Category: Issues

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Current Archaeology 290

On the 10th February, under a cloak of secrecy, the remarkable  artefacts in the Staffordshire Hoard were reunited for the first  time since they were scattered by a plough strike. This helped  specialists studying the vast Anglo-Saxon jigsaw puzzle to match up  fragments that once adorned the same items. It is now known that decorations […]

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Current Archaeology 289

When Martin Bates left his geophysical equipment to take its readings and wandered down to the beach at Happisburgh he made a remarkable discovery. An old clay bed recently exposed by the sea was pockmarked with footprints. This trail has proven to be the earliest trace of a human journey in Europe, providing a powerful […]

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Current Archaeology 288

When was Britain first colonised by early humans? The famous Boxgrove bones, found in the 1990s, date back about 500,000 years, and are still the earliest hominin fossils yet found on these shores. Flints from the Cromer Forest Bed, Norfolk, though, are increasingly pointing to a much longer duration. We explore how the story of […]

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Current Archaeology 287

News of the Crosby Garrett helmet’s discovery in 2010was swiftly tempered by disappointment when the museum seeking to acquire it was outbid at auction. With attention focusing on the helmet’s modern fate, there was a danger that its Roman-era disposal would be eclipsed. Now work at the findspot has established that Roman Crosby Garrett was […]

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Current Archaeology 286

The number of wrecks off England’s coast is a stark reminder of our reliance on shipping: 37,000 vessels, cargoes, and even ditched aircraft have been identified. Events that often spelled tragedy for crews have transformed these craft into time-capsules. While most post-date 1815, traces of scattered cargoes date back to the Bronze Age. Many lost […]

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The Early Anglo-Saxon tradition of burying the dead in their finery has bequeathed some of Britain’s most spectacular archaeology, from the regal splendour of Sutton Hoo to cemeteries laden with individuals wearing jewellery or weapons. But how did this practice die out? For many years it was believed to have gradually faded away, with little […]

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CA 284

Had you arrived 400,000 years ago, the Thames Estuary would offer a  world-class safari. Lions, rhinos, monkeys, and elephants all quenched  their thirst near what is now Ebbsfleet. Some never left. One massive  bull elephant was brought down by a pack of particularly dangerous  predators. As well as daring to take on the massive, 4m-high […]

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CA 283

Mesolithic hunter-gatherers have traditionally been seen as powerless in the face of their environment. Rather than tailoring it to their needs with permanent homes, burial chambers, or fields, they were forced to keep on moving in an endless quest for food. Now a monument in Aberdeenshire has been found to date to the Mesolithic – […]

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CA 282

Mick Aston passed away on 24  June. His  passion for archaeology inspired countless Time Team  viewers to follow in his footsteps, including me. Mick was a long-standing friend of CA, and we were looking forward to following his fieldwork exploits in Winscombe for many years to come. But it was not to be. In an […]

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Current Archaeology 281

Tracking the movement of ancient armies is notoriously difficult. On those occasions when a mobile force threw up a bank and ditch for temporary shelter traces of the defences may survive. Otherwise, detection is dependent on vague clues in any written records and tantalising finds scatters in otherwise innocuous fields. This was the challenge facing […]

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