Current Archaeology 373

Cover Story

Le Câtillon II: conserving Britain’s biggest Iron Age hoard How do you begin to analyse a corroded mass of almost 70,000 Celtic coins? Neil Mahrer guides us through the painstaking process of conserving the largest coin hoard yet found in the British Isles, and what has been discovered so…

Features

Hadrian’s Wall: creating division Could the relationship between the Roman army and local communities living in the shadow of Hadrian’s Wall hold the key to understanding this remarkable monument? Current Archaeology's Matthew Symonds investigates…
Forgotten faith? Tracing early Christianity in western Britain and Ireland It used to be said that Christianity in Roman Britain was a short-lived phenomenon that sputtered out in the 5th century, needing the missionary efforts of St Columba, St Ninian,…
Mourning in miniature: excavating an infant Beaker burial near Salisbury Archaeological investigations just outside Salisbury have uncovered echoes of early Bronze Age activity, including the burial of an infant who was laid to rest with a scaled-down beaker. Rachel McMullan…
The case for Chedworth villa: exploring evidence for 5th-century occupation Excavations at Chedworth villa in Gloucestershire have provided striking evidence of its inhabitants enjoying life in the style of high-status Romans, long after the traditional end of imperial occupation in…

News

Digging into databases Arguably, one of the biggest challenges that continually faces archaeology is accessibility. While that can be interpreted in several different ways, what I’m going to concentrate on in this month’s…
Reassessing Neanderthal teeth in Jersey Recent analysis of 12 teeth, first excavated at the Palaeolithic site of La Cotte de St Brelade in Jersey between 1910 and 1911, may provide new evidence of cross-breeding between…
Victorian bathhouse revealed in Manchester The remains of a Victorian bathhouse have recently been discovered beneath a car park in the Mayfield area of Manchester. The site was excavated by archaeologists from the University of…
Elizabethan gardens found in Warwickshire Photo: HS2 Ltd. The remains of an extravagant but previously unknown garden from the Elizabethan period have recently been revealed at Coleshill in Warwickshire. The site was first identified a…
Northamptonshire’s largest Anglo-Saxon cemetery discovered A large Anglo-Saxon cemetery has recently been discovered at Overstone in Northamptonshire. With 154 interments, it is the largest burial ground from this period ever found in the county. The…
Stonehenge: a recycled Welsh monument Recent research has potentially identified an intriguing new connection between Stonehenge and a partially dismantled stone circle in south-west Wales – furthering the connection between these two areas during the…
Life and death in medieval Cambridge Analysis of more than 300 human skeletons, recovered from three different medieval burial sites across Cambridge, has provided interesting new details of the city’s inhabitants, and the individual risks they…

Views

The Lutyens Trust Groups If you aspire to owning a Lutyens house and have very deep pockets, the Trust’s property column will alert you to houses for sale.
Excavating the CA Archive: North Wales Comment From prehistoric Anglesey to Snowdonia's slate industry: Joe Flatman explores half a century of reports from the past
Finds Tray – Iron Age terminal mount Objects This is an Iron Age terminal mount in the shape of a bull’s head. It was found by a metal-detectorist near Scarning, Norfolk, back in 2015, but recent research has…
The truth about Britain’s parakeets Comment To gasps of genuine astonishment from the audience, he showed slides of objects so pristine in their gold and garnet glory...
Letters from CA March 2021/April 2021 Letters Pembridge church, Mam Tor, and CA Awards results.
The Conan Stone, Dingwall Museum, Highlands The Picture Desk Since the stone’s removal from the site it has undergone conservation, including the creation of a 3D model in order to bring its carvings into sharper relief.
Heritage from home: March Culture, What's on Last March, museums and heritage sites across the world closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, we created ‘Heritage from Home’ to share the many wonderful ways that you…

Reviews

Life, Death, and Rubbish Disposal in Roman Norton, North Yorkshire: excavations at Brooklyn House, 2015-2016 Detailing excavations at Brooklyn House in Norton-on-Derwent, carried out by JB Archaeological Services between 2015 and 2016, this comprehensive site report sheds new light on this area of Roman Britain.…
Worcester Magistrates Court: excavation of Romano-British homes and industry at Castle Street Worcester, like many historic cities, has had its share of undistinguished 20th-century development. As this has come up for redevelopment, it has afforded numerous opportunities for archaeological investigations, which have…
The Social Context of Technology: non-ferrous metalworking in later prehistoric Britain and Ireland Although a little heavy on detail, this is a thorough study of the subject which presents, in a chronological fashion, the archaeological evidence for (mostly copper and bronze) metalworking from…
Landscape and Settlement in the Vale of York: archaeological excavations at Heslington East, York, 2003-2013 York is well-known for the archaeology of its Roman, Anglian, Viking, and medieval periods of occupation, but the prehistoric and Roman archaeology of its rural hinterland is much less visible,…
The Tale of the Axe: how the Neolithic revolution transformed Britain Around 12,000 years ago, the course of human history changed forever when hunter-gatherer communities in western Asia made a dramatic lifestyle change, switching from foraging to farming. It was the…
The Horse Butchery Site: a high-resolution record of Lower Palaeolithic hominin behaviour at Boxgrove, UK As a first-year undergraduate at UCL’s Institute of Archaeology in London, I spent seven weeks during the summer of 1991 at Boxgrove, enjoying stints working at several sites there, including…
The Dig: ‘poetic licence aside’ This is no high-octane adventure romp, but a slow, almost meditative period piece that focuses more on the people involved in the investigation and on the looming threat of the…
Heritage from home: March Last March, museums and heritage sites across the world closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, we created ‘Heritage from Home’ to share the many wonderful ways that you…

From the editor

The immediate aftermath of Roman occupation in Britain is often stereotyped as a post-imperial anti-climax during which the Roman way of life rapidly fell away. In recent decades, though, archaeological research has done much to dispel this pessimistic picture of the ‘Dark Ages’ – and, it appears, not all Roman fashions were so fast to fade. New dating evidence from Chedworth villa in Gloucestershire suggests that its inhabitants were still investing in their high-status home, even installing new mosaics, well into the 5th century.

It was not only the material trappings of Romanitas that were held to have departed our shores at this time – according to traditional narratives, Christianity also flickered out in post-Roman Britain, only to be resurrected generations later by late 6th-century missionaries. Archaeology tells a different story, however, suggesting that the flame of faith continued to burn in western Britain and Ireland.

Speaking of the Romans, our third feature whisks us north to the monumental fortifications of Hadrian’s Wall. Could the key to understanding this imposing construction lie in guerrilla warfare?

We then travel to Jersey, and the largest Iron Age hoard found in the British Isles. Join us as we explore its eclectic contents, learning more about the cutting-edge techniques that are helping to tease apart the secrets of this unique assemblage.

Finally, we head to the outskirts of Salisbury, where recent discoveries take a more personal tone. There, development-led investigations have uncovered a number of early Bronze Age burials, including that of an infant who was laid to rest with a child-sized beaker.