Current Archaeology 391

Cover Story

Archaeology adrift? A curious tale of Lego lost at sea Twenty-five years ago, a cargo of millions of pieces of Lego was washed overboard during a storm off Land’s End. To this day, tiny pieces of plastic are still being found on Cornish beaches. Joe Flatman reports on a project…

Features

Life across the water: exploring London Bridge and its houses, 1209-1761 When it was completed in 1209, medieval London Bridge was the only fixed crossing of the Thames downstream of Kingston-upon-Thames (until Fulham Bridge was built in 1729). Remarkably, it was…
HMS Northumberland: diving a victim of the Great Storm of 1703 When HMS Northumberland sank off the Kent coast in 1703, the wreck remained lost for almost three centuries – until erosion of the sandbank shielding its remains brought the ship…
Victorian gifts: new insights into the Stonehenge bluestones The recent rediscovery of a series of rock samples collected during the Victorian period has allowed new analysis of some of the stones of Stonehenge. Rob Ixer, Richard Bevins, Nick…
Going underground: echoes of Napoleonic-era mining found at Alderley Edge Alderley Edge’s rich mineral resources have attracted the attention of miners as far back as the Bronze Age. Now, though, recent investigations have revealed traces of rather more modern activity,…

News

Magnetic Pavilion unearthed in Greenwich Park Local volunteers and over 200 schoolchildren assisted in excavating an area once home to scientific instruments designed to track variations in the Earth’s magnetic field.
Excavating Dinas Dinlle before it falls into the sea The plan now is to fully preserve the roundhouse and leave it open so that people may appreciate the scale of erosion that is occurring at this site.
Medieval prayer beads found on Lindisfarne They were found around the neck of a skeleton during an excavation of a cemetery area.
Radiocarbon in retrograde: the impact of CO2 It appears that, starting from now, it will become extremely difficult to accurately date certain objects based solely on 14C levels.
Bringing Glencoe back to life with a replica turf house The new house was erected by a team of skilled craftspeople using traditional materials, tools, and building techniques.
Remains of a Bronze Age roundhouse unearthed in Cardiff The newly discovered structure sits within view of Caerau Hillfort, one the largest Iron Age hillforts in south-east Wales.
Rock crystal commemorations in the Neolithic The quartz was brought to Dorstone Hill as whole crystals, which were then worked into smaller flakes, blades, and cores.
Launching Suffolk’s Unforgettable Garden Story At the moment, only 23 historic green spaces are protected in the county.

Views

CA 391 Letters September 2022 Letters Your views on the latest issues raised in Current Archaeology.
Excavating Staffordshire Comment Staffordshire’s coverage in terms of prehistory begins intriguingly late. The one big surprise to me while researching this column was that the oldest sites featured only date to the Iron…
Final countdown begins for Museum of London move Museum, What's on The Museum of London will close its doors on 4 December, ahead of its planned relocation to larger premises in West Smithfield’s historic General Market. What will the new museum…
Exhibitions, events, and heritage from home this autumn Museum, What's on There is a fantastic selection of historical and archaeological events on offer over the coming months, ranging from exhibitions exploring medieval armour and 19th-century anatomical study to local society conferences…
A voyage to the past The Picture Desk This September marks 30 years since the discovery of one of the world’s oldest-known seagoing vessels: the Dover Bronze Age Boat, whose remains are pictured here on display in a…
The Cairns and the Newark Project, Orkney Museum, What's on This summer, CA Editor Carly Hilts travelled to Orkney to catch up on recent archaeological research in the islands (watch this space for future features). While there, she also visited…
Pagans and folklore Comment I was conscious of being several decades older than most of the other graduates, but as Rosemary Cramp said when I told her about my plans, ‘Nobody under 50 should…
The East End Preservation Society Groups Founded in 2013, the East End Preservation Society (EEPS) is an informal group that uses the power of social media to bring people together who ‘care about the East End…
Museum news from London, Edinburgh, Liverpool, and Glastonbury Museum, What's on The latest on exhibitions, acquisitions, and key decisions.
Finds tray – copper-alloy strap fitting Objects IMAGE: National Museums Liverpool. This is a copper-alloy strap fitting in the shape of a jester’s head. It was recently found by a metal-detectorist near Warrington in Cheshire. Although the…

