Current Archaeology 380

Cover Story

Restoring Stonehenge: securing a Neolithic monument over 120 years This autumn, specialists have been working to conserve some of the Stonehenge sarsens, the latest in a series of initiatives stretching back to the dawn of the 20th century. CA Editor Carly Hilts spoke to Heather Sebire to find out…

Features

A lost monastery revealed? Investigating an Anglo-Saxon community at Cookham In the 8th century, Cookham minster was the focus of a decades-long power struggle between early medieval kingdoms, but over time the religious community’s location faded from memory, despite its…
The hunt for Hyde Abbey: piecing together the layout of a royal monastery in Winchester Built c.1110 on the outskirts of medieval Winchester, Hyde Abbey was an important religious centre, housing the burial place of Alfred the Great and his wife and son. For the…
Looking at lakes as ornaments in the landscape For a visitor to a late 18th-century country seat, the most striking feature of the landscape, apart from the house, would have been the lake. For that reason, it is…
The ‘Priest’s House’: excavating an enigmatic Roman structure at Caistor St Edmund Ongoing excavations by the Caistor Roman Project are shedding light on an enigmatic structure that once stood close to a temple built outside the walled town of Venta Icenorum, near…
Trellyffaint: how excavating a Pembrokeshire portal dolmen illuminated Neolithic dairy farming in Wales A project that initially set out to study rock art on a c.5,000-year-old monument has uncovered what could be the earliest direct evidence of dairy farming in Wales. George Nash,…
Buried in the Bronze Age: unearthing a rare log coffin in Lincolnshire The discovery of 4,000-year-old log coffin and the remains of its occupant in Tetney, Lincolnshire, along with an equally rare stone axe buried with it, has brought together archaeologists from…

News

Anglo-Saxon church and burials uncovered in Stoke Mandeville The structure’s foundations contain reused roof tiles, possibly sourced from a Roman settlement on a hill to the east of the site
Combining aDNA and radiocarbon dating Humans only live for so long. Thus, if two individuals are identified as having had a close genetic relationship there can only be so many years between their dates of…
Roman wall restored in Horncastle The wall will continue to serve as a lasting reminder of the large 3rd- to 4th-century Roman fort of which it was once a part
Evidence of medieval fenland use discovered in Burwell During the most recent excavations there, the team discovered what appears to be a small lode, which may have been used to bring boats further into this settlement.
Rare Iron Age idol found in Irish fen On its recovery, the idol was taken to University College Dublin for an extensive three-year conservation project.
Finds tray – Roman strap fitting This is a Roman enamelled copper-alloy strap fitting, believed to date to c.AD 100-300. It was found this past winter by metal-detectorist Dave Arveschoug near Middle Rasen in Lincolnshire. Although…
Roman fort revealed in Devon The first trench revealed the deep V-shaped profiles of the three ditches, highlighting how heavily fortified the site was

Views

Archaeology Lectures, Events, and Exhibitions – October 2021 Museum, What's on Now that museums and heritage sites around the UK are reopening and in-person events are beginning to be held again, we wanted to highlight some of the ‘real life’ exhibitions,…
The Shipwreck Museum, Hastings, and the wreck of the Amsterdam Museum, What's on At very low tides, the remains of the Amsterdam, the most complete surviving example of a Dutch East India Company trading vessel, can be seen on Bulverhythe Beach near Hastings.…
King and Castle: Lincoln Castle The Picture Desk A century’s worth of development transformed the site from the earth-and-timber castle that was founded by William the Conqueror into the substantial stone fortress seen here.
Museum News Museum, What's on The latest on acquisitions, exhibitions, and key decisions.
CA Letters October 2021 Letters Your views on the latest CA.
Professor of Archaeology Seán McGrail Comment His work included ethnographic research into different forms of shipbuilding, especially the construction of vessels without the use of metal fasteners, which took Seán to sites near and far, from…
Friends of the City Churches Groups The Friends organise a rota of more than 100 volunteer ‘watchers’ to keep the churches open. They put on lectures, tours, and special events, while encouraging others to make use…
Seasons, saints, and feast days Comment When exactly did we begin to lose touch with the natural cycle of the sun, the stars, and the seasons? Was it at the start of the Industrial Revolution, when…

Reviews

Archaeology Lectures, Events, and Exhibitions – October 2021 Now that museums and heritage sites around the UK are reopening and in-person events are beginning to be held again, we wanted to highlight some of the ‘real life’ exhibitions,…
Bretons and Britons: the fight for identity This well-illustrated book on Breton identity is a development of Cunliffe’s Facing the Ocean (2001), in which he successfully carves out a broad Atlantic cultural identity, separate to that of…
50 Bronze Age Finds from the Portable Antiquities Scheme Although Bronze Age finds make up just a fraction of the Portable Antiquities Scheme database, the discoveries recorded still number over 12,000. The objects presented here, in the latest publication…
The Shipwreck Museum, Hastings, and the wreck of the Amsterdam At very low tides, the remains of the Amsterdam, the most complete surviving example of a Dutch East India Company trading vessel, can be seen on Bulverhythe Beach near Hastings.…
England’s Seaside Heritage from the Air Britain has a rich maritime history, a key part of which involves seaside resorts. This book showcases a collection of black-and-white photographs taken by Aerofilms Ltd between 1920 and 1953,…
Museum News The latest on acquisitions, exhibitions, and key decisions.
English Landscapes and Identities: investigating landscape change from 1500 BC to AD 1086 This excellent volume addresses two key questions of archaeological research. First, can archaeology create the grand narratives practised by public historians? Second, what is the return on the long history…
Ancestors: the prehistory of Britain in seven burials In this latest book by Alice Roberts, we are taken on a tour of prehistoric Britain through an in-depth exploration of seven of the most famous burials from this period…
Rethinking the Ancient Druids In her latest book, Miranda Aldhouse-Green argues that we can broadly accept the portrait made of the Druids by ancient Greek and Roman writers, including their alleged practice of human…

From the editor

One place that I never tire of visiting is Stonehenge; it is awe-inspiring to stand and think how long it has endured. This longevity has had a little help, however, with conservation initiatives occurring periodically over the last 120 years. The latest works took place in September, as our cover story reports.

The ‘Neolithic revolution’ that sparked the creation of mighty monuments like Stonehenge also heralded new ideas like pottery production and animal husbandry. This month we hear from a project that set out to record rock art on a portal dolmen in Pembrokeshire, but which went on to uncover what could be the earliest direct evidence of dairy farming in Wales.

Our next feature takes us to the Berkshire–Buckinghamshire border, once home to a monastery associated with a powerful Anglo-Saxon queen. Despite this illustrious patronage, however, the site’s precise location became lost over subsequent centuries. Now an excavation at Cookham has brought tantalising clues to light once more.

Rather earlier religious practices form the focus of our next article, reporting on a visit to Caistor St Edmund. There, Caistor Roman Project volunteers have been exploring the remains of an enigmatic building close to a known Romano-Celtic temple. Completing our hat-trick of sacred sites, CA also visited the latest Hyde900 dig in Winchester, which is working to piece together the layout of a once grand Benedictine abbey.

Speaking of grand constructions, our final feature considers the country estates of 18th-century England, and the evolution of ornamental lakes.

Finally, I would like to extend my best wishes to our Deputy Editor Kathryn, who is going on maternity leave, and to welcome Hazel Blair (see below), who is covering her absence.