This month’s cover feature takes us deep into the Neolithic, where we consider evidence for whether sites that were monumentalised during this period were also considered ‘special’ during the Mesolithic.
Some of these sites are home to enigmatic ‘curated’ objects – items that were already a century or more old by the time they were consigned to the ground – and unusual buried collections of artefacts also form the focus of our second feature. Anglo-Saxon iron hoards are often overshadowed by their more glamorous gold and silver cousins, like the Staffordshire Hoard, yet these unassuming assemblages can be equally illuminating.
Iron may have been valued in antiquity for its transformative powers – and the Liverpool Calder stones are no strangers to transformation either. In the 19th century, the remains of a c.5,000-year-old tomb were rearranged into a small stone circle, and in the 1950s the monument was moved once more. Now its six uprights have travelled 200 miles south to London for expert conservation, before they are returned home and redisplayed in a form much closer to their original design.
Our fourth feature travels to the outskirts of Airth, to join the hunt for the remains of one of James IV of Scotland’s royal dockyards.
Finally, it is not too late to have your say in the Current Archaeology awards, nor to book your place at our annual conference – turn to p.58 to find out more.
IN THIS ISSUE:
Defining the Neolithic sense of history
Was the ‘Neolithic revolution’ in Britain really as abrupt as has been suggested? A new book explores evidence for the first farmers continuing to use many Mesolithic sites, possibly as a way of honouring the communities that existed before them.
ANY OLD IRON?
Inverting expectations on Anglo-Saxon hoards
The discovery of hoards of precious metal always attracts attention, but while early medieval caches of objects made from more everyday materials are less researched, they are equally enigmatic and their contents can be just as illuminating.
CONSERVING THE CALDER STONES
How a chambered tomb travelled from Liverpool in London
For the past half century, a ring of six monoliths have sat in Liverpool’s Calderstones Park. Removed from their original context, it is thought that they once formed part of a prehistoric passage tomb. Now the stones are undergoing conservation in London before being redisplayed in a form closer to their original design.
HIDDEN HISTORY AT HIGGINS NEUK
In search of James IV’s royal dockyard
While researching the history of place-names near Falkirk, a local historian came across evidence pointing to the lost location of one of James IV of Scotland’s royal dockyards. What has extensive archaeological surveying and excavation on the site revealed?
Further chariot burial discovered at Pocklington; Anglo-Saxon cemetery found in Lincolnshire; Another record year for the Portable Antiquities Scheme; Winners of 2018 Heritage Angel Awards announced; Orkney bowl shows signs of repair; Science notes; Investigating London’s man of mystery; Finds tray
Making medieval music: British Library, London
Life and Death in the Countryside of Roman Britain: new visions of the countryside of Roman Britain, vol.3; Clash of Cultures? The Romano-British period in the West Midlands; Blick Mead: exploring the ‘first place’ in the Stonehenge landscape; Breaking the Surface: an art/archaeology of prehistoric architecture; Footprints from the Past: the south-eastern extramural settlement of Roman Alchester; ‘The River’s Tale’: archaeology on the Thames foreshore in Greater London
Our selection of exhibitions and events
The latest details about Current Archaeology Live! 2019, including interviews with the nominees for Archaeologist of the Year and the full timetable of speakers
Chris Catling’s irreverent take on heritage issues
Andrew Selkirk muses on milestones, endings, and new beginnings
Insole Court Trust