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Archaeology Matters

Past Issue 145

November/December 2015

On the cover: British mummies

Tom Booth and colleagues tell the story of how they came to realise, after a forensic trail that took them across the UK, that mummification was a common way to dispose of the dead in Bronze Age Britain.

Front cover image of issue 145

Among other stories

  • Duncan Wilson, Historic England chief executive - In a wide-ranging interview, Duncan Wilson talks about Historic England’s role and challenges, the inspiration of archaeology, and how he went to his first dig at school on a motorbike – and the ancestor who turned down the chance to join Howard Carter on an expedition to Egypt.
  • The Sekhemka sale - Last year Northampton Council sold an Egyptian statue of Sekhemka. The Department for Culture, Media & Sport has just deferred a decision on its export licence application until March 29 2016. In two features, we review the sale and future implications, and discover the man thought to have brought the statue to England in 1850.
  • Is Nefertiti in Tutankhamun’s tomb? - Nicholas Reeves’s theory that Nefertiti may lie hidden and undisturbed within Tutankhamun’s tomb aroused understandable interest. Having just obtained permission from the authorities to electronically scan the tomb, the British Egyptologist explains his case
  • Orkney dressed stone “houses” world’s oldest - Excavation in Orkney is revealing stone architecture unmatched for scale and sophistication anywhere in neolithic Europe. Unlike any known in Europe until classical times (in Britain after the Roman conquest in ad43) buildings which were lived in are made with dressed stones. New finds included stones dressed to fit curved wall corners.
  • Late glacial hunters - Archaeologists were already working in the Inner Hebrides when they heard that pigs had found ancient flint tools on the Isle of Islay. Excavation revealed an unexpected story of some of the UK’s remotest hunter-gatherers
  • Fields of Britannia - What happened to the landscape when Britain left the Roman empire? And where did today’s countryside come from? A major new research programme drawing on the evidence of 1000s of excavations suggests a surprising degree of continuity between Roman and medieval times
  • Petrie Museum is 100 - The world’s two largest collections of ancient Egyptian archaeology outside Egypt are in London. One of them is celebrating its centenary. We report on Sir Flinders Petrie’s changing legacy
  • 10,000 years in a Cheshire field - A Cheshire farmer went to plough and found a stone. His small excavation led to a community project that looked for a lost medieval abbey, and found a significant centre of prehistoric trade and industry
  • New causewayed enclosure near Oxford - During eight months of large-scale excavation at Thame archaeologists made a major discovery of an early neolithic causewayed enclosure over 5,400 years old. Among other discoveries was an iron age pit in which a woman’s body had been lain, broken and twisted, beneath a horse’s skull.
  • Stone row near Stonehenge gets even bigger - We reveal that further analysis indicates a newly discovered monument at Durrington Walls, first said to have consisted of 90 stones, had up to 200 megaliths and was at least 600m long.

Regulars include

  • Letters - How to fund archive research?
  • Greg Bailey on TV - Digging for Britain and First Britons – which was better?
  • Casefiles - Terry’s Chocolate Factory
  • Books - Journey to Britannia, and Death in the Close
  • Spoilheap - Archaeology: a creative mix of vision and skills
  • Briefing - The UK's only archaeological events listing, with exhibition reviews

British Archaeology is a bimonthly members' magazine that is also available in larger WH Smith stores and the best independent newsagents, and by subscription in print and digital.

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