First World War

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Current Archaeology 346 – now on sale

Between the end of the Roman occupation of Britain and the Norman Conquest, England changed beyond recognition. Rival Anglo-Saxon kingdoms vied for primacy, but also produced objects of astonishing artistry including, after Christianity returned to these shores, ostentatiously ornate manuscripts. Our cover story traces the evolution of England through these written and material clues. If […]

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Current Archaeology 345

This month marks 100 years since the end of the conflict that was supposed to be ‘the war to end all wars’ – sadly, it was anything but. The personal, political, and physical consequences of the First World War have enduring echoes, and although Britain’s landscape was spared the ravages of trench warfare, we can […]

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Current Archaeology 343

As I write, with a mid-August downpour hammering on the roof, this summer’s sweltering heatwave already feels a lifetime ago. During those drier times, though, the parched ground yielded a wealth of archaeological secrets as the ghostly outlines of buried features became strikingly clear. Hundreds of monuments, settlements, and other sites have been captured in […]

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Preparing for the Front

A forgotten First World War practice battlefield at Larkhill One hundred years ago, men from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Britain were being trained in trench warfare on an intricate practice battlefield established on a gently sloping hillside at Larkhill. Si Cleggett and Martin Brown told Matthew Symonds what excavations have revealed about how these […]

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Current Archaeology 328

Between 1974 and 1981 a remarkable campaign of excavations in Dublin exposed a swathe of the Viking town. From an archaeological perspective the conditions were perfect, with waterlogged layers preserving the vestiges of hundreds of houses and thousands of artefacts. But this was also a race against the clock, with public demonstrations buying more time […]

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Current Archaeology 324

How should we study ancient stone monuments? In the past, great ingenuity has been expended on cataloguing them according to ever more intricate typologies. Now a survey of Neolithic monuments in Pembrokeshire is applying simpler classifications and focusing on what these edifices meant to the communities that raised them. The results raise questions about how efforts to clear the first farming land […]

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Current Archaeology 323

Our cover feature takes us inside a well-appointed Roman villa in Dorset. There we find many of the sumptuous, if occasionally garish, decorative touches favoured by the elites in Roman Britain. Alongside the mosaics, painted wall plaster, and showy roofing are more intimate details. One mosaic had to be patched after it was worn down, […]

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Current Archaeology 320

Glastonbury has a knack of attracting stories. It is a place where legends of a once and future king and feet in ancient time provide a beguiling backdrop to remarkable archaeological remains. The ruins of Glastonbury Abbey enticed a succession of investigators in the 20th century, but all of them left their endeavours incompletely published. […]

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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 […]