With construction work continuing during the lockdown, the York Archaeological Trust (YAT) has remained busy. Since last September, they have been excavating and monitoring the North Annexe area of the city’s Guildhall during redevelopment of the site by VINCI Construction UK.
This report is about one of the most important Viking sites in England – one that remains shrouded in some confusion and secrecy. Mark Ainsley and Geoff Bambrook had been metal-detecting at the site (known here as ARSNY) since 1996, but it first came to archaeological attention in late 2003 when they approached the Yorkshire Museum with what was described as a Viking hoard.
Ailsa Mainman’s Anglian York encapsulates the allure and the frustration of researching this period in the city. Following the near silence of the 5th and 6th centuries, York blossoms from the 600s in written sources, emerging as the ecclesiastical heart of Northumbria, the 8th-century home of Alcuin and his precious library, and finally the thriving, tempting, high-status target for the 9th-century Viking army. But, archaeologically, York from c.410 to c.850 remains highly fragmentary and elusive.
In the early days of archaeology, human remains were often treated as an afterthought, deemed unable to tell us much about past populations. As we are well aware today, though, this could not be further from the truth, and in more recent decades the study of human bones has become a major component of archaeological research. But, despite this skeletal success, there is another key aspect of burials that remains relatively under-researched: the grave soil.
Excavations in the north and south continue to reveal evidence of how Romans buried their dead. Lucia Marchini explores two exhibitions in London and York approaching the subject in different ways.
Even a brand new town can hold ancient secrets. That is certainly the case at Sherford, currently under construction outside Plymouth, where wide-ranging excavations have revealed a wealth of clues to much earlier occupation spanning thousands of years. Some of the Sherford structures are enigmatic, but the estate covered in our next feature is downright […]
In this latest excavation of the CA archive, I continue to explore some of the ‘great excavations’ reported on over the years by the magazine. Last month, CA 340 included news of a York Archaeological Trust (YAT) oral history project, which is capturing memories of the 1976-1981 Coppergate excavations; fittingly, it is to this site that I now turn, by any standards a ‘great’ excavation in terms both of its discoveries and its public engagement.
Four decades on from the extraordinary Anglo-Scandinavian discoveries of the Coppergate excavations in 1976-1981, York Archaeological Trust is running an oral history project to capture memories of a truly game-changing investigation. One year in, Chris Tuckley shares some of the highlights recorded so far, and offers an invitation for more.
In the recent hot weather, the trees that line many of our urban streets offer welcome shade – but when these leafy avenues were first introduced to Britain they were highly controversial. We trace the progress and pitfalls of this movement from its 19th-century roots to the present day. Greenery was also a key feature […]
It is a startling thought that (thanks to a quirk of the publishing process) this is the last issue of CA with 2017 as the cover date. There is plenty to look forward to in the new year though (not least our annual conference, 23-24 February – save the date!), even as we continue to […]