Neolithic

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Investigating Carrowmore’s unusual monument

Excavation in the Carrowmore complex of megalithic monuments in County Sligo, Ireland, known for its prehistoric passage tombs, has shed interesting new light on one of the supposed burial mounds on the site.

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Rethinking Scottish crannogs

New excavation and analysis of three crannogs – or man-made islands – in the Outer Hebrides has clearly demonstrated that they had Neolithic origins, changing our understanding of these enigmatic sites.

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Finding the origins of the first farmers

A recent ancient DNA study looking at the genetics of Neolithic Britons provides strong evidence to suggest that the shift to farming in Britain was due to migration from the Continent and not from local populations adopting agricultural methods – something that has been hotly debated for decades.

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Science Notes – Fashioning the face of man’s best friend

Facial reconstructions have become an increasingly common output of archaeological analysis. From the dark-skinned Cheddar Man (see CA 337) to the battle-scarred men from the Mary Rose, these life-like models put a face (literally) on the past in a way that artefacts cannot. Now, a reconstruction has been created from the skull of a Neolithic dog, opening up new possibilities for the ways in which this forensic technique may be used in the future. But how are these models created, and how accurate are they? In this month’s ’Science Notes‘, we explore the details of this technique and how it was applied to a canine from Orkney.

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Current Archaeology 352

Our cover feature takes us 16 years back in time to revisit a justly famous Essex excavation. Found in 2003, the burial chamber of the ‘Prittlewell prince’ was a remarkable discovery: an undisturbed Anglo-Saxon tomb furnished with well-preserved artefacts. Since then, a battery of scientific analysis has revealed it to be an even richer source […]

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Reassessing Avebury

A team from the universities of Leicester and Southampton recently re-examined previous Avebury excavations and conducted new surveying of the site (in a study published in the journal Antiquity), establishing a possible new chronology of the monument’s construction and shedding new light on its use.

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Review – The Times of their Lives: hunting history in the archaeology of Neolithic Europe

Alasdair Whittle’s most recent contribution to this fascinating period in European prehistory argues cogently against the concept of wholesale change at a particular point in time. As for all prehistoric archaeology spatial and temporal development, adaption, and adoption create a complex narrative. This complexity has been made convincingly clear from recent innovations in chronometric dating techniques, which in turn have assisted Bayesian modelling research.

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