Current Archaeology 306

2 mins read

CA-306The young man pictured on our cover was 16 or 17 when he died,  and was buried in the shadow of a great Bronze Age barrow on  Salisbury Plain. He belonged to an Anglo-Saxon community  whose grave goods tell of a strong martial connection. It is rather  fitting then, that he and his warrior brethren were discovered as  part of Operation Beowulf, an initiative by Wessex Archaeology and  Operation Nightingale, the Ministry of Defence project that harnesses archaeological  fieldwork to aid the recovery of injured personnel; see p.28 for the inside story.

Meanwhile, at Cliffs End Farm on the Isle of Thanet, another intriguing cemetery  has been found. The buried include a Bronze Age woman, arm extended with index  finger pointing, and two lambs in her lap. Not only is this site radically revising our  perceptions of prehistoric mortuary practices, but detailed skeletal analysis is also  providing surprising insights into the origins and diversity of the population.

Thereafter, we visit the sublime landscape of North Wales’ slate industry, so integral  to the culture and history of the region. It is now being proposed as a World Heritage  Site, but given slate extraction is a living industry, how will UNESCO respond?

Other highlights include a look at the vital work being undertaken by CITiZAN,  a newly launched community project that seeks to record as many heritage sites as  possible along England’s at-risk coastline and tidal estuaries.  Finally, this is my last CA before Matthew Symonds returns  as editor. It’s been a wonderful 13 months, and I do hope you’ve  enjoyed reading the magazine as much as I’ve enjoyed editing it.

Nadia Durrani






Migrants and mass graves at Cliffs End Farm
What can the remains of dozens of Bronze and Iron Age people buried on the Isle of Thanet  tell us about the diversity of ancient funerary customs and Kent’s prehistoric population?


Chiselling through time
We explore an industry that is integral to the culture of North Wales, and consider how to  protect a living heritage landscape.


Soldier archaeologists and warrior graves
Wessex Archaeology and the MoD initiative Operation Nightingale have been investigating  an at-risk Anglo-Saxon cemetery surrounding a Bronze Age barrow. What did they find?


Recording England’s vanishing heritage
Introducing a new community-led project working to record the thousands of threatened  heritage sites along England’s coastline and tidal estuaries before they disappear forever.


Back to the Neolithic
Experimental archaeology centre Butser Ancient Farm has added a Neolithic longhouse to its  collection of reconstructed buildings. We learn how the project came together.



Dorset Iron Age dig goes to town; Veteran vessel reopens;  A lasting impression at Vindolanda; York’s medieval hospital  takes centre stage; Mar’s Mesolithic mountaineers; Rethinking  rock art at Roxby; Getting ahead on Achill Island; Forth Bridge  is World Heritage; Towton bones tell their tale



Thinking Big; Between the Wind and the  Water; What the Victorians Threw Away  

Chris Catling’s irreverent take on  heritage issues

Odd Socs
The British Button Society

1 Comment

  1. If Welsh is an integral part of the Welsh slate heritage, and I agree it is, then keeping the language is just as important as preserving physical remains. For instance, there is now a campaign to protect the original Welsh placenames (Cwm Cneifion is not the Nameless Cwm!).
    It’s a pity the Great Strike of 1900-3 (which in its day was bitterer than the more recent miners’ strike) was not mentioned, if only to give a more balanced view of worker-owner relations than the Llandegai memorial. Incidentally, the same village appears in the Butser article, with the more usual spelling Llandygai.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.