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Battling Old Father Thames: The Thames Discovery Programme at ten

The Thames Discovery Programme – whose volunteers record the archaeology of the Thames foreshore – has recently celebrated its tenth birthday. Eliott Wragg, Nathalie Cohen, and Josh Frost explore some of the initiative’s most important findings from its first decade of life.

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Underneath the abbey: Uncovering more than 1,000 years of religious life in Bath

Modern Bath Abbey overlies the site of what was one of the largest cathedrals in medieval England. Now its remains, together with traces of the Anglo-Saxon monastery that preceded it, have been brought to light once more. Kirsten Egging Dinwiddy, Bob Davis, Cai Mason, Bruce Eaton, Sophie Clarke, and Marek Lewcun explain.

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Time-honoured places: Defining the Neolithic sense of history

The latest contribution to our understanding of Neolithic lifestyles in the British Isles comes in the form of a wide-ranging book by Keith Ray and Julian Thomas. In it, they demonstrate that many Mesolithic sites of gathering continued to be regarded as special places throughout the Neolithic. This deliberate commemoration of the past gives important insights into the minds of the first farmers. Chris Catling investigates.

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Rites before romanitas: Reconstructing Britain’s Iron Age beliefs

We are all familiar with the Classical gods who were imported to these shores with the arrival of the Roman army, but the beliefs and religious practices of Britain’s Iron Age inhabitants are far more shadowy. Miranda Aldhouse-Green explores how far archaeology can help to illuminate this enigmatic picture.

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Out of the Ashes: Seeking the origins of the first people of Stonehenge

In a research project originally published in Scientific Reports, Dr Christophe Snoeck and researchers from the University of Oxford, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, the Université libre de Bruxelles, the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, and University College London have used isotope analysis to examine some of the cremated human remains excavated at Stonehenge, with fascinating results. Their findings highlight not only how mobile some Neolithic populations were, and how important Stonehenge was to them, but also the lengths to which they may have been willing to go to bury their dead on the site.

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Sherford communities old and new: Exploring millennia of settlement in Devon

The creation of a new town on the eastern side of Plymouth has afforded a rare opportunity to investigate a wide multi-period archaeological landscape, revealing the hidden secrets of the people who lived there centuries before. Gareth Chaffey and Matt Kendall explain how these discoveries are pushing back the boundaries of our understanding of southern Devon’s past.

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The die is cast: Investigating Icenian coinage

In a period that is largely defined by the Romans and their written histories, thanks to a relatively poor archaeological record, coinage offers one of the best ways of learning about Britain’s sometimes elusive Late Iron Age tribes. A ten-year study of the coins of the East Anglian Iceni by John Talbot has delved into the production, distribution, and characteristics of their currency, illuminating previously unknown aspects of their culture. Here, he explores questions of identity, and hunts for hidden faces.

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