CA Letters – January 2022

Settlement pattern puzzle

A simple question, if I may, for which there is probably a simple answer. All bar one of the prehistoric settlements on the southern Outer Hebrides [see ‘Cladh Hallan’, CA 382, which has a larger version of the map], are on the west of the isles, facing the full wrath of the North Atlantic – why not on the more sheltered eastern side?

Graeme Innes-Johnstone
Elland, West Yorkshire

Talking of tartan

More delight than ever in last month’s ‘Sherds’ (CA 382).

The story of the tartan brings sweet thoughts as I recall my time as an employee of a Scottish company at the time of the film Braveheart, which really racked up my master’s patriotic fervour and so turned me into a rabid ‘Englishman’.

I fairly recently moved to Waltham Abbey, proud to be the last resting place of King Harold; but I am pretty certain he was Harold II, as a quick internet trawl suggests Harold I died in 1040.

I really look forward to my CA each month.

below According to some traditions, Harold Godwinson (Harold II) was buried at Waltham Abbey church, though other resting places have been suggested for the king, such as Bosham church in West Sussex.
According to some traditions, Harold Godwinson (Harold II) was buried at Waltham Abbey church, though other resting places have been suggested for the king, such as Bosham church in West Sussex.

Andrew Goodliffe
Waltham Abbey, Essex

Heritage from home

I look forward every month to reading your magazine and have done so ever since living as a caretaker on a small lighthouse island in the middle of Bass Strait, between Victoria and Tasmania in Australia, where there was a pile of your magazines in the ‘swap library’ that passing yachts kept supplied.

During our COVID lockdowns (we had seven of them) I would flip first to the page with ‘Calendar’ items and news of new podcasts and virtual visits to museums and other wonderful places. They have filled many long hours while we waited for COVID to pass.

I was so disappointed this month to note there was no section for podcasts and TV shows – no anticipation of what might be coming up that would keep us enthralled for the following four weeks.

Is there any chance this small section could be reinstated?

Virginia Rowley
Warragul, Victoria, Australia


Hi Virginia, I’m really glad to hear you enjoy Current Archaeology (and ‘Heritage from Home’). Sorry for the lack of podcasts in CA 381 – we wanted to include more ‘in person’ events as things opened up again, and so condensed ‘Heritage from Home’ to accommodate this, which means each new HfH is more of a mix of online options rather than the distinct sections we had before. That said, you’ll be glad to hear there are some podcasts and TV programmes for you to enjoy in the current issue!

Sharing shipwrecks

Thank you to Current Archaeology and all who made the virtual tour of the Stirling Castle possible (CA 377, News in Brief)! Now that gardening season is over in rural Ontario, Canada, I read to pass the time and keep to COVID-19 restrictions on social life.

While rereading my Patrick O’Brian ‘Aubrey’ series (last read well before the internet), I stumbled over many of the Royal Navy terms and am too lazy to look up every item… but here, in a ship 100 years earlier than the settings of the books, I found the answers so well pictured, displayed, and explained. Wonderful!

Nancy Pease
Ontario, Canada

Save the date!

Current Archaeology Live! 2022 will be back on 25-27 February. Like last year, it will be a virtual weekend, full of great talks from archaeological experts about the latest finds and ground-breaking research. Follow this link here for the latest information about the programme, plus the people, publications, and projects that have been nominated for the CA Awards.

Visible Archaeology

My husband and I are travel bloggers, and while exploring in London we spotted this fab piece of street art. It’s Big Ben, made from ‘mudlarked’ pipe stems from the Thames. You can find it on the south bank of the river, next to Westminster Bridge, opposite the National Covid Memorial Wall.

Emma Thomas

CA Online

Joe Flatman @joeflatman
@CurrentArchaeo 382 is out! Nothing says ‘advent’ quite like my latest column on #Lincolnshire. Lots of lovely treats in store, inc #Welland, #Fiskerton, #Flixborough, #Torksey, #Goltho and more. Dig in!

Dr Rachel Pope @preshitorian
Productive day working with @richardhosgood, @butserfarm and @CurrentArchaeo, and then doing my bit for @ahrcpress. Archaeology is a lovely field.

Hàìghlèàgh Winslade #Dig4Arch @hiegleah
Thank you @CurrentArchaeo for publishing in CA 382 my letter ‘Recusant landscapes’ about my PhD research into how recusants lived in the Weald & Downland @sdnpa in the later C16th