Rethinking Glastonbury Abbey; Excavating Shakespeare; Anglesey’s first fortlet; Otford Roman villa explored; York’s rare Viking remains displayed; Marking a milestone development
Current Archaeology Live! 2016 is now approaching fast. We provide updated details of the timetable and speakers, and an explanation of how to vote in the Archaeology Awards
The Ness of Brodgar; Danes in Wessex; Hoards: Hidden History
Chris Catling’s irreverent take on heritage issues
The Dartmoor Tinworking Research Group