Current Archaeology 383

2 mins read

Happy New Year!

This month’s cover showcases a spectacular Roman mosaic unearthed in Rutland, its colourful imagery preserving vivid scenes from the story of the Trojan War. The mosaic echoes episodes from Homer’s Iliad, but with idiosyncratic elements. Our special report asks: what can it tell us about the transmission of Classical literature in Roman Britain?

Remaining in Britannia, our first feature heads west to Wall, in Staffordshire, once home to a key Watling Street staging post and Roman town called Letocetum. New analysis there of a small lead figurine has shed intriguing light on Romano-British artistic depictions of people from sub-Saharan Africa.

Wall was also the site of Roman fortifications, and we remain with martial matters as we head to the military training zone on Salisbury Plain. Volunteer veterans from Operation Nightingale have worked with Wessex Archaeology to excavate a Bronze Age roundhouse at Dunch Hill – remains that have now formed the basis for a new experimental reconstruction at Butser Ancient Farm.

We next travel into Wales to tour some of the stunning medieval wall paintings still surviving on church walls, many of them only recently rediscovered beneath multiple coats of whitewash applied during the Protestant Reformation.

From iconoclasm to ideology, the focus of our final feature is a campaign chest that once belonged to the abolitionist activist Thomas Clarkson. Cutting-edge technology has revealed fascinating details of its contents: West African textiles that Clarkson had used to argue against the slave trade.

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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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In This Issue:



Exploring African identities in Roman Britain
A 1st-century AD lead figurine, discovered at Wall Roman site in Staffordshire almost 100 years ago
and thought to represent a man from sub-Saharan Africa, has recently been reinterpreted, with thought-provoking results.


Operation Nightingale, Butser Ancient Farm, and the Dunch Hill roundhouse
The excavation of a Bronze Age roundhouse on Salisbury Plain has fed into to the creation of a new reconstruction at Butser Ancient Farm, where experimental approaches have shed new light on what form the original structure’s long-lost walls may have taken.


Wall paintings and rood-screens in Welsh churches
CA explores traces of medieval religious culture, from saints and sinners to a skeletal memento mori, in the ecclesiastical artistry of pre-Reformation Wales.


Analysing 18th-century textiles in Thomas Clarkson’s campaign chest
What has cutting-edge scientific analysis of West African textiles used in the anti-slavery campaigns of abolitionist Thomas Clarkson revealed?


Ice Age mammoth bones and Neanderthal tools found in Swindon; Unlocking the archaeology of Speyside malt whisky; Rebuilt Romano-Celtic temple unveiled in Kent; Burghead Pictish fort digitised in 3D; Time Team survey Sutton Hoo; Science Notes; New discoveries at Pen Dinas Iron Age hillfort; Finds Tray


Greek Myth in Roman Rutland: unearthing scenes from the Trojan War


Joe Flatman excavates the CA archive

A trick of the light – the Great North Museum: Hancock, Newcastle

Early Medieval Britain, c.500-1000; Culduthel: an Iron Age craftworking centre in north-east Scotland; Manuscripts in the Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms: cultures and connections; London Clay: journeys in the deep city; Cornwall’s Military Heritage; The Middle Ages: a graphic history

The World of Stonehenge, British Museum

Museum News
The latest acquisitions, exhibitions, and key decisions.

Our selection of exhibitions and events, as well as historical, archaeological, and cultural resources from around the world that are available online.

The latest on Current Archaeology Live! 2022, including confirmed speakers and details of awards nominees

Chris Catling’s irreverent take on heritage issues

Odd Socs
Church Crawlers Anonymous

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