British Museum

ca_OUTNOWbanner_new

Current Archaeology 344 – now on sale

On 26 October 1918, the nation received an unusual gift: Stonehenge. The monument had been bought at auction by Sir Cecil Chubb, who later presented it to the British government. Marking the centenary of this episode, we are exploring one of the newest discoveries from the site: the origins of some of the people whose […]

ca_OUTNOWbanner_new

Current Archaeology 340

In the recent hot weather, the trees that line many of our urban streets offer welcome shade – but when these leafy avenues were first introduced to Britain they were highly controversial. We trace the progress and pitfalls of this movement from its 19th-century roots to the present day. Greenery was also a key feature […]

CA-image

Never a dull moment: the lives of Early Bronze Age axes

The Reverend William Greenwell (1820-1918) was a British antiquarian who, throughout a long career of excavating prehistoric barrows, accumulated a large collection of artefacts. This included almost 570 copper-alloy axes from across Europe. Unfortunately, due to practices (or the lack of them) at the time, many of these objects – now curated at the British Museum – have no known provenance or any other contextual information. This had meant that, for the most part, they remained in museum storage, deemed useless for research. A new study, however, has once again brought the axes in this collection to light, by macro- and microscopically analysing them for wear patterns and other signs of use.

Funerary scene

Review – Scythians: warriors of ancient Siberia

Who were the Scythians? They left behind no written records, but archaeology lets us get up close and personal with these nomadic warriors. Lucia Marchini finds out more at the British Museum’s latest exhibition. From the end of the 17th century, the glittering possessions of nomadic warriors began to be discovered in the Urals and […]

ca_OUTNOWbanner_new

Current Archaeology 332

The year is on the turn. As summer slips undeniably into autumn, it is a time of new beginnings, not only thanks to the changing seasons but also to our associating these months with the start of the new school or university year. There have been changes afoot at CA too; as we drift towards […]

Excavations at the British Museum

Review – Excavations at the British Museum

Rebecca Haslam and Victoria Ridgeway The British Museum Press, £40.00 ISBN 978-0861592036 Review LM The British Museum is home to archaeological riches from all over the world, but what can its own archaeology tell us about Bloomsbury through the ages? Investigations carried out by Pre-Construct Archaeology in the 1990s and 2000s in advance of the […]

hendrix-featured

Summer of Love

As well as marking 50 years since the launch of CA, this year sees the golden anniversary of musical masterpieces and a landmark law. Lucia Marchini explores the heritage attractions that offer a taste of 1967. In 1967, San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district drew in crowds of gentle people with flowers in their hair for a […]

Gold-rhino-copyright-UP-Mapungubwe-Museum-featured

South Africa: the art of a nation

The latest exhibition at the British Museum offers an overview of South African art from manuports to Mandela and beyond. Lucia Marchini finds out more. Between 1948 and 1994, when the ruling National Party was enforcing apartheid legislation, the official version of South African history portrayed the country as a terra nullius before European settlement […]

ca_outnowbanner_new

Current Archaeology 322

Archaeology is alive with uncertainties. Time and again new sites or technologies upend longstanding theories. All this month’s featured sites show the sometimes fractious relationship between fresh research and what we think we know. Early digging at a newly discovered Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Great Ryburgh unearthed a rare coffin created from a hollowed-out tree. The […]

purse-lid-featured

Sutton Hoo at the British Museum

Marking the 75th anniversary of a watershed discovery In May 1939, Suffolk archaeologist Basil Brown made a discovery that would change perceptions of Anglo-Saxon England forever: a spectacular 7th-century ship burial, overlooking the River Deben at Sutton Hoo. Seventy-five years on, its contents form the centrepiece of the British Museum’s recently reopened Early Medieval Europe […]