Current Archaeology 375

3 mins read

In mid-April, with outdoor attractions reopening to the public, CA marked an exciting milestone: our first site visit of 2021. We went to Butser Ancient Farm, the ever-inventive experimental archaeology centre in the South Downs, and this month’s cover feature introduces the site’s latest reconstructed building – a Neolithic house based on remains excavated by Wessex Archaeology near Horton – as well as an online platform devised to safeguard the site’s financial future and help share its research worldwide.

Turning from the Neolithic to later prehistory, our next two features explore enigmatic Bronze Age and Iron Age ways of engaging with the dead. Extensive research focused on the Sculptor’s Cave in Moray has illuminated 1,500 years of activity, including intriguing funerary traditions, at the remote site. We then examine an equally distinctive tradition of treating the dead: what can we learn from bog bodies?

Leaping forward to the medieval period, we then investigate two castles on the Welsh border – who built them so unusually close together, and why?

Finally, this month’s ‘In Focus’ heralds the return of an archaeological institution. It was almost exactly 100 issues ago, in CA 274, that we reported on Time Team coming to an end. This long-running TV programme was hugely influential – not least to me: I was six when the show first aired and pretty much grew up with it. Time Team also gave me my first job in ‘archaeological media’, when I worked as a researcher on Series 18. (Bonus points if you can spot my fleeting on-screen appearance dressed as a Roman!) It’s very exciting, then, to share news of the Team’s plan to carry out two digs in the summer – watch this space for further updates.

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!

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P.P.S. Listen to our new podcast to hear both Carly and Calum talk to Carenza Lewis about the return of Time Team:

In This Issue:



Exploring 1,500 years of life and death in the Sculptor’s Cave
Best known for the Pictish carvings that give the site its name, Sculptor’s Cave was also the location of intriguing burial practices in the Bronze and Iron Age. Now new research has illuminated the full story for the first time.


Encountering Iron Age bog bodies
Bog bodies have a way of bringing the past to life that goes beyond skeletal and cremated remains. They are often so well-preserved that details such as tattoos and hairstyles can be discerned – and many hold unique insights into Iron Age life and death.


Tracing the origins of two fortifications in the March of Ewyas
A local initiative to examine two unusually close castles near Longtown in Herefordshire has provided new evidence as to their purpose, shedding new light on the strategy, at times haphazard, for constructing fortifications along the Welsh border.


Reconstructing the past and safeguarding its future
Butser Ancient Farm has unveiled an expertly reconstructed Neolithic house based on a c.6,000-year-old outline excavated in Berkshire – a new immersive experience to welcome visitors back on site – as well as an innovative online platform to share their research.


How an archaeological institution rose to dig again
After a long eight years, the ever-popular Time Team is set to return. We look back on the legacy of the show’s first 20 seasons and get a sneak peek of what is planned for later in the year.


Enigmatic Roman building complex discovered at Scarborough; Neolithic salt production at Street House?; Unprecedented prehistoric finds on Skokholm Island; Digging Dunragit’s prehistoric past; Nunnery revealed at Jesus College, Cambridge; Science Notes; Highlights of the latest Treasure Report; Finds Tray


Joe Flatman excavates the CA archive

Sutton Hoo helmet in LEGO: Saffron Walden, Essex

Hadrian’s Wall: creating division; Thames Mudlarking: searching for London’s lost treasures; River Kings: a new history of Vikings from Scandinavia to the Silk Roads; Managing Archaeology in Dynamic Urban Centres; Never Greater Slaughter: Brunanburh and the birth of England; Contested Heritage: relations between contemporary Pagan groups and the archaeological and heritage professions in Britain in the early 21st century

Heritage from Home
A selection of resources to help you get involved in archaeological-themed activities until museums and other heritage sites fully reopen

Chris Catling’s irreverent take on heritage issues

Odd Socs
The Unicorn Preservation Society

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