Current Archaeology 404

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For our cover story we tour the hillforts of Wales, considering what these mighty monuments were for, and if one definition can capture a purpose for all of them.

We then head into a ‘hidden valley’ in north Lincolnshire, where twin Anglo-Saxon cemeteries representing dramatically different burial traditions were excavated in the 1990s. Thirty years on, analysis has shed vivid light on a fascinating period of religious change and continuity.

Our next feature ventures to another valley, this time in Herefordshire, to learn more about Arthur’s Stone. This Neolithic monument has an intriguing (pre)history, shape-shifting from one type of tomb to another. Thanks to three years of excavations, this enigmatic evolution is now coming into focus.

Moving forward in the medieval period, we then travel to Ankerwycke, on the riverbank opposite Runnymede. While one side of the Thames was witnessing the creation of Magna Carta, the other was home to the nuns of St Mary’s Priory. What have recent investigations revealed about this religious community, and the grand Tudor residence that succeeded it?

We end by unpicking the Knutsford Hoard, a collection of over 100 Roman coins and items of jewellery, and what it tell us about life some 2,000 years ago.

Finally, I offer a grateful salute to my indomitable, indefatigable, and entirely indispensable deputy, Kathryn, for overseeing this issue while I’ve been away for much of September.

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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 ArchaeologyMinerva, and Military History Matters. Subscribers should see the advert inside the magazine for a very special offer!

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In This Issue:



Finding Anglo-Saxons in rural Lincolnshire
More than 20 years after two Anglo-Saxon cemeteries were excavated at Sawcliffe, near Scunthorpe, new interpretations in the wake of the upcoming publication of the excavation report are helping to complete the picture of early medieval burials in the region.


Unpicking the evolution of Arthur’s Stone
The partial excavation of a churchyard at Fewston in North Yorkshire has provided a rare look at a rural post-medieval population from the north of England, including the lives of many children who were brought from urban workhouses to labour in the nearby mills.


From priory to pleasure ground
Ongoing excavations at Ankerwycke, opposite Runnymeade, are shedding new light on how the site evolved from a medieval nunnery to a Tudor residence and, finally, to a 19th-century pleasure ground.


Illuminating Iron Age hillforts in Wales
A comprehensive survey of the Iron Age hillforts of Wales has provided new evidence about their construction and use over the centuries, showing that no single explanation fits every example.


Exploring the contents of the Knutsford Hoard
The Knutsford Hoard – a Roman hoard containing more than 100 coins and pieces of jewellery – was found in 2012. What can more recent analysis of its contents tell us about life in the north-west of England nearly 2,000 years ago?


Multi-period finds at Faughan Hill; Investigating a Neolithic cursus on the Isle of Arran; Modelling the Roman road network in the south-west; Bronze Age burial found at Iron Age site in Dorset; Whales in Anglo-Saxon England; Science Notes; Roman farmstead excavated at Milton, Cambridgeshire; Finds Tray


Joe Flatman excavates the CA archive

Breathing new life into an Anglo-Saxon brooch: National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh

Broken Pots, Mending Lives: the archaeology of Operation Nightingale; Death and the Body in Bronze Age Europe: from inhumation to cremation; From Hunter-Gatherers to Early Christians: the archaeology of ancient societies in the Llŷn peninsula; Fabric of the Frontier: prospection, use, and re-use of stone from Hadrian’s Wall; A Woman’s Will: the changing lives of British women, told through the things they have left behind; Beacons in the Landscape: the hillforts of England, Wales, and the Isle of Man (2nd edition)

The latest on acquisitions, exhibitions, and key decisions

Burma to Myanmar at the British Museum

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

National Churches Trust

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