Category: Issues

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Current Archaeology 320

Glastonbury has a knack of attracting stories. It is a place where legends of a once and future king and feet in ancient time provide a beguiling backdrop to remarkable archaeological remains. The ruins of Glastonbury Abbey enticed a succession of investigators in the 20th century, but all of them left their endeavours incompletely published. […]

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Current Archaeology 319

We now know that disaster swiftly struck Must Farm. Construction may not even have been complete when the flames took hold, and it is probable that the settlement was gutted within a year of being founded. For the inhabitants, the loss of their homes and possessions must have been devastating, but the archaeological windfall has […]

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Current Archaeology 318

Neolithic tombs are often seen as ‘houses for the dead’. Striking similarities between the residences of the living and repositories for the deceased have long suggested a symbolic link, but could it be the other way round? Evidence from Orkney suggests that the departed were being laid to rest in their cairns for about 300 […]

CA-317---out-now!

Current Archaeology 317

The early years of London seem both uncannily familiar and unimaginably distant. Today, no one would bat an eyelid at Tacitus’ description of a settlement heaving with ‘businessmen and commerce’. Accounts of reckless loans, eye-watering debt, and advice to maintain a stiff upper lip (or at least ‘not to appear shabby’) in the face of adversity reinforce a sense that some […]

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Current Archaeology 316

The true nature of the events that played out at Burnswark in the 2nd century AD has long excited speculation. Two Roman camps were aggressively positioned to hold a former native hillfort in a vice-like grip, but does this dramatic arrangement testify to a desperate siege, or a rigorous military training regime? Now an ingenious new approach to studying the […]

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Current Archaeology 315

A recent excavation campaign at Binchester Roman fort concluded with a spectacular discovery. A trench revealed part of a bathhouse that may be one of the best-preserved structures surviving from Roman Britain. Traces of garish frescoes still cling to walls standing above head height, which bear witness to refurbishments that kept pace with the garrison’s demand for creature comforts. We […]

Current Archaeology 314 - out now!

Current Archaeology 314

Twelve thousand years ago, Britain was joined to Europe by a great plain, where Mesolithic people lived and hunted. But as water levels rose, their home was submerged beneath the North Sea. What did this loss of place mean for the wave of migrants it created? Mobility of another kind is under the microscope elsewhere in this issue, as an […]

Current Archaeology 313 - out-now!

Current Archaeology 313

Mention Iron Age settlement, and most people’s minds turn to hillforts, oppida, or even the evocatively named banjo enclosures. One thing all of these sites have in common is earthworks that encircle or at least sketch out the bounds of occupation. ‘Duropolis’ is different. Excavations at Winterborne Kingston are revealing a dense cluster of roundhouses […]

Current Archaeology-312---out-now!

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 […]

Current Archaeology 311---out-now!

Current Archaeology 311

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 […]

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