For this month’s ‘Science Notes’, we went to the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit (ORAU ) to explore the enigmatic process behind radiocarbon (14C) dating, sitting down with Professor Tom Higham, the deputy director of ORAU, and Dr David Chivall, the lab’s chemistry manager, to discuss ORAU’s history, laboratory practices, and current research, as well as future prospects.
A newly opened exhibition at Stonehenge documents the diet of the community thought to have been responsible for erecting the main phase of the monument – including the surprisingly far-flung origins of some of their food.
Joe Flatman explores half a century of reports from the past. A selection of articles mentioned by Joe Flatman in this month’s column below can be accessed for free for one month via Exact Editions, from 7 December. Use the links within the text to jump to the individual articles, or click on the covers below. […]
It is a problem not often considered: the difficulty of feeding armies while they are hundreds of miles from home or any of their allies. Previously, it was taken for granted that supplies were procured from local sources. But a new study by Dr Peter Guest and Dr Richard Madgwick of Cardiff University, with colleagues […]
In this month’s ‘Science Notes’, we take an in-depth look at archaeomagnetic dating, highlighting recent advances in reliability and its future prospects in UK archaeology.
What can a dozen skeletons tell us about life and death in Britain through the ages? Lucia Marchini visits an exhibition at Leeds City Museum to find out. It is not uncommon for development-led archaeology to uncover human remains – fascinating traces of individuals otherwise lost to history, which often offer intimate insights into their […]
For our first Science Notes outing, we bring you a recently published paper that has caused a bit of a stir in the archaeological world, as it claims to have identified a female Viking warrior.
Innovative methods of utilising ancient protein and DNA analysis have revealed new information about medieval parchment and the animals from which they are made. A group of researchers from Trinity College Dublin and the University of York have taken eraser rubbings – left over from the cleaning of medieval manuscripts – and extracted DNA and […]
Orkney has long been renowned for its wealth of well preserved Neolithic sites, such as Skara Brae, and it seems that much is known about the time and region. But a new study by a team at Historic England has set out to challenge our current understanding of the chronology of the period by compiling […]
Scientific investigative techniques are constantly changing, improving and significantly enhancing our archaeological knowledge. Archaeological science, also known as Archaeometry, comprises many furthe rsub-divisions which often overlap. Broadly, it involves the dating and the detailed scientific analysis of artefacts. Dating techniques include: Thermoluminescence (for inorganic material), Radiocarbon dating (for organic material), the use of Bayesian statistics […]