25 February 2023
UCL Institute of Education, London


We are pleased to announce the latest details of our upcoming conference. Current Archaeology Live! 2023 will be on 25 February (Saturday) at University College London’s Institute of Education, a stone’s throw from our previous venue, Senate House, near Russell Square. We are also excited to announce that this year the conference will be in partnership with the UCL Institute of Archaeology. We hope you will join us to hear the latest news on important discoveries and leading research projects from these shores as well as further afield (and even underwater).

As ever, we have an exciting line-up of expert speakers covering the archaeological spectrum from prehistory to the present day, and the Current World Archaeology Photo of the Year competition is also returning for another year; see more about how to enter here. Other details of the conference can be found below, including speakers confirmed to-date, the latest on the Archaeology Fair, and the all-important information about how to book your place at CA! Live.

The nominees for the 14th annual Current Archaeology Awards are listed here, too. To celebrate the people, projects, and publications that have made an outstanding contribution to archaeology, please visit our website at www.archaeology.co.uk/vote or, alternatively, fill in the form in the magazine. Voting is now open!

Tickets for CA Live! 2023 are now on sale

This year we’re offering tickets at an early bird rate of £35 for subscribers and £45 for non-subscribers until 15 January, after which prices will rise to £50.
To book, visit www.currentpublishing.com/shop or call 020 8819 5580.


(not in order of appearance)

Three sessions of talks and a keynote address will run from 9.15am to 5pm, with two coffee breaks and a pause for lunch.

Dr Stuart Brookes – Searching for local assembly places in the English landscape
Dr Corisande Fenwick – Recent fieldwork in Morocco
Dr Sam Leggett – Insights from isotope analyses
Dr Daniel Pascoe – Underwater archaeology in UK waters
Clare Randall – A Roman villa at Dings Crusaders, near Bristol
Dr Rebecca Roberts & Saltanat Amir – Gold of the Iron Age Steppe
Scott Vance – Excavating a newly discovered Hadrian’s Wall turret

Keynote speaker:

Shahina Farid, former Field Director and Project Coordinator at the Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük in Turkey, currently scientific dating coordinator for Historic England

The CA Awards results will be announced at 5pm
Further details to come; see www.archaeology.co.uk/live

Map showing this year’s conference location:
UCL’s Institute of Education

The nominees for the 14th annual Current Archaeology Awards are below, and voting is now open.

Please vote online at www.archaeology.co.uk/vote.

Archaeologist of the Year

Who deserves special recognition for their work, research, and dedication to archaeology? Voting is now open!

David Jacques

Since 2005, David has been project director of Blick Mead, the oldest and longest-used occupation site in the Stonehenge World Heritage Site. The Blick Mead excavations began as one long weekend dig a year, carried out on a shoestring budget with the help of the local community and other volunteers, but has since become a multi-university research effort, which uses the latest technology to address important new questions about the origins of the Stonehenge landscape. The project continues to value and enable its volunteers, and retains the community of Amesbury at its heart. This connection is symbolised by the building of Amesbury History Centre, which was created as a result of over 90% of locals voting to increase their precept to pay for it. The work has been very much a team effort, but David’s colleagues see him as the lynchpin and catalyst behind the collective strength of the project.

Lilian Ladle

An independent Dorset archaeologist, with no formal qualifications, Lilian directed the 55ha, 13-year excavation at the multi-period site of Bestwall Quarry, near Wareham, publishing monographs in 2009 and 2012. A complex site at Football Field, Worth Matravers was completed and published in 2018. In 2012, she initiated, directed, and has recently published the results of the Druce Farm Roman Villa excavation. Fieldwork on all sites, and much of the post-excavation work, was undertaken by volunteers and the sites were regularly opened to the public. Lilian was awarded the MBE for services to archaeology in 2008 and was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 2021. She is a Visiting Fellow in the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology at Bournemouth University.

