Dorset

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RISE OF THE MEGA-HENGES

It was long thought that huge and complex monuments like Mount Pleasant in Dorset had developed over many centuries – but new dating evidence suggests that the diverse elements of this site came together much faster than previously imagined, with intriguing implications for our understanding of these late Neolithic enclosures. Carly Hilts reports.

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Current Archaeology 371 – on sale now

Happy New Year! It always feels odd when I sit to write my December letter, knowing that I am addressing you in a different year – and the past year has been a particularly strange one, both in our own lives and for archaeological fieldwork. I hope 2021 brings brighter times for us all – and I look forward to joining you there in a few weeks!

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Migration and disease in the Iron Age

Scientific analysis of a human skeleton discovered at Tarrant Hinton in Dorset has shed new light on life – and the transmission of infectious disease – in Iron Age Britain. The remains were originally found during excavations at a small Iron Age/Romano-British settlement between 1967 and 1985. Examination and radiocarbon dating of the skeleton indicated that it was that of a man, aged between 30 and 40, who had died between 400 BC and 230 BC.

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Review – Historic England: Dorset

Dorset is rich in heritage, with an array of historical sites and towns, as well as unique natural landmarks. This book offers a beautifully illustrated introduction to the county’s history through a selection of pictures from the Historic England Archive.

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Current Archaeology 336

One hundred years ago this month, the Representation of the People Act 1918 made political history, giving British women the vote for the first time. Electoral rights were only extended to a select portion of the female population (I wouldn’t have qualified) but it was a watershed moment. This might seem more like social history […]

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Current Archaeology 333

It is a startling thought that (thanks to a quirk of the publishing process) this is the last issue of CA with 2017 as the cover date. There is plenty to look forward to in the new year though (not least our annual conference, 23-24 February – save the date!), even as we continue to […]

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New evidence of Iron Age – Roman transition dug up in Dorset

Further excavations by Bournemouth University at North Down, Winterborne Kingston, in Dorset, have revealed a later Bronze Age settlement and an enclosed farmstead of later Iron Age date. The investigation, conducted by staff and students together with field school participants and local volunteers, will hopefully shed more light on the transition from tribal society to Roman provincial administration […]

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Protecting historic wrecks

Two shipwreck sites spanning some 300 years and lying 280 miles apart have been safeguarded under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973. Off Chesil Beach in Dorset, the remains of two vessels 200m apart were found by divers from the Weymouth-based Shipwreck Project in 2010. Thought to be wooden merchant vessels, they held 15 cast-iron […]

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Current Archaeology 327

Why were Pictish symbols carved into Trusty’s Hill, far to the south of where they usually occur? Investigation of a hillfort towering over the images reveals that the site developed into a prosperous centre in the 6th century AD, and may even have been at the heart of the lost kingdom of Rheged. If so, […]

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