Three of our features this month focus on finds recently declared ‘Treasure’ according to the 1996 Treasure Act – legislation that has helped museums acquire many important artefacts for public display. The Heritage Minister has now proposed a number of revisions to the Act, and has launched a public consultation on them. See p.16 of the magazine for more details of the suggested changes and how to contribute to the consultation, or you can read the article online here.
The first such artefact featured is our cover story: a 3,000-year-old pendant discovered last year in the Shropshire Marches. Its Bronze Age artistry is unmistakable – could it also help solve the mystery of a similar artefact that vanished centuries ago?
The Staffordshire Hoard is one of the most celebrated Treasure cases of all time, and analysis of its fragments has revealed that one-third came from an Anglo-Saxon helmet, only the sixth identified to-date. It has now been reconstructed to stunning effect.
That helmet would have been worn by an elite warrior – but our third Treasure object, the subject of this month’s ‘In Focus’, was owned by a high status Anglo-Saxon woman. What can the Winfarthing pendant tell us about early medieval East Anglia?
While the above finds had lain hidden beneath the soil for centuries, historic buildings are heritage gems that are often easier to spot. Hereford boasts many such structures: we explore some highlights, spanning c.AD 1200 to 1700.
Finally, we bring you the latest news from Star Carr, Britain’s most important Mesolithic site. The full findings of over a decade of excavation on the site have recently been published: we bring you some of the key insights.
IN THIS ISSUE:
LIFE BESIDE THE LAKE
Opening a window on the Mesolithic at Star Carr
Twelve years of excavation at Star Carr, Britain’s most important Mesolithic site, has revealed an unparalleled wealth of information about life during this period. We explore some of the project’s key discoveries.
Bronze Age beauty and a mystery from Manchester
The recent discovery of a Bronze Age pendant in the Shropshire Marches has reopened the case of another strikingly similar artefact that vanished from the record in Manchester over 200 years ago.
Reconstructing the Staffordshire Hoard helmet
Found ten years ago this summer, the Staffordshire Hoard has revolutionised our appreciation of Anglo-Saxon artistry. A third of its fragments came from a magnificent helmet, which has now been reconstructed.
HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT
Searching for Hereford’s historic houses
Hereford is teeming with history, as a recent study of 24 buildings spanning AD 1200 to 1700 eloquently reveals. We trace the development of this medieval city and the physical remains of its rich past.
THE WINFARTHING PENDANT
Examining an Anglo-Saxon work of art
An exquisitely made 7th-century pendant found in the parish of Winfarthing, Norfolk, was recently voted the nation’s favourite museum acquisition of 2018. What has been learned about this beautiful object, and the high-status woman in whose grave it was buried?
Finding Captain Flinders at Euston; Roman ruins revealed under the Mercury Theatre; That old chestnut: how sweet chestnuts came to Britain; Medieval projectile found a stone’s throw from Edinburgh Castle; Roman road unearthed in Lancashire; Laboratory spotlight: the Natural History Museum’s ancient DNA lab; Deviant burials discovered near Bury St Edmunds; Finds Tray
Enigmatic earthworks: searching for Southerscales’ Anglo-Saxon origins
Chariot fittings from Pembrokeshire, Wales
The Selhurst Park Project: Middle Barn, Selhurstpark Farm, Eartham, West Sussex 2005-2008; Neolithic and Bronze Age Funerary and Ritual Practices in Wales, 3600-1200 BC; Lost Lives, New Voices: unlocking the stories of the Scottish soldiers from the Battle of Dunbar; Finds Identified; Freshwater Fish in England; Quarrying in Cumbria
Our selection of exhibitions and events
Chris Catling’s irreverent take on heritage issues
The Society for the History of Natural History (SHNH)