Current Archaeology 395

3 mins read

Happy New Year! This month’s cover story features an extraordinary Anglo-Saxon find from Northamptonshire: the Harpole Treasure. This necklace, the richest of its kind yet discovered, had been chosen to accompany an evidently high-status woman to the grave in the mid-7th century. Ongoing analysis of her burial and the artistry of its artefacts will surely help to illuminate the period in which she lived and died. Finds like these also highlight why it is so important for developer-funded excavations to remain an integral part of the planning process: had the site not been investigated ahead of new housing, the isolated grave might never have been identified.

Next is a rather more recent site, again uncovered ahead of development: Weeley Barracks in Essex, which was built amid fears of French invasion during the Napoleonic Wars. What can we learn about its buildings, and the people who lived there?

The feature that follows is the second part of a planned Orkney trilogy drawing on my visit to the islands last summer; here we bring you the latest news from the Ness of Brodgar and its amazing Neolithic buildings, as the site marks 20 years since its discovery.

We then explore a third development-led dig, this time at Priors Hall near Corby. There, a second series of excavations have shed further light on the remains of a Roman villa estate that we first covered in CA 370. How has the story developed since our initial article? Read on to find out more.

Finally, we learn about the evolution of an enigmatic and intriguing form of monument, Neolithic long cairns, and ask whether an example in south-east Wales was the archetype for this innovative tomb-building tradition?

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In This Issue:



Echoes of the Napoleonic Wars in Essex
The remains of an early 19th-century military camp – built to guard against the threat of French invasion during the Napoleonic Wars – were recently revealed at Weeley in Essex. What can they tell us about how such sites operated, and the experiences of the people who lived and worked there?


Marking 20 years of Neolithic discoveries
Continuing our short series of articles drawing on CA Editor Carly’s recent visit to Orkney, we take a trip to the Ness of Brodgar to learn about the latest findings from one of the most significant complexes of Neolithic buildings yet found in north-west Europe.


Exploring a Roman villa estate near Corby
Further excavations at Priors Hall, near Corby in Northamptonshire, have revealed more details about this Roman villa associated with a rare temple-mausoleum, including evidence of early Iron Age origins, a well-preserved Roman road, and insights into the wider villa estate.


In search of the early origins of the Cotswold-Severn long cairn and barrow group
Recent radiocarbon dating at Penywyrlod, a Neolithic long cairn in the Black Mountains of south-east Wales, has allowed researchers to revisit excavations undertaken 50 years ago – and to suggest that this monument could be one of the first of its kind, transforming assumptions about the Cotswold-Severn long cairn and barrow group.


Return to Rutland Roman Villa; Early medieval settlement discovered in Coquet Valley; Hitting the right note – a medieval bone flute from Herne Bay, Kent; Short-lived chapel illuminated in Westminster Abbey; Reanalysing the bones from Boxgrove; Science Notes; Second Pictish stone discovered near Ulbster; Finds Tray


Harpole’s hidden gem: excavating early medieval Britain’s most significant female burial


Joe Flatman excavates the CA archive

Saving a Second World War Heavy Anti-Aircraft Battery: Mautby, Norfolk

Picts: scourge of Rome, rulers of the north; Funerary and Related Cups of the British Bronze Age; Water in the Roman World: engineering, trade, religion, and daily life; Gates of the City of London; The Circular Archetype in Microcosm: the carved stone balls of late Neolithic Scotland; Behind Closed Doors: the secret life of London private members’ clubs

The latest on acquisitions, exhibitions, and key decisions

Treason: people, power, and plot at the National Archives in London

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

Details about Current Archaeology Live! 2023, including interviews with the nominees for this year’s Archaeologist of the Year award

Chris Catling’s irreverent take on heritage issues

The Corbett Society

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