When I joined Current Archaeology (as Editorial Assistant) in 2011, the first issue I worked on was CA 259. I can’t decide whether I am more flabbergasted that that was 12 years ago, or that we are now publishing CA 400. It has been such a joy and a privilege to contribute to the intervening issues, and I hope that this one is a fitting marker for the milestone.
I was keen that the whole issue should not be a retrospective, but should celebrate different aspects of archaeology’s past, present, and future, drawing on sites from across the British Isles. To that end, this month’s features are complemented by a bumper version of Joe Flatman’s column, digging into our archives to trace how archaeology has evolved since the 1960s; and Andrew Selkirk’s ‘Last Word’, in which our Editor-in-chief summarises the history of CA itself.
As for the features themselves, the first demonstrates how developer-led excavations can she light on even very well-known monuments, with a report on the recent discovery of a new Hadrian’s Wall turret in an unexpected place. We then consider how historical research and archaeological investigations complement each other – in this instance, to shed light on the activities of medieval hermits in Britain and Ireland.
Next, we share the story of one of our oldest commercial units, the York Archaeological Trust, which has recently celebrated its 50th birthday, and which has always been a pioneering force in presenting the past to the public. Finally, we hear from DigVentures, a thriving crowdfunded archaeological enterprise, to explore how ways of ‘doing archaeology’ are changing today, how we can make it more accessible, and what the future of the discipline might look like.
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!
In This Issue:
Excavating Hadrian’s Wall in urban Tyneside
In 2021, Pre-Construct Archaeology uncovered a previously unknown Hadrian’s Wall turret in Newcastle upon Tyne – the first to be discovered in over 40 years. As the largest turret to be identified to date, what can it tell us about Roman construction and defences along the frontier?
Medieval hermitages in Britain and Ireland
While the conventional medieval monastic landscape is well studied, less attention has been given to the more esoteric hermitages. Here, we explore a new book that rectifies that dearth, taking us on a tour of the eremitic landscape of Britain and Ireland and showing that they were not always isolated or remote sites.
Half a century of excavations and attractions
Having marked its 50th birthday last year, the York Archaeological Trust has evolved with the times, seeking the balance between rigorous research and public engagement. We explore the history of this trailblazing charity and how it hopes to move forward in the next 50 years.
Can social value save archaeology from extinction?
How can archaeology remain engaged with local communities while successfully adapting to the increased financial and political pressures of our current world? Lisa Westcott Wilkins looks to the future of archaeology through the lens of the DigVentures initiative.
Re-excavating Boles Barrow; Centuries of settlement uncovered in Oxfordshire; Tracing ‘pauper apprentices’ in North Yorkshire; Gaming piece discovered in Bedfordshire; Two hoards from Monmouthshire declared treasure; Science Notes; The genetic links of the Picts revealed; Finds Tray
Joe Flatman reflects on both the past and future of archaeology through the CA archive
Archaeology, Economy, and Society: England from the fifth to the fifteenth century (2nd edition); The Hinterland of Hadrian’s Wall and Derbyshire; Grounded: a journey into the landscapes of our ancestors; Boom and Bust in Bronze Age Britain: the Great Orme copper mine and European trade; The Viking Age in Scotland: studies in Scottish Scandinavian archaeology; The Ness of Brodgar: time and place
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, our founder and Editor-in-chief, marks CA’s 400th issue
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