This month’s cover feature explores material remains of the railway revolution that transformed early Victorian England. Birmingham’s former Curzon Street Station was a key part of this flourishing transport network, and with the site set to become a rail hub once more as part of HS2, fascinating echoes of 19th-century journeys have come to light.
In the 1830s, railways were seriously cutting-edge technology, and science continues to make greatstrides today. Our first feature in this month’s magazine showcases what can be achieved with a strikingly modern methodology: thanks to extensive LiDAR survey in the Forest of Dean, we can no longer say that we can’t see the (archaeology of the) woods for the trees.
If piecing together that survey data has been painstaking, so too is the interpretation of a 17,000-strong Roman coin hoard. The Beau Street Hoard was found in Bath in 2007; over a decade on, conservation and cataloguing of its contents has shed intriguing light on why it was buried, and on the wider phenomenon of hoarding in the 3rd century.
On a much smaller scale, ‘In Focus’ explores two unassuming wooden finds from an Iron Age lake dwelling. Are they tangible evidence of music-making 2,500 years ago?
Finally, this issue contains our annual digs guide, featuring some of the excavations currently scheduled (at time of going to press) for this summer. For more complete listings, visit www.archaeology.co.uk/digs. The coronavirus situation is of course a rapidly evolvingone, and we do not yet know how digs will be affected, but we encourage our readers to check with individual projects and to follow government advice. Stay well, everyone – sending you all our best wishes.
In This Issue:
SEEING THROUGH TREES
Landscapes revealed in the Forest of Dean
A LiDAR survey of the Forest of Dean has revealed the rich historic landscape hidden beneath the trees, as well as evidence of the iron-ore quarrying, mining, and smelting that has been centralto the lives of the Foresters for centuries.
THE BEAU STREET HOARD – WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?
Interpreting over 17,000 Roman coins
Since the discovery of the Beau Street Hoard in Bath in 2007, years of research have illuminated the contents of this huge collection of late 3rd-century Roman coins, revealing new clues to why it might have been buried.
Excavating the ‘world’s oldest railway roundhouse’ in Birmingham
Archaeological work ahead of the construction of a new HS2 station has revealed echoes of much earlier train journeys: the 19th-century remains of a turntable and goods buildings associated with the London and Birmingham Railway.
BRIDGING THE GAP
Exploring evidence for musical instruments in Iron Age ScotlandWhat can two tiny pieces of wood, recovered from a crannog and dated to c.500 BC, tell us about cultural life in these loch-dwellings in the early Iron Age?
Powerful finds at King’s Seat hillfort; Black Death mass grave at Thornton Abbey; Exploring ideology on a Pictish carved stone; Bishop Bek’s chapel discovered; Secret passage revealed in the Palace of Westminster; Science Notes; Remains of St Eanswythe found in Folkestone?; Finds Tray
Bronze Age Ballynagalliagh, Co. Londonderry
Society and Administration in Ulster’s Plantation Towns, 1610-89; The Pilgrimages of Hadrian’s Wall 1849-2019: a history; Early Christianity in South-West Britain: Wessex, Somerset, Devon, Cornwall, and the Channel Islands; Historic Landscapes and Mental Well-being; Ruins and Follies of East Anglia; Ireland’s Forgotten Past: a history of the overlooked and disremembered
Acquisitions, exhibitions, and key decisions
Our selection of exhibitions and events
Chris Catling’s irreverent take on heritage issues
The Wellsprings Fellowship
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