• Ancient faces brought back to life at Scottish museum – video

    Ancient faces brought back to life at Scottish museum – video
    A bronze age woman who suffered lower back pain 4,000 years ago and an iron age Pictish man who lived a life of hard labour 1,500 years ago are among our ancient ancestors who have been brought to life in dramatic facial reconstructions. Cutting-edge technology will enable visitors to Scotland’s new Perth Museum to come face to face with four individuals from our past in modern-day PerthshireAncient faces brought back to life at Scottish museum Continue reading...
  • Ancient faces brought back to life at Scottish museum

    Ancient faces brought back to life at Scottish museum
    Dramatic reconstructions of local people who lived up to 4,000 years ago will go on display thanks to advanced DNA techniquesA Bronze Age woman who suffered lower back pain 4,000 years ago and an Iron Age Pictish man who lived a life of hard labour 1,500 years ago are among our ancient ancestors who have been brought to life in dramatic facial reconstructions.Cutting-edge technology will enable visitors to Scotland’s new Perth Museum to come face to face with four individuals from our past
  • Egypt scraps plan to restore cladding on one of three great pyramids of Giza

    Egypt scraps plan to restore cladding on one of three great pyramids of Giza
    Antiquities authority drops proposal for Menkaure pyramid after review prompted by international outcryEgypt has scuttled a controversial plan to reinstall ancient granite cladding on the pyramid of Menkaure, the smallest of the three great pyramids of Giza, a committee formed by the country’s tourism minister said in a statement.Mostafa Waziri, the secretary general of the supreme council of antiquities, announced the plan last month, declaring it would be “the project of the centur
  • David Hawkins obituary

    David Hawkins obituary
    David Hawkins, my colleague and friend, who has died aged 83, was one of the world’s leading scholars of the languages of ancient Turkey.He spent all his career at Soas University of London. He was appointed fellow in Hittite at Soas in 1964 and retired as professor in 2005. Hittite, the oldest known Indo-European language, was then only taught at Oxford, by Oliver Gurney, to whom David went to learn the language in which he had been appointed. Continue reading...
  • Advertisement

  • Stone age wall found at bottom of Baltic Sea ‘may be Europe’s oldest megastructure’

    Stone age wall found at bottom of Baltic Sea ‘may be Europe’s oldest megastructure’
    Structure stretches for almost a kilometre off coast of Germany and may have once stood by a lakeA stone age wall discovered beneath the waves off Germany’s Baltic coast may be the oldest known megastructure built by humans in Europe, researchers say.The wall, which stretches for nearly a kilometre along the seafloor in the Bay of Mecklenburg, was spotted by accident when scientists operated a multibeam sonar system from a research vessel on a student trip about 10km (six miles) offshore.
  • Roman egg found in Aylesbury still has contents after 1,700 years

    Roman egg found in Aylesbury still has contents after 1,700 years
    Archaeologists and naturalists astonished to find yolk and albumen that may reveal secrets about the bird that laid itIt was a wonderful find as it was, a cache of 1,700-year-old speckled chicken eggs discovered in a Roman pit during a dig in Buckinghamshire.But to the astonishment of archaeologists and naturalists, a scan has revealed that one of the eggs recovered intact still has liquid – thought to be a mix of yolk and albumen – inside it, and may give up secrets about the bird t
  • Country diary: This chalky old city gets under your boots | Nicola Chester

    Country diary: This chalky old city gets under your boots | Nicola Chester
    Winchester, Hampshire: This is a familiar haunt to me, a place of protest, hill-walking, and views over the River ItchenWe have come to Winchester, our nearest city and an old haunt. From here you can be in water meadows or downland within minutes. We walk out past the cathedral towards St Catherine’s Hill, its iconic dome part of the Cretaceous chalk of the upfolding Winchester anticline. But since I last walked up, my old route through a meadow has become the park and ride I protest
  • AI helps scholars read scroll buried when Vesuvius erupted in AD79

