This month’s cover feature takes us to Les Varines, Jersey, home to a hunter-gatherer camp dating from the end of the last Ice Age c.15,000 years ago. Moving into slightly more recent prehistory, we also take a trip through early Neolithic Britain to see the transformation of human lifestyles that came via the new tastes and technologies that emerged between 4000 and 3400 BC. Among these innovations was the cultivation of wheat and barley, which made new foodstuffs available, such as bread and beer.
Food also forms the focus of our visit to Sedgeford, in north-west Norfolk, where two decades of archaeological work have exposed the rare remains of a middle Saxon village – a kind of site usually obscured by later settlement. Here, we consider the link between control of food supplies and the rise of new social hierarchies between the early 7th and late 9th centuries AD.
Clues to elite lifestyles have also been revealed at Boxford, Berkshire, where a community project has uncovered a stunning Roman mosaic adorned with images from Greek mythology. Finally, remaining with the Romans, we head to the City of London to learn how the remains of Londinium were rediscovered among the ruins of the Second World War.
IN THIS ISSUE:
Life and death in the early Neolithic
Chris Catling takes us on a tour of the Neolithic transition in Britain. Drawing on Vicki Cummings’ new book, The Neolithic of Britain and Ireland, he reviews the different cultural interactions and innovations that defined the period.
THE WORLD IN A MEAD HALL
Understanding ‘the long 8th century’
Two decades of excavations at Sedgeford offer a unique perspective on life in the 7th-9th centuries. Here we investigate what the results from this dig can tell us about the significance of trade, agriculture, and food in middle Anglo-Saxon society.
Tracing an island’s French connection
Excavations in Jersey have uncovered the remains of a Magdalenian hunter-gatherer campsite, founded long before the Channel Island was surrounded by sea.
BELLEROPHON IN BOXFORD
A mythological mosaic revealed
The recent discovery of a magnificent Roman mosaic in Boxford has been called the most exciting find of its kind in recent history. But there is more to the Boxford excavations than this one development, which forms only part of a wider-ranging five-year community project.
OUT OF THE ASHES
Rediscovering Roman London
In this interview with Peter Marsden, City of London archaeologist in 1959-1972, he recalls how Londonium was resurrected from the destruction of the Blitz, and how he has fought to protect and preserve our past.
The Iron Age-Roman transition in Dorset; Roman sarcophagus found in Southwark; Roman hoard holds unique dog statue; Neolithic house discovered in Ayrshire; Brighton’s Royal Pavilion Estate renovations reveal Quaker burial site; Science Notes; Using parchment to reveal the ancient lives of livestock; Finds tray
Joe Flatman excavates the CA archive
The life of a levelled long barrow, Pewsey Vale, Wiltshire
Hadrian’s Wall: Archaeology and History at the Limit of Rome’s Empire; William Marshal and Ireland; Materialising Roman Histories; Castles, Siegeworks and Settlements: Surveying the Archaeology of the Twelfth Century; Irish Stone Bridges: History and Heritage; 50 Finds from Hampshire: Objects from the Portable Antiquities Scheme
Our selection of exhibitions and events
Chris Catling’s irreverent take on heritage issues
British Deaf History Society