Current Archaeology 314

2 mins read

CA314Twelve thousand years ago, Britain was joined to Europe by a great plain, where Mesolithic people lived and hunted. But as water levels rose, their home was submerged beneath the North Sea. What did this loss of place mean for the wave of migrants it created?

Mobility of another kind is under the microscope elsewhere in this issue, as an explanation is sought for those famous straight stretches of Roman road. Their courses were sometimes cribbed from previously surveyed long-distance alignments, which were projected across a landscape regardless of whether a road could cross it. So what was this surveying for? Are the alignments vestiges of military mapping in the Conquest period, as the empire sought to get a grip on exactly what it was conquering?

Of course, Rome was not just in it for the cartography, and forts and roads followed in the army’s wake. But how much impact did these have on local people? A recently published project at Hayton, East Yorkshire, has examined how occupation unleashed powerful economic forces that redrew the human landscape.

In Wales, it is the heritage-protection landscape that has recently been remade. Forty years after the birth of the Welsh archaeological trusts, we take a look at what has been achieved, and why the past is very much in the present.

Finally, CA is a bumper size this month, to give you a taste of this year’s fieldwork opportunities. There’s plenty to look forward to in the summer!

Matt Symonds




Surveyed frameworks in the Roman Conquest of Britain
What did the Romans do for us? ‘Roads’ seems an obvious answer – but how did imperial surveyors create these long-distance alignments in the early days of the Conquest?


Exploring lands and livelihoods lost under the North Sea
Some 12,000 years ago, Britain was joined to Continental Europe by a vast plain, which was inhabited by nomadic groups of Mesolithic hunter-gatherers. But as sea-levels rose at the end of the last Ice Age, these lands were lost. What happened to the prehistoric people who lost their homes, and what traces of them can still be seen today?


How Roman occupation redrew an Iron Age landscape
Wide-ranging archaeological and geophysical surveys have revealed evidence of Iron Age farming groups inhabiting an intricately bound together landscape. What can we learn about the impact of Roman occupation on this close-knit community?


Pioneering protection of the past
The archaeological trusts of Wales celebrate their 40th anniversary this year. We explore the work of these vital bodies, and the extraordinary birthday present given to them by the Welsh Assembly: the most progressive heritage legislation yet put forward in the UK.


Britain’s oldest Mesolithic art identified at Star Carr; Extensive Iron Age burials found at Pocklington; Best of British: the Marden Henge arrowhead; Burrowing badger reveals Bronze Age burial; Surveying the Battle of Killiecrankie; Skull of a Culloden casualty modelled; Uncovering Colchester’s Roman arcade; Anniversary plans for English Heritage; 136 not out: gasholder listed after long innings at the Oval


Digs Special 2016
This bonus section brings you a selection of exciting excavations and archaeological experiences available this year in Britain and Ireland

A round-up of what happened at CA Live! 2016

The Home Front in Britain 1914-1918; Images of the Ice Age; Archaeology:Theories, Methods, Practice

Museum Review
Reimagining the Celts at the National Museum of Scotland

Jorvik Viking Festival
Marking 1,000 years since the Viking conquest of England

Chris Catling’s irreverent take on heritage issues

Odd Socs
The Friends of the Newport Ship

1 Comment

  1. I thought I had ordered this back issue but we have not received it and I can find no order receipt on my system. Can you check please?

    Dyfed Archaeological Trust
    Corner House
    8 Carmarthen Street
    SA19 6AE

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