Current Archaeology 359

2 mins read

Happy New Year! It’s amazing that 2020 is upon us already – which means that our annual conference is also approaching fast – see p.60 for more details of the timetable and how to have your say in the CA Awards.

When asked what the Romans did for us, ‘roads’ has to be high on any list documenting their legacy. Many of our modern motorways follow in Roman footsteps, including the A1 which, in North Yorkshire, echoes the path of Dere Street. In recent years, major improvement works on its route have uncovered an astonishing array of Roman archaeology, from settlements to cemeteries, and a diverse range of artefacts.

Development-led archaeology also lies behind our next two features. Since HMP Oxford closed its doors in 1996, a decade of excavations on the site have illuminated a millennium of the area’s history, from Saxon burh and Norman castle to county jail. Meanwhile, in London’s East End, the construction of new student accommodation has uncovered the remains of an Elizabethan playhouse rather less well known than Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre: the Boar’s Head Inn.

From commercial archaeology to careful conservation, our fourth feature enters the quiet confines of Westminster Abbey to explore the intricate artistry of its 13th-century Cosmati mosaics, recently expertly restored, and to trace the story of the sacred spaces they once adorned.

Finally, we move from medieval masterpieces to a rather more ancient artwork: the Uffington White Horse, which has been inspiring wonder in onlookers since the enigmatic hill-figure was created over 2,000 years ago.

Carly Hilts

In This Issue:



Recent Roman discoveries during the A1 upgrade in North Yorkshire
Major road improvement works have uncovered a wealth of Roman archaeology beside the A1, from settlements to cemeteries, illuminating centuries of life beside Dere Street.


Uncovering 1,000 years of life and death in Oxford
Redevelopment at Oxford Castle has found evidence of the site’s many different incarnations, from Saxon burh and luxurious Norman castle to post-medieval prison and place of execution.


Excavating Whitechapel’s pub playhouse
Discovered in London’s East End, the remains of a 16th-century playhouse are revealing more about the converted inns that played a key role in the Elizabethan theatre scene.


Westminster Abbey’s Cosmatesque mosaics
An extensive project to conserve and record Westminster Abbey’s unique medieval mosaics has helped to tell the story of Henry III’s redevelopment of the Abbey.


Examining Britain’s earliest hill-figure
How have interpretations of the White Horse at Uffington changed over the last 2,000 years, and what has modern archaeological science revealed about its creation?


Great Orme’s golden age of European trade; Roman settlement uncovered near Navio fort; Excavating the Neolithic at Street House; Napoleonic-era field kitchens found on Guernsey; Medieval house investigated in Llandaff; Science notes; Herefordshire hoard thieves sentenced; Finds tray


Joe Flatman excavates the
CA archive

Interred before Augustine? Canterbury, Kent

Berryfields: Iron Age settlement and a Roman bridge, field system and settlement along Akeman Street near Fleet Marston, Buckinghamshire; Anglian York; Vikings: a history of the Northmen; The Glass Vessels of Anglo-Saxon England, c.AD 650-1100; The Boxford Mosaic: a unique survivor from the Roman Age; Bluffer’s Guide to Archaeology

Troy: myth and reality at the British Museum

Museum News
The latest acquisitions, exhibitions, and key decisions

Our selection of exhibitions and events

Chris Catling’s irreverent take on heritage issues

Odd Socs
British Association for Cemeteries in South Asia

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