Medieval

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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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