Gabor Thomas

Gabor is one of the UK’s leading experts in early medieval archaeology. He has made key advances in our understanding of early medieval monasticism and elite identity based on the results of his excavations at Bishopstone (Sussex), Lyminge (Kent), and Cookham (Berkshire), which have uncovered lost phases of Anglo-Saxon settlement on an ambitious scale. Conducted within the cores of currently occupied villages, these projects have been delivered in partnership with volunteer groups and local residents as exemplars of research-led community archaeology. His PhD research exploring cultural interaction in Viking Age Britain through Late Saxon dress accessories has become the standard reference in the field, being widely consulted by academics, professional small-find specialists, and metal-detectorists.


Book of the Year

Many excellent new archaeological books have been featured in CA this year. Below are those that we feel deserve particular recognition.

Landscapes Revealed: geophysical survey in the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Area, 2002-2011
Amanda Brend, Nick Card, Jane Downes, Mark Edmonds, and James Moore, CA 382

This book details an ambitious geophysical project that covered 285 hectares of land rich in Neolithic history, from Skara Brae to Maeshowe.

London in the Roman World
Dominic Perring, CA 387

A comprehensive narrative of Roman Londinium and its archaeology, from its origins through fluctuating fortunes to its eventual fall.

Silures: resistance, resilience, revival
Ray Howell, CA 388

This book examines the impact of the Roman conquest through the experiences of one particular tribe: the Silures of south-east Wales.

Barrows at the Core of Bronze Age Communities: Petersfield Heath excavations 2014-2018 in their regional context
Stuart Needham and George Anelay, CA 388

An in-depth look at Bronze Age communities as evidenced through an extensive project excavating 14 of 21 surviving barrows at Petersfield Heath in Hampshire.

Atlas of the Hillforts of Britain and Ireland
Gary Lock and Ian Ralston, CA 390

The most-complete study of British and Irish hillforts to-date, this book explores the possible purposes of these puzzling prehistoric monuments.

The Prehistoric Artefacts of Northern Ireland
Harry and June Welsh, CA 390

A comprehensive catalogue of the finds made over the centuries by archaeologists, antiquarians, and members of the public in Northern Ireland.

Lost Realms: histories of Britain from the Romans to the Vikings
Thomas Williams, CA 392

Tying together all the threads of evidence, Williams tells the stories of some of the lesser-known kingdoms of early medieval Britain.

Homo Sapiens Rediscovered: the scientific revolution rewriting our origins
Paul Pettitt, CA 393

A wide-ranging account of our earliest origins and how, in the last decade, science has been rewriting everything we thought we knew.


Research Project of the Year

This has been another exceptional year for archaeological research. The following are some of the most exciting examples to have featured in CA over the last 12 months.

Cladh Hallan: exploring the roundhouse way of life in South Uist
Sheffield University/UCL/Cardiff University/Bournemouth University, CA 382

Cladh Hallan is known for its prehistoric mummies, but excavations there have also illuminated intriguing Bronze Age and Iron Age domestic activity.

From West Africa to Wisbech: analysing 18th-century textiles in Thomas Clarkson’s campaign chest
Margarita Gleba (University of Padua), Malika Kraamer (MARKK), and Sarah Coleman (formerly Wisbech & Fenland Museum, now National Horseracing Museum), CA 383

Can the study of an abolitionist collection of West African textiles weave new threads into the story of cross-cultural contacts in the era of the Atlantic slave trade?

Artistic obscurity: analysing Britain’s most elusive Roman sculptures
Newcastle University, CA 384

Romano-British remains are often found below ground, but this project has been documenting sculptures hidden in plain sight.

Torksey: from tents to towns
University of York/University of Sheffield, CA 385

What happened at Torksey after the Viking Great Army departed? Excavations have revealed traces of a thriving pottery industry.

Prehistoric pioneers: how female migrants changed the face of Bronze Age Orkney
University of Huddersfield/EASE Archaeology, CA 387

Genetic analysis of human remains excavated at the Links of Noltland has revealed evidence of a female-dominated migration into Bronze Age Orkney.

