cemetery

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Science Notes – Early medieval insights from birch bark tar

Birch bark tar (manufactured by the heating of bark in airtight conditions) has long been prized for its sticky, water resistant, and biocidal properties. Throughout human history it has seen a wide range of uses, including as a sealant (for example, in waterprooing vessels), an adhesive (for hafting weapons, repairing ceramics, or assembling composite objects like jewellery), and in perfume and medicine.

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Bamburgh’s Bowl Hole burials

Two decades of archaeological research have shed vivid light on an Anglo-Saxon community that lived at Bamburgh 1,400 years ago, revealing a surprisingly diverse population. With the findings now presented in a detailed ‘digital ossuary’, what has been learned about these pioneering people?

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Excavating Cataractonium

In 2018, Highways England opened an upgraded section of motorway on the A1 in North Yorkshire. Construction of the new road prompted a series of large-scale excavations, with illuminating results. Stuart Ross and Cath Ross present some of the preliminary findings.

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Summer of finds on Lindisfarne

From rings and rare Anglo-Saxon namestones, to coins and a medieval oven, this year’s excavation on Lindisfarne has provided a new glimpse at life on the island before, during, and after the 8th-century Viking raid that struck its monastic community.

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Review – The Western Cemetery of Roman Cirencester, 2011-2015

Archaeology always retains the power to surprise. The site of Cirencester’s western cemetery, much developed and truncated over the years, ought to have retained few secrets, but the results of the excavation – 126 graves, a walled cemetery, deviant burials, an enamelled bronze cockerel, and a complete tombstone – exceeded expectations.

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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 […]

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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 […]