Current Archaeology 374

3 mins read

Urban expansion in the 1970s drove an explosion of archaeological investigations in historic city centres – but with scant resources for publication, reports did not always keep up. Our cover feature highlights a project working to redress this, with a focus on Exeter. We explore some of the insights into this city’s Roman and medieval past that have been revealed.

From bustling city life to the ways in which we treat our dead, our next feature looks over almost 1,000 years of changing burial traditions in Ireland, spanning the late Iron Age to the dawn of the Viking Age.

We then turn to matters maritime, sharing the latest thinking on Tudor flagship the Mary Rose, whose wreck was recovered from the Solent in 1982. After almost 40 years of specialist research, what has been learned about the ship’s appearance and her crew?

The Mary Rose’s 16th-century gunners could have only dreamed of the technology available since the onset of aviation. But should airfields be thought of as archaeology? We consider these sites as relics of landscape, social, and architectural history, as well as their military significance.

Finally, we visit the Anglo-Saxon barrow cemetery of Sutton Hoo. This site is indivisibly associated with the splendid ship burial discovered beneath Mound 1, and its ‘princely’ male occupant, but there are also fascinating female stories to be found. Following on from our review of Netflix’s film about the 1939 excavation, The Dig, in CA 373, we meet four women who made vital contributions to the investigation, as well as a nameless 7th-century ‘queen’ who was laid to rest in the royal burial ground.

P.S. Details of all the content of the magazine are available on our new site, The Past. Here you will be able to read each article in full as well as the content of our other magazines, Current World Archaeology, Minerva and Military History Matters. Subscribers should see the advert inside the magazine for a very special offer!

P.P.S. Listen to our new podcast to hear both Carly and Neil Faulkner talk about the film the Dig and about the part women played in Sutton Hoo, click on the link below:

In This Issue:



Tracing the fluctuating fortunes of Roman and medieval Exeter
A recent project has combined unpublished reports from major excavations in Exeter’s city centre during the 1970s with new scientific data and analysis to form a rich picture of the city’s changing landscape in the Roman and medieval periods.


Examining burials in late Iron Age and early medieval Ireland
Through the examination of more than 250 sites across Ireland, spanning the Iron Age to the Viking period, a pattern has emerged showing a slow but dramatic shift from burial next to one’s ancestors to interment within religious institutions.


New thinking on the Mary Rose and her crew
It has been almost 40 years since the Mary Rose was raised from the Solent’s sediments. What has been learned about Henry VIII’s flagship and her crew since then? We explore some of the latest thinking.


An archaeology of airfields
Do airfields count as archaeology? We consider the compelling argument that these sites not only reflect military history but also the important societal changes that came about as a result of aviation.


Exploring female stories from the celebrated cemetery
The Sutton Hoo barrow cemetery is best known for its ‘princely’ ship burial, but it also has fascinating female stories to tell. We highlight four women involved in the 1939 excavation at the site, as well as a high-status Anglo-Saxon woman who was laid to rest in Mound 14.


Illuminating St Kilda’s Iron Age inhabitants; Eroding evidence of prehistoric Orkney; Conservation reveals new details of Wimpole figurine; Roman phallic find along the A14; Anglo-Saxon feasting finds?; Science Notes; Unique spearhead sheds light on Bronze Age Jersey; Finds Tray


Joe Flatman excavates the CA archive

Dewlish leopard: Dorset County Museum, Dorchester

Faxton: excavations in a deserted Northamptonshire village, 1966-1968; Early Anglo-Saxon cemeteries: kinship, community, and identity; Making Deep History: zeal, perseverance, and the time revolution of 1859; Darkness Visible: the Sculptor’s Cave, Covesea, from the Bronze Age to the Picts; New Light on the Neolithic of Northern England; Roman Britain’s Missing Legion: what really happened to IX Hispana?

Heritage from Home
A selection of resources to help you get involved in archaeological-themed activities from home during lockdown

Chris Catling’s irreverent take on heritage issues

Odd Socs
The Co-operative Heritage Trust

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