Medieval

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Review: Norton Priory

The museum at Norton Priory, an extensively excavated monastic site in Cheshire, reopened last summer after a major programme of redevelopment and expansion. Lucia Marchini pays a visit. Excavation of the Augustinian priory founded at Norton in 1134 began under Patrick Greene (CA 31). In 1971, a team of local volunteers and prisoners set to […]

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Rothwell charnel chapel: the nameless dead

Exploring the Rothwell Charnel Chapel Project Why were bones placed in charnel chapels, and just how common was this practice in medieval England? Work at Rothwell, Northamptonshire, is shining remarkable new light on the significance of these ossuaries. Elizabeth Craig-Atkins, Jennifer Crangle, and Dawn Hadley from the University of Sheffield explain the domain of the […]

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Current Archaeology 321

Legend has it that the Rothwell charnel chapel was discovered when a grave digger tumbled into an underground vault stacked with bones. This alarming incident brought to light a rare example of an intact medieval ossuary in England. Our cover feature explores why the dead were assembled in this manner, and how common the practice was. […]

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Glastonbury Abbey: the archaeological story

Excavators were repeatedly drawn to Glastonbury Abbey during the 20th century, but the fruits of their labours rarely made it into print. Roberta Gilchrist is spearheading a major project to separate archaeological fact from the rich mythology the abbey attracts.   The site of Glastonbury Abbey in Somerset is inscribed with legends that are at […]

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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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Rievaulx Abbey

Nestled in the green, wooded hills of the North York Moors lie the ruins of Rievaulx Abbey. English Heritage has recently opened a new museum on the site, more than doubling the number of artefacts on show. Lucia Marchini discovered how the state-of-the-art displays explore over 400 years of Cistercian abbey life. Founded in 1132 […]

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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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Archaeology on the Thames Foreshore – TDP

  The Thames Discovery Programme (TDP) is a community archaeology project recording the fast-eroding archaeology of the Thames; at low tide the Thames foreshore is the longest archaeological site in London. To date the project has recorded over 1000 features in the dynamic and fast changing intertidal zone of Greater London, including Mesolithic, Bronze Age […]

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