Current Archaeology 370

Cover Story

Romano-Celtic villa: a temple-mausoleum and evidence of industry at Priors Hall, Corby Excavation just outside Corby has shed vivid light on the construction of a Roman villa, the reuse of an enigmatic religious building, and a bustling array of industrial activity, as Paddy Lambert explains.

Features

Decorated in glory: exploring later-medieval churches in Herefordshire Churches are what archaeologists call ‘persistent sites’, places used for the same purpose for centuries, even millennia. But that does not mean the churches themselves are static: they represent the…
‘We are only sleeping master’: tracing the evolution of pet cemeteries Burial grounds dedicated to domestic animals offer unique opportunities to investigate how our relationships with pets have changed over time. When and how did these cemeteries develop? Recent research by…
Archaeology on Furlough: how volunteers explored the past during lockdown When the UK locked down against COVID-19 last spring, many archaeologists were unable to work as normal – but Rob Wiseman found a silver lining. He brought together more than…

News

Wood samples were taken from this 2nd century BC Gallo-Roman ship discovered in Lyon, France, near the River Saône. A new approach to wood preservation Wood can be a difficult, and costly, archaeological material to preserve. This is nowhere better highlighted than by the enormous efforts put into place to help conserve the Mary Rose.…
Migration and disease in the Iron Age Scientific analysis of a human skeleton discovered at Tarrant Hinton in Dorset has shed new light on life – and the transmission of infectious disease – in Iron Age Britain.…
Prehistoric settlement uncovered in Aberdeenshire Evidence for an extensive settlement, possibly dating to either the Bronze Age or Iron Age, has been uncovered on the outskirts of Cruden Bay in Aberdeenshire, on a site overlooking…
Witch marks discovered in Stoke Mandeville? Unusual graffiti have been discovered among the ruins of the medieval church of St Mary’s in Stoke Mandeville, Buckinghamshire. Archaeologists from Fusion JV have been carefully excavating and deconstructing the…
Hadrian’s Wall revealed at Walltown Crags Many miles of Hadrian’s Wall survive beneath turf and rubble, unexplored and often under threat from erosion, people, and animals. A recent excavation at Walltown Crags in Northumberland, undertaken in…
Judicial facial mutilation in Anglo-Saxon England? Anglo-Saxon law codes speak of facial mutilation as a punishment for certain crimes, but until recently no archaeological evidence had been found for it in England. Now the skull of…
Spectacular prehistoric discoveries from County Sligo COVID-19 restrictions have not stopped the Sligo Community Archaeology Project, which can boast of some very exciting prehistoric discoveries in the county over the past few months. This initiative (undertaken…

Views

Tomen y Mur, Snowdonia National Park The Picture Desk Tomen y Mur was abandoned by AD 130, but had lasting political and cultural significance into the medieval period.
Beatles landmarks Comment Christopher Catling highlights threats to Fab Four-related buildings in their home city of Liverpool
Excavating the CA Archive: Yorkshire 1 Comment The archaeological riches of God's Own Country: Joe Flatman explores half a century of reports from the past
Finds tray – St Thomas Becket ampulla Objects This is a medieval ampulla, made of lead alloy and probably dating to the late 12th or early 13th century. Discovered by a mudlarker along the Thames foreshore in London,…
Loughborough Bellfoundry Trust Groups In October 2020, a public inquiry was under way to consider whether planning consent should be given for the conversion of London’s Whitechapel Bell Foundry into a ‘boutique’ hotel. An…
Letters from CA November 2020/December 2020 Letters Your thoughts on Hilderstone, Bath plaster ceilings, and Norwich Castle

Reviews

Ness of Brodgar: as it stands The Ness of Brodgar: as it stands Nick Card, Mark Edmonds, and Anne Mitchell (eds) The Orcadian, www.orcadian.co.uk/shop, £35.99 ISBN 978-1912889082 Review CH
Gloucester: the Roman forum and post-Roman sequence at the city centre Gloucester: the Roman forum and post-Roman sequence at the city centre H E Hurst Gloucester Archaeological Publications, £25 ISBN 978-0948386022 Review Richard Hodges
Hillforts of the Tay: community archaeology at Moncreiffe Hill and Castle Law, Abernethy Hillforts of the Tay: community archaeology at Moncreiffe Hill and Castle Law, Abernethy AOC Archaeology Group Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust, £5 ISBN 978-527264052 Review Miles Russell
Excavation at Chester: the northern and eastern Roman extramural settlements, excavation 1990-2019 and other investigations Excavations at Chester: the northern and eastern Roman extramural settlements, excavations 1990-2019 and other investigations Leigh Dodd Archaeopress, £30 IBSN 978-1789696271 Review Nick Hodgson
Hinterlands and Inlands: the archaeology of west Cambridge and Roman Cambridge revisited Hinterlands and Inlands: the archaeology of west Cambridge and Roman Cambridge revisited Christopher Evans and Gavin Lucas McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, £45 ISBN 978-1902937892 Review Kasia Gdaniec
The Dissolution of the Monasteries in England and Wales The Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 1530s was one of the most-important religious, political, and social events ever to unfold in England and Wales. This act, and the associated…

From the editor

Our cover feature takes us to the outskirts of Corby in Northamptonshire where, over the past decade, excavations have revealed not only the remains of a Roman villa but, more recently, an enigmatic ‘temple-mausoleum’. This latter structure later underwent a dramatic change of purpose as industrial activity flourished on the site – join us as we trace its fascinating story.

The Corby investigation was undertaken ahead of urban development, but while the continuation of construction work has meant that many rescue projects have been able to operate during Covid-19 restrictions, during the first lockdown many archaeologists found themselves unable to work. A new project, ‘Archaeology on Furlough’, found asilver lining in these challenging circumstances, however, bringing together over 100 volunteers to apply their skills to a host of illuminating research projects.

From the innovative to the aesthetic, for our third feature we immerse ourselves in the stunning surroundings of Herefordshire’s ‘Decorated’ churches – a distinctive variation of English Gothic architecture that flourished in the late 13th and 14th centuries.

Our fourth feature also focuses on ceremonial sites, though of a smaller and more contemplative type: pet cemeteries. New research tracing their evolution from the Victorian period to the present day has shed intriguing and frequently poignant light on how our relationships with domestic animals changed over time – from working animals to ‘man’s best friend’ to fully-fledged members of the family.