burial

Prittlewell flagon

How did Christianity come to England?

The official story as recorded in Bede is that the Pope sent Saint Augustine to England in 597 to convert the pagans. However I went to a very interesting lecture at the Hendon and District Archaeological Society when Chris Scull put forward a very subversive alternative scenario. Chris is leading the team who are writing […]

Sutton Hoo featured

Secrets of Sutton Hoo

Sutton Hoo is best known for the elite Anglo-Saxon cemetery excavated there in the 1930s, but more recent campaigns tell an even richer tale. The royal burials sprang from an earlier cemetery, and were followed by dozens of graves of execution victims. How does the sequence track the journey of Anglo-Saxons, from pagan immigrants to […]

crypt

Under the chancel: discovering a ‘hidden’ crypt in a Lambeth church

Archaeological work at the Garden Museum, housed in the former Lambeth parish church, delivered a major surprise. In January 2016, as builders set to work on a concrete slab, a hole appeared underneath. This cavity led to a long-forgotten crypt where, by the light of mobile phones, coffins could be seen stacked in the gloom. […]

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Current Archaeology 325

This month CA turns 50 and we are taking the opportunity to celebrate. Alongside the usual array of fascinating archaeological discoveries, we have sprinkled a selection of offerings with an anniversary theme. Our special wraparound cover pays homage to the very first issue, giving a modern and CA 1-style treatment to the excavations at the […]

Mersea cremation

The fragrant dead: How to treat your dead, the Roman way

Within Roman society, highly aromatic resins were important in ritual activity, and sometimes even applied directly to the body at death. But did this sacred rite ever reach the remote province of Britannia? Bradford University’s Rhea Brettell and Carl Heron launched a project to discover more. To the Romans, frankincense, myrrh, and other fragrant resins […]