Our cover feature takes us 16 years back in time to revisit a justly famous Essex excavation. Found in 2003, the burial chamber of the ‘Prittlewell prince’ was a remarkable discovery: an undisturbed Anglo-Saxon tomb furnished with well-preserved artefacts. Since then, a battery of scientific analysis has revealed it to be an even richer source of historical information, granting vivid new insights into early Anglo-Saxon Christianity, the importance of the East Saxons, and even the identity of the tomb’s occupant.
Another celebrated burial site is Repton, in Derbyshire. There, excavations in the 1970s and 1980s exposed a mass of charnel thought to be a communal grave for the battle dead of the Viking Great Army. Now new dating analysis and further excavations are greatly enhancing our understanding of the site – which also still has surprising new secrets to give up.
Over 260 skeletons were found at Repton, but at our third site more than 800 have been analysed to-date. Poulton, in Cheshire, was once home to a medieval farming community that for centuries worked the land belonging to a long-demolished Cistercian Abbey. Their remains have a fascinating and frequently poignant story to tell.
Leaving behind the burial focus of these features, our fourth article retains a subterranean theme, as we take a trip through the archaeology of mining in England.
Finally, we visit the first excavation of Liverpool’s ‘court housing’ – the crowded dwellings of the city’s Victorian poor. What did this investigation reveal about the experiences of the people who called such ‘slums’ home?
IN THIS ISSUE:
A Viking Great Army winter camp and beyond
In the 1970s and 1980s, archaeological work revealed tantalising evidence of the Viking Great Army at Repton. Now, new excavations and scientific analysis are revolutionising our understanding of the site.
Reconstructing a burial chamber fit for a prince
Sixteen years ago, the discovery of an elite early Anglo-Saxon burial in Essex caused a sensation. Since then, detailed post-excavation analysis has revealed a wealth of new information about this lavish interment.
LIVING LIKE COMMON PEOPLE
Excavating a medieval peasant farming community at Poulton
What can the investigation of a cemetery in rural Cheshire tell us about the people who worked the land in the service of a Cistercian abbey between the 13th and 16th centuries?
Unearthing the archaeology
of England’s mines
Mines have played a key role in British history since the Neolithic. We explore some of these sites from prehistory to the present, examining what the archaeological evidence can tell us about their use.
DOWN AND DIRTY?
Exploring the archaeology of Liverpool’s ‘slums’
A chance to excavate Victorian ‘court housing’ in Liverpool was a unique opportunity to peer into the lives of its inhabitants, rewriting a story that had been coloured by biased contemporaneous accounts.
Roman rabbit discovered at Fishbourne; Finding the origins of the first farmers; Getting to the core of Stonehenge; Remains of Kirkwall Castle revealed; Unusual Iron Age burial uncovered at Childrey; Science Notes; Remains of Cook’s Cottage recovered; Finds Tray
A royal resting place: Dunfermline Abbey, Fife
Making a Mark: image and process in Neolithic Britain and Ireland; The Oxford Handbook of Historical Ecology and Applied Archaeology; Formative Britain: an archaeology of Britain, 5th to 11th century AD; Excavations at Milla Skerra, Sandwick, Unst: rhythms of life in Iron Age Shetland; Operation Diver: guns, V1 fl ying bombs, and landscapes of defence, 1944-1945; The Pioneer Burial: a high-status Anglian warrior burial from Wollaston, Northamptonshire
Festival of Archaeology
Ideas for how you can take part in this year’s celebration of all things archaeological
Chris Catling’s irreverent take on heritage issues
The T E Lawrence Society