Current Archaeology 384

3 mins read

This month’s cover star is, of course, Stonehenge – one of the most recognisable archaeological sites in Britain. What can we understand about the world that this famous monument emerged from, though, and how much can we know about the experiences of the people who built it? A new exhibition at the British Museum places the site in its wider context, and explores the transformative social, cultural, and technological changes that it witnessed.

While our cover feature considers the ideas and identities that Stonehenge may have been intended to express, was there also deeper meaning in the act of sourcing its raw materials? Our next article discusses ideas of significance and symbolism in Neolithic stone extraction.

Stone and the art of shaping it also plays a key role in our third feature, which showcases the latest findings of the Elusive Sculptures project. Researchers have been documenting previously unrecorded Roman carvings and inscriptions that have lain hidden for hundreds of years – many of them in plain sight.

Centuries-old artistic secrets have been coming to light in Stratford-upon-Avon too. We have visited the town’s medieval guildhall to learn more about 15th-century wall paintings that were covered over during the Protestant Reformation – and about the building where William Shakespeare is thought to have attended school.

Finally, bookending this issue with more news from Salisbury Plain, we bring you the latest findings following ancient DNA analysis of the Amesbury Archer, an early Bronze Age migrant from the Continent who was given one of Europe’s richest Bell Beaker burials a short distance from Stonehenge.

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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:



Placing a famous monument in context
A new exhibition at the British Museum explores the world that Stonehenge emerged from, the natural and material landscapes its builders knew, and the transformative changes it witnessed.


Exploring the symbolism of Neolithic stone extraction
Ranging from the scree-strewn slopes of Cumbria to the plains of Minnesota, CA reports on archaeological and ethnographic research into the symbolic significance of prehistoric quarry sites and extraction practices. 


Analysing Britain’s most elusive Roman sculptures
Recent research in the hinterland of Hadrian’s Wall has documented a wealth of previously unknown Roman carvings and inscriptions, many hidden in plain sight.


Reinterpreting 15th-century wall paintings in Shakespeare’s Schoolroom
CA visits Stratford-upon-Avon’s historic guildhall to find out more about the colourful religious paintings that once adorned the walls of its chapel and the room where its members dined. 


Deciphering the DNA of the Amesbury Archer and the Companion
Scientific advances have shed light on the occupant of an exceptionally richly furnished early Bronze Age burial near Stonehenge, as well as a younger man interred just a few feet away.


Oldest ink pen found in Ireland; Galloway Hoard jar belonged to medieval bishop; Bronze Age hoards in Wales declared Treasure; ‘Disappearing’ Hadrian’s Wall ditch marked in Cumbria; Mitigating heritage loss at Seaford Head; Science Notes; New excavations at Yeavering; Finds Tray


Family matters: tracing kinship links in a Neolithic tomb


Fast-track to the past: HS2 works uncover major Roman trading settlement


Joe Flatman excavates the CA archive

Reading between the runes: Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland

Roman Bath: a new history and archaeology of Aquae Sulis; Prehistoric Rock Art in Scotland: archaeology, meaning and engagement; Explorations in Archaeology and Philosophy; The Metal in Britain’s Coins: where did it come from and how did it get here?; Iron Age and Roman Settlement at Highflyer Farm, Ely, Cambridgeshire; Greco-Roman Medicine and What It Can Teach Us Today

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

Cultures of cloth in the medieval East Midlands at the University of Nottingham Museum

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

The latest details of Current Archaeology Live! 2022 

Chris Catling’s irreverent take on heritage issues

Odd Socs
The Society for Landscape Studies

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