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Archaeology Matters

Past Issues

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Issue 155: Roman Silver

Surrounded by naked women, gods and mythical creatures, Bacchus gazes out from the centre of a huge platter, the centrepiece of the Mildenhall Roman treasure. Found 75 years ago, the hoard has received its first definitive study. Our feature reveals all.

Find out more about this issue here.

Issue 155 cover image

Issue 154: Saving Westminster

In a major feature devoted to the Westminster World Heritage site, we review the extraordinary history and archaeology of the abbey and the palace. We urge Parliament to move out to allow the palace restoration and renewal programme to proceed as soon as possible.  

A distinguished panel of writers includes Steven Brindle, Tim Tatton-Brown, John Crook, Warwick Rodwell, David Harrison, Richard Simmons and a team from Historic England, with comment from Colin Renfrew (Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn) and Tim Loughton MP.

Find out more about this issue here.

View of Westminster on the cover of issue 154

Issue 153: Stonehenge

Archaeologists have made significant discoveries near Stonehenge, among them the grave of an adult man who might have seen the earliest megaliths erected at the site.

Find out more about this issue here.

Issue 153 front cover

Issue 152: Anglo-Saxon cemetery

Over 90 wooden coffins have been found preserved in an early Christian cemetery, laid out around the foundations of a small chapel.

Find out more about this issue here.

Issue 152 cover

Issue 151: The first ancient British genomes

Three separate projects recently considered identity and migration in England over a thousand years ago, for the first time using ancient DNA from excavated skeletons. In a major feature, with the help of key scientists and archaeologists involved, we review the discoveries and the science behind them.

Find out more about this issue here.

Issue 151 cover image

Issue 150: Beaker People

4,000 years ago continental immigrants swept across Britain, bringing new ideas and technologies. Even their heads looked different – at least, that was once a popular theory. Could it be true? A major scientific project may have the answer.

Find out more about this issue here.

Issue 150 cover

Issue 149

ON THE COVER: MORE HENGES

Excavation near Stonehenge reveals yet another neolithic ritual complex, with two henges and 20 ritual pits – the other side of the river. Find out more about this issue here.

Cover for issue 149
Issue 148

ON THE COVER: IN SEARCH OF THE ARABIAN ARMADA

Archaeologists behind the discovery and excavation of the Esmeralda, wrecked off the coast of Oman in 1503, describe this extraordinary project. Find out more about this issue here 
 
Front cover image of issue 148

Issue 147

ON THE COVER: THE MEANING OF MUCKING

A long time ago in a gravel quarry far away, the first spadeful was raised in an extraordinary, eccentric excavation that ran for 13 years. It has finally been analysed. The result is a unique insight into Britain’s long-term history. Find out more about this issue here

Front cover image of issue 147
Issue 146

ON THE COVER: STONEHENGE QUARRIES

In the news this week, the claimed discovery of two sites in Wales from which different stones at Stonehenge were quarried. The archaeologists behind the excavations describe their findings. Find out more about this issue here
 
Front cover image of issue 146

Issue 145

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. Find out more about this issue here

Front cover image of issue 145

Issue 144

ON THE COVER: THE CELTS

Ahead of a major exhibition featuring Celtic arts opening in London in September 2015 and Edinburgh in March 2016, our cover shows a small part of one of the most extraordinary Celtic treasures from Europe, still in the ground in Norfolk during excavation in the early 1990s. Our feature describes new forensic work conducted on the gold and silver. In a separate feature, we consider fine metal artefacts that were taken home from the British Isles by Norwegian Vikings. And four of the people behind the exhibitions introduce their controversial idea of what Celtic arts mean. Find out more about this issue here

Front cover image of issue 144
Issue 143

ON THE COVER: DRONES IN ARCHAEOLOGY? 

Unmanned aerial vehicles are fast becoming popular consumer items, as technologies improve and prices fall. For field archaeologists struggling with step ladders, poles and kites, they seem to offer the dream way to get above it all. But how do they work? Are they safe? And do you need a licence to fly one? We report on the surprising things you can do with a drone. Find out more about this issue here
 
Front cover image of issue 143

Issue 142

ON THE COVER: AN EXCEPTIONAL ROMAN BURIAL

Less than six months ago, a metal detectorist found some Roman bronze vessels in Hertfordshire, at Kelshall near Royston. Archaeologists secretly excavated the site. Here they together present the first report on the grave. Objects buried with the individual included a pair of unique millefiori glass dishes, glass vessels, an iron lamp and three decorated bronze jugs and a patera. One of the jugs has scenes reminiscent of the Georgics, a text by the Roman poet Virgil. Find out more about this issue here 

Front cover image of issue 142

Issue 141

ON THE COVER: RICHARD III IN LEICESTER 

Exactly two years ago – February 4 2013 – Leicester University announced that it had found the grave of Richard III, the last English king to die in battle. The discovery immediately became one of the most sensational and debated archaeological stories of modern times. Research has continued, disputes have been resolved and preparations have been underway for a ceremonial reburial in Leicester Cathedral. We take an inside look at the whole saga, from excavation to reburial, with a focus on places to see in Leicester. Find out more about this issue here

Front cover image of issue 141

Issue 140

ON THE COVER: VIKING HOARD BURIED INSIDE BUILDING

In the first full report on how a major Viking-age hoard was found and recovered in Galloway, south-west Scotland, we reveal that excavation suggests the treasure had been buried in the corner of a timber building over 12m (40 feet) long. The building stood within a bank-and-ditch enclosure, and may have been part of an early Christian monastic site. Research is still at an early stage, however, and the discoveries pose more questions than they answer. Among other news is that there were actually two hoards, one buried above the other. Find out more about this issue here

Front cover image of issue 140
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