Current Archaeology 387

3 mins read

Neolithic Orkney was a prehistoric powerhouse whose cultural influence spread across Britain and Ireland. What happened after these glory days, though? The archipelago has long been portrayed as a Bronze Age backwater, isolated from the dramatic changes that were taking place elsewhere in Britain – but now genetic analysis has revealed this was far from the case, as our cover story reports.

The front cover of Current Archaeology issue 387. The cover image is an aerial photograph of an excavation on Orkney, taken on a sunny day. The shore is in view, and the coverlines appear against the backdrop of the blue sky.

Iron Age Leicester also enjoyed far-reaching connections, importing goods from Gaul, Italy, and Iberia. A new monograph brings together half a century of excavations to trace cycles of growth and decline as the area moved into the Roman and medieval periods.

Roman Leicester has yielded no definitive evidence for a fort or prolonged military presence, but our third feature has a distinctly martial flavour. Waterloo Uncovered’s excavations at Hougoumont Farm have shed new light on a place that played a key role on the Belgian battlefield in 1815. This article represents a rare trip overseas for CA (since the launch of our international sister-magazine, Current World Archaeology, in 2003); if you would like to read more about archaeology abroad, do pick up a copy of CWA.

We return to the Roman period to examine the remains of Noviomagus Reginorum – today, Chichester. From Fishbourne Roman Palace to the recent discovery of high-status townhouses in a public park, the city has produced plenty of clues to this period of its past: a rich legacy that also inspired an annual festival.

Finally, we venture into the peatlands that cover parts of Britain and Ireland. Why are these landscapes so vital to archaeological understanding, how are they threatened by the current climate crisis – and what can be done to help?

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In This Issue:



How female migrants changed the face of Bronze Age Orkney
Recent genetic analysis of human remains from the Links of Noltland, on Westray, has revealed the first concrete evidence of a major influx of non-local people into Orkney during the Bronze Age – a movement of migrants dominated by women.


Exploring Roman and medieval Leicester
CA looks at the archaeological evidence – from the Iron Age to the 13th century – for cycles of growth and decline in Leicester, exploring its Roman and medieval settlements.


Hougoumont Farm exposed
In a rare insight from abroad for CA, we learn about recent excavations in Belgium by the charity Waterloo Uncovered, which have revealed exciting new discoveries about the eponymous battlefield and one of the key sites from the conflict.


Celebrating Chichester’s Roman past
Chichester’s archaeology has served both as a platform for public engagement and as inspiration for an annual celebration: Chichester Roman Week. As the festival returns this year with a packed programme, we explore the city’s rich Roman heritage.


Peatlands, climate change, and the future of archaeology
How can an archaeological understanding of peatland environments help to ameliorate the climate crisis? Scientific investigations at the Roman fort of Magna near Carvoran in Northumberland have provided clues.


New details of Stoke Mandeville’s Roman busts;
English Civil War defences unearthed in King’s Lynn;
Butser Ancient Farm launches latest reconstruction;
New images of Rutland’s Roman villa;
Traces of medieval and modern life unearthed in Haverfordwest;
Unraveling medieval lives with isotope analysis;
Evidence of Roman beer production in Bedfordshire;
Finds Tray – medieval lion figurine


Joe Flatman excavates the CA archive

Edwardian excavations: Corbridge, Northumberland

Crucible of Nations: Scotland from Viking Age to medieval kingdom; London in the Roman World; Mosaics in Roman Britain; Ruins, Remains and Relics: Sussex; Street Furniture; Land of the Ilich: journeys into Islay’s past

Brick Wonders at The Novium Museum, Chichester

The latest on 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 still available online

Chris Catling’s irreverent take on heritage issues

Andrew Selkirk on Roman London

The British Sundial Society

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