    AI helps scholars read scroll buried when Vesuvius erupted in AD79
    Researchers used AI to read letters on papyrus scroll damaged by the blast of heat, ash and pumice that destroyed PompeiiScholars of antiquity believe they are on the brink of a new era of understanding after researchers armed with artificial intelligence read the hidden text of a charred scroll that was buried when Mount Vesuvius erupted nearly 2,000 years ago.Hundreds of papyrus scrolls held in the library of a luxury Roman villa in Herculaneum were burned to a crisp when the town was devastat
  • Advertisement

  • ‘Flat-packed furniture for the next life’: Roman funerary bed found in London

    ‘Flat-packed furniture for the next life’: Roman funerary bed found in London
    First such piece to be found in Britain is ‘incredibly well-made’, say experts, and remarkably preservedArchaeologists in London have made the “exceptionally important” discovery of a complete wooden funerary bed, the first ever discovered in Britain.The remarkably preserved bed, described as “unparalleled” by experts, was excavated from the site of a former Roman cemetery near Holborn viaduct, central London, alongside five oak coffins. Prior to this dig, onl
  • ‘Incredibly rare’ discovery reveals bedbugs came to Britain with the Romans

    ‘Incredibly rare’ discovery reveals bedbugs came to Britain with the Romans
    Archaeologists find remains of insects that ‘hitchhiked’ here nearly 2,000 years agoFrom plumbing to public baths, the Romans left their mark on Britain’s health. But it may not have all been positive. Archaeologists working at Vindolanda, a Roman garrison site south of Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland, have unearthed fresh evidence that the Romans also brought us ... bedbugs.Dr Andrew Birley, who heads the Vindolanda archaeological team, said: “It is incredibly rar
  • Current Archaeology 408 – ON SALE NOW

    Current Archaeology 408 – ON SALE NOW
    Our cover story features Warham Camp, a hillfort that is ‘normal for Norfolk’ (as a Norwich girl, I’m allowed to say that!) inasmuch as it is built on flat ground, but its ramparts and ditches are no less impressive than those of its loftier counterparts. What has a recent excavation revealed about its purpose?Warham Camp is an Iron Age monument with a Roman aftermath – and our next feature also explores the impact of empire in East Anglia. At Offord Cluny in Cambridgeshi
  • Excavating the CA Archive – Somerset Part II

    Excavating the CA Archive – Somerset Part II
    After last month’s rural rambles around the archaeology of central and south Somerset, I will now head north and east to consider urban concerns in and around Bristol, Bath, and their environs, then journey on to Frome in the south-east of the county.
    BRISTOLAt one point or another, virtually the entire history of Bristol has been explored in the pages of Current Archaeology, from its medieval origins to its later history as a port city with major links to the transatlantic slave industry
  • Warham Camp

    Warham Camp
    Investigating an Iron Age enigmaOverlooking the impressive Iron Age earthworks of Warham Camp, towards the sea. Immediately to the left of the monument runs the River Stiffkey, which was rerouted in the 18th century, destroying a portion of its outer bank. The test-pits that can be seen in its interior were dug in July of last year. IMAGE: Cambridge Archaeological Unit
    Last summer, excavations at Warham Camp – a monumental Iron Age enclosure in north Norfolk – revealed intriguing cl
  • ‘Their heads were nailed to the trees’: what was life – and death – like for Roman legionaries?

    ‘Their heads were nailed to the trees’: what was life – and death – like for Roman legionaries?
    It was the defeat that traumatised Rome, leaving 15,000 soldiers slaughtered in a German field. As a major show explores this horror and more, our writer finds traces of the fallen by a forest near the RhineIt is one of the most chilling passages in Roman literature. Germanicus, the emperor Tiberius’s nephew, is leading reprisals in the deeply forested areas east of the Rhine, when he decides to visit the scene of the catastrophic defeat, six years before, of his fellow Roman, Quinctilius
  • ‘Forging new history’: high-end iron age smithy unearthed in Oxfordshire

