Conserving Co. Durham’s POW camp

Built in 1943, at first to house low-risk Italian and later German prisoners of war, the camp is remarkably complete, and includes both the prisoners’ and guards’ compounds.…

The English Castle

A new generation of castleologists believe that castles were about much more than trebuchets, portcullises, galloping hooves, boiling oil, and the clash of swords on armour: instead, castles were centres of lordship, symbols of wealth, and expressions of status, alluding to the past and expressing poetic ideals. Current Archaeology's Chris…

Time Team geophysics: from pits to palaces

Time Team’s geophysics crew have covered a lot of ground, and their data represents an unparalleled archaeological archive of sites from rural retreats to Royal palaces. Lisa Westcott talks with John Gater about the science behind the scenes.…

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A brief history of Time Team

Everybody knows the story of how Time Team started: one ex-teacher turned TV producer, a couple of quirky archaeologists, and a fortuitous meeting in the Mediterranean with one of Britain’s best-loved actors combined to create the most successful archaeology programme ever on British television.…

Liquid History: excavating London’s great river

Prehistoric forests, the skull of a child, the slipway of a Victorian engineering masterpiece and part of a Tudor palace jetty: all have emerged from the mud and gravel on the foreshore of the Thames, thanks to an exciting new project to record the archaeology of London’s great river. …

Moor Sand: a Bronze Age shipwreck revealed

Divers recently discovered a 3,000 year-old shipwreck near Salcombe, which carried a huge cargo of copper and tin: is this the first evidence for Late Bronze Age long-distance maritime trade in bulk goods? Chris Yates, of the South West Maritime Archaeological Group, explains.…

The Pilgrimage of Hadrian’s Wall 2009

The event that was subsequently recognised as the first Pilgrimage was held in 1849, when John Collingwood Bruce, a distinguished Newcastle lawyer, led a small group of ‘pilgrims’ to walk the length of Hadrian’s Wall.…

The Reigate Witch Bottle

How do you deal with a witch? In 17th century England, the answer was obvious: you prepare a ‘witch bottle’, with contents equally as bizarre as those in the cauldron of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”. Witch bottles were white magic devices, that is they were used not by witches, but against witches:…

The Land between the Oceans: The Making of Modern Europe (Part Three)

Geography made a unitary empire embracing the Mediterranean and temperate Europe inherently unstable; but the wreckage of the Roman Empire contained the building blocks of modern Europe. In the third and final part of our series based on Cunliffe’s new book, Europe between the Oceans, we chart the changes from…

A Roman clock at Vindolanda

In CA 224 we reported a splendid new discovery from Vindolanda. The excavators – and just about everyone else – thought it was part of a calendar. Not so, says leading ancient technology specialist Michael Lewis. It is something much more spectacular. The 8cm-long bronze fragment turns out to be…

Bamburgh Castle: digging the home of Northumbria’s kings

The Bamburgh Research Project is picking up the pieces of the archaeological work started by legendary eccentric Dr Brian Hope-Taylor, who had left virtually no record of his excavations – or so it was believed. The story of Bamburgh is two-fold: before properly investigating the site, the team must first…

The Dissolution of the Monasteries: heritage in ruins

Apart from his red hair, beard, giant girth and his equally gargantuan appetite for wives, the one thing we all associate with Henry VIII is the event that the authors of 1066 and All That called, with an eye for a memorable spelling mistake, ‘the Disillusion of the Monasteries’.…

This old house: excavations at Chiswick House

In the early 18th century, Palladian style ruled England as the most fashionable for a British country house or public building. The man responsible, Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington (1694-1753), designed the building that started this architectural revolution. English Heritage archaeologists have recently had a rare chance to investigate…

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