Reviews

Final countdown begins for Museum of London move The Museum of London will close its doors on 4 December, ahead of its planned relocation to larger premises in West Smithfield’s historic General Market. What will the new museum…
Exhibitions, events, and heritage from home this autumn There is a fantastic selection of historical and archaeological events on offer over the coming months, ranging from exhibitions exploring medieval armour and 19th-century anatomical study to local society conferences…
Fen and Sea: the landscapes of south-east Lincolnshire AD 500-1700 Review by Duncan W Wright. The fens of eastern England are usually characterised as unremittingly flat, with big skies but little topographical variation. This (frankly lazy) assumption fails to account…
The Cairns and the Newark Project, Orkney This summer, CA Editor Carly Hilts travelled to Orkney to catch up on recent archaeological research in the islands (watch this space for future features). While there, she also visited…
Roman Rural Settlement in Wales and the Marches: approaches to settlement and material culture through big data Review by Andrew Tibbs. A nalysis of ‘big data’ (large datasets of information) is a technique used to expose patterns for archaeologists to interpret, and it is utilised effectively in…
Hunter-Gatherer Ireland: making connections in an island world Review by George Nash. When looking at the prehistory of Ireland, we are instantly drawn to the complex societies that were involved in the construction and use of burial monuments…
Conquering the Ocean: the Roman invasion of Britain Review by Matthew Symonds. Reconstructing Roman military campaigning in Britain poses a fascinating challenge. For some periods, a solid overview of events – from a Roman perspective, at least –…
Growing up human: the evolution of childhood Review by Joe Flatman. Growing Up Human examines the history of childhood in the broadest sense, from reproductive options through conception and eventual transference into adulthood, by way of gestation,…
Museum news from London, Edinburgh, Liverpool, and Glastonbury The latest on exhibitions, acquisitions, and key decisions.
Stratton, Biggleswade: 1,300 years of village life in eastern Bedfordshire from the 5th century AD Review by Stephen Mileson. This report sheds light on the development of an ordinary rural settlement over the long duration. Stratton was a stræt-tun, a ‘settlement on a Roman road’…

From the editor

How do we define archaeology? In some countries, there are clear parameters in terms of date – the USA’s Archaeological Resources Protection Act (1979) stipulates a minimum age of 100 years, for example. In CA, though, we have featured many decidedly modern sites representing not only the material legacies of the two World Wars and the Cold War, but even the excavation of the Reno, a Manchester nightclub demolished in 1986 (see CA 342). Our cover story has a similarly recent tale to tell, featuring an ongoing project working to document thousands of pieces of Lego – part of a cargo lost overboard in 1997 – that are still washing up on Cornish beaches today.

Our next article traces the rise and fall of medieval London Bridge. A far cry from the bare concrete construction that currently shares its name, it was lined with shops, religious buildings, and the homes of some 500 people.

From this lofty spot above the waters of the Thames, we then plunge beneath the waves to explore the wreck of HMS Northumberland, which was lost off the Kent coast during the Great Storm of 1703. As the sandbank surrounding the ship’s remains rapidly erodes, archaeologists are racing against time to record as much as possible.

From the seabed to the higher and drier environment of the Wiltshire Museum’s attic, our fourth feature showcases a recently rediscovered series of Victorian rock samples, which are shedding invaluable new light on the Stonehenge bluestones.

Finally, I would like to extend a warm ‘welcome back’ to our deputy editor, Kathryn, who has returned from maternity leave and will be delighted to hear from you about news stories for future issues.