London

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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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Tunnel: the archaeology of Crossrail

One of Europe’s largest infrastructure projects brought with it one of the most extensive archaeological programmes ever undertaken. Lucia Marchini takes a trip through London’s buried past at the Museum of London Docklands’ exhibition of highlights from the Crossrail excavations. Tens of thousands of artefacts were unearthed at 40 construction sites dotted across London between […]

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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 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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Time Truck: London’s local archaeology

Today (Friday 9 September) is MOLA’s Time Truck’s last day at Bishops Square. Surrounded by tall commercial buildings, behind the high-end cosmetics shops of Old Spitalfields Market, the pop-up exhibition offers a chance to explore everyday life in east London in the 17th-19th centuries. With staff from MOLA on hand to explain the selection of […]

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The Archaeology of the Olympic Park – London’s first East Enders

Preparations for the 2012 games provided a unique opportunity to investigate an area of London’s East End the size of the walled City. Nick Bateman of MOLA, Gary Brown of PCA and Pippa Bradley and Andrew Powell of Wessex Archaeology told Matthew Symonds how 121 trenches produced 10,000 finds spanning 10,000 years. This summer, images […]

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Current Archaeology 318

Neolithic tombs are often seen as ‘houses for the dead’. Striking similarities between the residences of the living and repositories for the deceased have long suggested a symbolic link, but could it be the other way round? Evidence from Orkney suggests that the departed were being laid to rest in their cairns for about 300 […]

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Letters from Londinium

Reading the earliest writing from Roman Britain Among the remarkable artefacts recovered by MOLA archaeologists on the site of the new Bloomberg headquarters in London were 405 writing tablets. Of these, 87 have now been deciphered, providing a tantalising insight into the lives and legal wrangling of the first Londoners. Roger Tomlin and Sophie Jackson […]

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Current Archaeology 317

The early years of London seem both uncannily familiar and unimaginably distant. Today, no one would bat an eyelid at Tacitus’ description of a settlement heaving with ‘businessmen and commerce’. Accounts of reckless loans, eye-watering debt, and advice to maintain a stiff upper lip (or at least ‘not to appear shabby’) in the face of adversity reinforce a sense that some […]

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