Current Archaeology 312
It is the immediacy of Must Farm’s archaeology that is so startling. Walking around the site it is easy to believe that the embers have barely cooled following the disaster that overtook the settlement. Instead, the charred and tumbled vestiges of roundhouses lay in Fenland silts for almost 3,000 years. This stunning preservation will bring Late Bronze Age building techniques into sharp focus, but what lies beneath the flattened superstructure might prove even more valuable. If the Must Farm fire did claim the homes of colonists seeking to exploit the Fenland, their tragedy could revolutionise our understanding of an entire era.
The Roman state indulged in colonisation on a grander scale, but the surviving relics of its empire in Britain are usually judged pale imitations of continental models. Survey of the Roman town at Aldborough in the military north, however, has highlighted hints of a surprisingly cosmopolitan approach to urban planning.
St Kilda, to the west of the Scottish Western Isles, is often celebrated as an isolated archipelago insulated from the wider world. Recent research has revealed, though, that the romantic appeal of this image has obscured the islands’ links with their neighbours.
Scientific analysis is demonstrating the lengths that the inhabitants of Roman Britain went to in order to forge a connection with their gods. The elite spent considerable sums importing the exotic fragrances that courted divine favour and helped mask any air of decay during funerary rites.
Finally, we return to the Fens to discover what contribution archaeology can make to investigating historic aircraft crash sites.
IN THIS ISSUE:
THE MUST FARM INFERNO
Exploring an intact Late Bronze Age settlement
Ongoing excavation of a remarkably well-preserved Bronze Age site, destroyed by fire and submerged in water, is providing a unique snapshot of life in the prehistoric fens.
Exploring the Roman town of Isurium Brigantum
What can town planning tell us about life in Britain’s Roman north? An extensive programme of geophysical survey may hold the answer.
The last and outmost isle
Exploring some of Britain’s most remote islands, we bring you the latest archaeological research from this surprisingly well-connected archipelago.
THE FRAGRANT DEAD
How to treat the departed, Roman style
Expensive perfumed resins played an important role in the funerary rites of the higher levels of Roman society in continental Europe – but did this elite practice ever reach the northern outpost of Britannia?
A SPITFIRE NAMED ‘KERALA’
Investigating a Battle of Britain training accident
Excavating a Second World War crash site using archaeological methods has shed new light on how the aircraft came down, and given us the pilot’s body 75 years before.
Exploring our Anglo-Saxon ancestry; Origins of York’s ‘gladiators’ revealed; Tudor treasure from the Thames foreshore; A towering find from Hampton Court; York’s WWII writing on the wall; Expanding Roman Carlisle; Work to restore Jorvik begins; Meet the Woodbridge Wildman
Current Archaeology Live! 2016 is just weeks away. We have the final details of the timetable and speakers, and our exciting bonus Sunday activity
The Stonehenge Landscape; Rescue Archaeology; Bog Bodies Uncovered
Chris Catling’s irreverent take on heritage issues
Historic Pools of Britain