Current Archaeology 402

3 mins read

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Don’t worry, you haven’t accidentally picked up the Christmas issue – rather, it’s the height of summer, which means it’s site-visit season. In the last few weeks I have driven through some truly beautiful countryside (and along some seriously dreary stretches of motorway) and, by the time you read this, will have visited projects in Northumberland, the Welsh borderlands, Kent, Berkshire, and Norfolk – and hopefully more that I am yet to pin down (have notebook, will travel!).

One of my adventures took me to Hadrian’s Wall, which has been a hotbed of excavation this summer – I visited three digs, two of which form the focus of our first two features. They are a starkly contrasting pair: first we hear the latest news from the extra-mural settlement outside Birdoswald, one of the most intensively investigated forts on the Roman frontier, followed by a new project at Magna, which represents the first modern research excavation of this fort and nearby Milecastle 46.

Remaining in the Roman period, we next explore a new exhibition running in Colchester, which reveals recent findings – and busts some myths – about gladiatorial games in Britain. From there we jump forward in time to learn about two very different medieval sites: a 15th-century farmstead in Jersey, and a ‘lost’ church in Saline, West Fife. Finally, we finish in York, where an award-winning initiative has been using archaeo- logical fieldwork to boost the mental health and wellbeing of local residents.

Before you go, a date for your diaries: next year’s CA Live! will be held on Saturday 24 February 2024, in partnership with the Institute of Archaeology. Save the date!

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In This Issue:



Exploring the extra-mural settlement of a Hadrian’s Wall fort
This summer saw the largest excavations at Birdoswald Roman fort since the 1990s. What can we learn about the experiences and activities of the people who lived outside the fort’s walls?


First modern excavations of the Hadrian’s Wall site begin
A new five-year project has launched at Magna Roman fort and Milecastle 46, representing the first modern archaeological research excavation to focus on these frontier fortifications.


A day at the Roman games
The Colchester Vase is thought to provide evidence of gladiators operating in Roman Britain. It features in a new exhibition at Colchester Castle, which explores the elaborate and often bloody spectacles staged within Britannia’s arenas.


How to build a Jersey farmhouse
What can analysis of the 15th-century farmhouse of Hamptonne tell us about the construction of vernacular houses in Jersey over the past 500 years?


The search for Saline’s ‘lost’ church
Demolished in the 19th century to make way for a newer, less ruinous successor, the medieval church at Saline in West Fife has become lost over time. Can a community dig relocate its remains?


Using fieldwork to support York’s mental health provision
An award-winning initiative in York is using archaeological fieldwork to boost the wellbeing of local residents, and to explore thousandsofyearsofhistoryintheWalmgatearea.


Rare Roman mausoleum unearthed in Southwark; Bronze Age barrow cemetery discovered in Salisbury; Face-to-face with the Trumpington bed burial teenager; 3D scan sheds light on unusual Roman gypsum burials; Bayesian analysis provides new chronology for Dorstone Hill; Science Notes; ‘Giant’ handaxes found in Frindsbury, Kent; Finds Tray


Prehistoric continuity in the Cambridgeshire landscape: exploring recent excavations at Needingworth Quarry


Joe Flatman excavates the CA archive

Park life then and now: Victoria Park, London

Stonehenge: a brief history; The Eagle and the Bear: a new history of Roman Scotland; Villas, Sanctuaries, and Settlement in the Romano-British Countryside; Burton Dassett, Southend, Warwickshire: a medieval market village; Roman Frontier Archaeology – in Britain and Beyond: papers in honour of Paul Bidwell presented on the occasion of the 30th annual conference of the Arbeia Society; The Drowning of a Cornish Prehistoric Landscape: tradition, deposition, and social responses to sea level rise

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

The latest on acquisitions, exhibitions, and key decisions

Wroxeter Roman City

‘Pirates: explore beneath the surface’ at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall

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

Lancashire Parish Register Society

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