Current Archaeology 409

3 mins read

At its peak, the Roman army acted as a military, naval, and police force to about a quarter of the population of the Earth. Our cover feature explores its impact on the inhabitants of Britain – and what life was like for the soldiers and their families who were posted here.

If you’ll allow me a moment of nostalgia, our next feature brings a personal pang, as it describes the
demolition of a place that hosted one of my first forays into journalism. While working on The Cambridge
, I spent countless Wednesdays on the New Museums Site – and on our final day in the office in 2009, my co-editor and I took a marker pen and wrote our names on the back of one of the newsroom ceiling tiles (rather earnestly adding C P Scott’s dictum ‘comment is free, but facts are sacred’) before slipping it back into place. With youthful hubris we assumed that ‘our’ tile would watch over other student journalists long after we had graduated. Now, however, that building has been swept away – and fascinating relics of Cambridge’s medieval Augustinian friary have been revealed underneath.

In order fully to understand the past, we need a vibrant, robust heritage sector. Our third feature focuses on such work in Wales, highlighting some of the key sites investigated by the Royal Commission.

Our penultimate piece takes us to Roman London, where a waterlogged cemetery has yielded rare evidence of coffins and a funerary ‘bed’. We then end by examining two strikingly similar Bronze Age burials found more than a century and over 300 miles apart.

Carly's signature

P.S. Details of all the content of the magazine are available on our site, The Past. Here you will be able to read each article in full as well as the content of our other magazines, Current World ArchaeologyAncient Egypt, and Military History Matters. Subscribers should see the advert inside the magazine for a very special offer!

Banner for The Past: archaeology, history, heritage, ancient world

In This Issue:



Tracing the impact – and the experiences – of the Roman army in Britain
Drawing on a new exhibition at the British Museum, we explore what life was like for Roman soldiers and their families stationed in Britain, and how their presence was felt by local populations.


Exploring evidence for life and death in Cambridge’s Augustinian friary
Illuminating archaeological work in central Cambridge has revealed structural and human remains associated with one of the many religious communities that once played a key role in the medieval town.


Highlighting the Welsh heritage sector’s rich history and uncertain future
With the Welsh heritage sector facing the threat of severe funding cuts, we take a look at some of the major projects that the Royal Commission and related bodies have spearheaded in recent years.


Rare wooden funerary finds from Roman London
Excavations in London have uncovered part of a Roman cemetery, where waterlogged conditions have preserved five oak coffins and what may be Roman Britain’s first complete funerary bed.


Examining ideas of kinship in the early Bronze Age
Recent scientific analysis of two Bronze Age burials – both containing the remains of an adult and child in a loving embrace, but buried more than 300 miles apart – has raised new questions about ideas of family and identity in that period.


Early medieval cemetery uncovered on Fonmon Castle estate; New evidence of women’s mobility during the Conversion Period; Bronze Age burnt mounds discovered in Annan; Record year for Treasure cases; Conserving mining sites in the Tamar Valley; Science Notes; Tudor paintings revealed at Christ’s College, Cambridge; Finds Tray


Joe Flatman excavates the CA archive

Medieval boat graffiti: Isle of Luing

X Marks the Spot: the story of archaeology in eight extraordinary discoveries; Life in Early Medieval Wales; Eilean Donan Castle: exploring a Highland icon, archaeological research excavations 2009-2017; Making Flour the German Way in Roman Britain: distribution, use, and deposition of imported lava quernstones and millstones; Prehistoric Sussex; Excavations on Wether Hill, Ingram, Northumberland 1994-2015

The latest on acquisitions, exhibitions, and key decisions

Zimingzhong 凝时聚珍: clockwork treasures from China’s Forbidden City at the Science Museum

Jorvik Viking Festival 2024

Our selection of exhibitions and events, as well as historical, archaeological, and cultural resources from around the world that are still available online.

Chris Catling’s irreverent take on heritage issues

Historic Houses

Have all this delivered directly to your door every month – click here to find out more about subscribing to Current Archaeology, the UK’s favourite archaeology magazine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.