News in brief

Some of the latest news stories from archaeology in the UK, including the discovery of a section of Hadrian's Wall, the launch of a new campaign to protect archaeology as a discipline, and the start of a project analysing Viking remains in Orkney.

Hadrian’s Wall revealed in Newcastle

A 3m-long section of Hadrian’s Wall was recently uncovered during a routine mains replacement project by Northumbrian Water. Discovered just outside the city centre of Newcastle, the section was excavated and analysed by Archaeological Research Services Ltd (ARS) before being covered again.

Commenting on the discovery, Philippa Hunter from ARS said: ‘Despite the route of Hadrian’s Wall being fairly well-documented in this area of the city, it is always exciting when we encounter the wall’s remains and get the opportunity to learn more about this internationally significant site.’

Photo: Northumbrian Water.

‘Save British Archaeology’ campaign launched

In response to the announced closures of archaeology departments at the Universities of Sheffield (CA 378), Chester, and most recently Worcester, a new campaign has been launched with the aim of protecting the study of archaeology across Britain.

Commenting on the campaign, its director, Chris Whitwood, said: ‘The closure of world-leading departments of archaeology can only be described as short-sighted. At a time when funding for archaeological research and for the heritage sector in general is tight, willingly abdicating the high reputation of Britain archaeology, facilities, and academic knowledge risks the future of countless research projects at sites of tremendous historical importance. The UK has long been regarded as a pioneer of archaeological practice and technology, with universities often being at the forefront of new research. We aim to ensure that expertise is safeguarded and passed on for generations to come.’

For more about the campaign, visit

New analysis of Papa Westray Vikings

A new project to study human remains, which were excavated on the north-east coast of Papa Westray, Orkney, in 2015, is currently being carried out by archaeologists from AOC Archaeology with funding from Historic Environment Scotland. Based on the type of burial and grave goods found at the site, it is believed that these individuals may have been first-generation Norwegian settlers.

It is hoped that the new project, using the latest scientific techniques, will be able to shed new light on the Viking community of Orkney during the 10th century.