Current Archaeology 393

3 mins read

This month’s cover feature focuses on the largest-known hoard of Late Roman hacksilver, found at Traprain Law, an Iron Age hillfort in East Lothian. With a new study exploring its eclectic contents, what can we learn about the artistic interests of people on both sides of Hadrian’s Wall?

From Hadrian’s Wall to Hampshire, we next visit Silchester and Little London, which are the only places in Britain that have yielded tiles marked with the names and titles of the emperor Nero. What do these fragmentary finds mean?

Our next feature reports on a recent site visit to Caistor St Edmund, near Norwich. There, close to the known remains of a Romano-Celtic temple, other traces of enigmatic activity are emerging from the Norfolk soil.

We then cut across the country to Gloucestershire, to hear the latest news from Chedworth Roman Villa, which was discovered more than 150 years ago but has only recently received the first formal academic publication of its finds.

Villas represent a distinctly privileged lifestyle – and so our next feature provides a complete contrast, as we delve into the period of around 700 years when public executions were an inescapable part of London life – and on such a scale that the capital was nicknamed the ‘City of Gallows’. A new exhibition shares powerful and poignant stories about those condemned under this system, those who made their living from it, and those who campaigned for its abolition.

Our final feature also concerns matters of life and death, as we travel to Ambleside Roman fort in the Lake District. There, analysis of lead sling bullets found scattered around the site is revealing clues about a long-forgotten battle.

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In This Issue:



Nero, Silchester, and building infrastructure in the new province
While tiles are a common feature of many Roman sites, those stamped with the name and titles of the emperor Nero have only been found at two locations in Britain: Silchester and Little London. What have recent excavations at the latter site revealed about the production and circulation of these unusual tiles?


Excavating an aqueduct in Roman Norfolk
CA has paid many visits to Caistor St Edmund, near Norwich, where the Caistor Roman Project has been investigating the remains of a Romano-Celtic temple. Now, echoes of enigmatic activity are emerging just outside the religious compound.


Understanding the Late Roman hacksilver from the Traprain Hoard
A recent study by National Museums Scotland has tried to piece together the puzzle of the Traprain Law hoard – the largest gathering of Late Roman hacksilver yet known. What can it tell us about art and experiences at the edge of the Roman empire?


Exploring over 150 years of interpretation
Chedworth is one of the largest and best-preserved Roman villas in England, but has only recently received its first formal academic publication. What has been learned in the years since its discovery?


Tracing the human stories behind London’s history of public executions
Between c.1196 and 1868, London witnessed more public executions than any other city in Britain. A new exhibition at the Museum of London Docklands takes a poignantly personal approach to this grim legacy, exploring the stories of some of those who were executed, reprieved, or made their living in connection with such practices – as well as the legacy still left in the London landscape.


Ambleside Roman fort under attack
Located in the heart of the Lake District, Ambleside fort occupied a strategic position during the Roman period, guarding the road that ran west–east between the port of Ravenglass on the Cumbrian coast and the fort at Brougham near modern Penrith. Recent research has shed new light on the many lead sling bullets found around the site, hinting at long-forgotten conflict.


8,000 years of footprints preserved at FormbyIn search of lost islands in Cardigan BayRediscovering a Roman mosaic at FolkestoneAncient DNA reveals family relationships in Late Roman graveEarly farming practices at Balbridie brought to lightScience NotesCereal consumption at Hebridean crannogsFinds Tray


Revealing royal Rendlesham: luxury living in early medieval Suffolk


Joe Flatman excavates the CA archive

Recovering an anchor from the North Sea

Homo Sapiens Rediscovered: the scientific revolution rewriting our origins; A Viking Market Kingdom in Ireland and Britain: trade networks and the importation of a southern Scandinavian silver bullion economy; Hadrian’s Wall: exploring its past to protect its future; Stonehenge and Middle to Late Neolithic Cremation Rites in Mainland Britain (c.3500-2500 BC); Thin Section Petrography, Geochemistry and Scanning Electron Microscopy of Archaeological Ceramics; A Cult Centre on Rome’s North-West Frontier: excavations at Maryport, Cumbria 1870-2015

Our review of The Lost King

Circles of Stone: Stonehenge and prehistoric Japan

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

The Wesley Historical Society

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