Reinventing Ratae: exploring Roman and medieval Leicester and Leicester and Roman Africa: exploring ancient multiculturalism in the Midlands
University of Leicester Archaeological Services, CA 387 and CA 388

Investigations in Leicester over the past 20 years have uncovered evidence of the city’s growth and decline over the centuries, as well as intriguing links between Roman Leicester and North Africa.

Designed to enchant: the great dolmens of Neolithic northern Europe
Vicki Cummings (University of Central Lancashire) and Colin Richards (University of the Highlands and Islands), CA 390

This research explored why dolmens were built in the Neolithic period, their possible purpose, and whether they were deliberately designed to impress.

Migration matters: groundbreaking insights into early medieval England
Duncan Sayer (University of Central Lancashire), Stephan Schiffels, and Joscha Gretzinger (both Max Planck Institute), CA 392

New genetic data has shed light on matters of migration and integration, and on family histories in different communities in post-Roman England.


Rescue Project of the Year

Our rescue award highlights the vital importance of archaeology carried out on sites impacted by development or natural forces, and conservation work.

Happy campers? Investigating the experiences of prisoners of war near Oswestry
Wessex Archaeology, CA 386

What was life like for German soldiers interned in England during the Second World War? Excavations at a POW camp outside Oswestry in Shropshire have found evidence of everyday conflict and cooperation.

The archaeology of Black Cat Quarry: farming, flooding, and fighting in the Great Ouse valley
Archaeological Research Services Ltd, CA 388

Excavations at Black Cat Quarry in Bedfordshire have revealed a story of farming communities spanning the Neolithic to the early medieval period, as well as the possible remains of a Viking encampment.

Restoring Marble Hill: how archaeology helped revive a Georgian gem
English Heritage, CA 388

Ongoing restoration work at Marble Hill in Twickenham and recent investigations of its grounds have revealed the fabric of the Georgian building alongside the story of its owner, Henrietta Howard.

HMS Invincible: excavating a Georgian time capsule
Daniel Pascoe/University of Bournemouth, CA 389

Investigations of the wreck of HMS Invincible, which sank off Portsmouth in 1758, have shed illuminating light on what life was like on board this 18th-century warship, and within the Georgian Royal Navy.

Lessons from Canterbury: saving heritage with new approaches to urban development
SAVE Britain’s Heritage, CA 389

SAVE Britain’s Heritage have recommended a more historically sympathetic approach to urban development in response to the scale and height of new buildings proposed for Canterbury’s city centre.

No stone unturned: new insights from community archaeology on Hadrian’s Wall
WallCAP/Newcastle University, CA 390

Having excavated over 15 sites on and around Hadrian’s Wall, what has the WallCAP project revealed about how stone was sourced to construct the fortification, and these materials’ post-Roman afterlife?

From abbey infirmary to academic accommodation: tracing the evolution of Dulverton House
Urban Archaeology, CA 390

In the shadow of Gloucester Cathedral, works at Dulverton House have revealed material traces of a long history, from monastic infirmary and Reformation-era graffiti to Restoration redesigns.

Archaeology adrift? A curious tale of Lego lost at sea
Tracey Williams, CA 391

Since a shipment of Lego went overboard in 1997, millions of plastic bricks have been slowly washing up on beaches. Tracey has painstakingly examined and documented what has come ashore.

All the fun of the (archaeo)fair

Since we are finally back in person, an enduringly popular feature of Current Archaeology Live! will be return as well: our Archaeology Fair. It provides a wide range of stalls hosting travel companies, booksellers, institutions, and other archaeological organisations for you to browse in the breaks between sessions.

This time we welcome our partner for the event, UCL Institute of Archaeology, as well as leading archaeological publishers and booksellers, including Archaeopress and Archaeology Plus. For those interested in archaeological travel, you can find out more about expert-led tours and heritage-themed holidays from the likes of Andante Travels, while specialist archaeological services are offered by Wessex Insurance Brokers Ltd, who provide tailored products designed for archaeologists. And even more exhibitors will be added over the coming weeks, so watch this space!

How to vote:

As ever, our awards ceremony recognises the best in archaeology, as voted for by you the reader.

Please vote online at www.archaeology.co.uk/vote. Voting is now open!