    ‘Forging new history’: high-end iron age smithy unearthed in Oxfordshire
    Archaeologists have been wowed by the early dates and the evidence, including the size of the tuyereAn iron age workshop, where blacksmiths were forging metal about 2,700 years ago, has been discovered in Oxfordshire, complete with everything from bellows protectors to the tiny bits of metal that flew off as the red hot iron was hammered into shape.Radiocarbon tests date it between 770BC and 515BC, during the earliest days of ironworking in Britain. From about 800BC, the art of forging iron beca
  • Race against time to unlock secrets of Erebus shipwreck and doomed Arctic expedition

    Race against time to unlock secrets of Erebus shipwreck and doomed Arctic expedition
    Hundreds of discoveries made on Sir John Franklin’s ships, but storm damage makes wrecks increasingly dangerousArchaeologists have made hundreds of new finds on the wreck of HMS Erebus, the ship commanded by Sir John Franklin on his doomed Arctic trip 180 years ago.The team’s discoveries include pistols, sealed bottles of ­medicines, seamen’s chests and navigation equipment. These are now being studied for clues to explain the loss of the Erebus and its sister ship Terror,
  • Hunter-gatherers were mostly gatherers, says archaeologist

    Hunter-gatherers were mostly gatherers, says archaeologist
    Researchers reject ‘macho caveman’ stereotype after burial site evidence suggests a largely plant-based dietEarly human hunter-gatherers ate mostly plants and vegetables, according to archeological findings that undermine the commonly held view that our ancestors lived on a high protein, meat-heavy diet.The evidence, from the remains of 24 individuals from two burial sites in the Peruvian Andes dating to between 9,000 and 6,500 years ago, suggests that wild potatoes and other root ve
  • British Museum reveals bumper haul of treasures found by the public

    British Museum reveals bumper haul of treasures found by the public
    Finds reported to England’s Portable Antiquities Scheme include medieval bone rosary bead and 3,000-year-old gold dress fastenerCaroline Nunneley was mudlarking along the shore of the Thames in London – inching on her hands and knees while scanning the mud for archaeological finds – when she suddenly spotted a miniature human skull looking up at her.She picked up the small, exquisitely carved object and showed it to a friend. “We turned it over and we went: ‘Whoa.&r
  • Ancient ‘chewing gum’ sheds light on stone age teenagers’ diet

    Ancient ‘chewing gum’ sheds light on stone age teenagers’ diet
    Traces of DNA found on lumps of tree resin suggest trout and hazelnuts were popular 10,000 years agoDNA from a type of “chewing gum” used by teenagers in Sweden 10,000 years ago is shedding new light on the stone age diet and oral health, according to research.The wads of gum are made from pieces of birch bark pitch, a tar-like black resin, and carry clearly visible teethmarks. Continue reading...
  • Engraving on 2,000-year-old knife thought to be oldest runes in Denmark

    Engraving on 2,000-year-old knife thought to be oldest runes in Denmark
    Inscription on knife discovered by archaeologist in grave on island of Funen spells hirila, which means ‘little sword’An engraving on an almost 2,000-year-old knife believed to be the oldest runes ever found in Denmark has been discovered by archaeologists.The runic inscription – the alphabet of Denmark’s earliest written language – was etched into an 8cm iron knife found in a grave below an urn near the city of Odense on the island of Funen. The five characters, ea
  • Hiatus, I’m afraid

    Hiatus, I’m afraid
    I’m sorry to come back in this new year of 2024 only to announce a stop, but, January has really hit hard. Quite apart from publication deadlines set as if maliciously to coincide with the beginning of teaching – the worst bit of which is that I set at least one of them – there has also been a loss in my family, which entailed a long drive to and from a deathbed, after which the car dramatically failed its MOT, and now there’s still the geographically distant but temporal
  • ‘Absolutely amazing’: 1,800-year-old shattered Roman arm guard is reconstructed from 100 pieces

    ‘Absolutely amazing’: 1,800-year-old shattered Roman arm guard is reconstructed from 100 pieces
    National Museums Scotland restores soldier’s brass guard, only the third of its kind known to existA spectacular brass guard that would have protected the sword arm of a high-ranking Roman soldier some 1,800 years ago has been reconstructed from more than 100 fragments found at Trimontium, the Roman fort complex in Scotland.The extraordinary jigsaw puzzle has been pieced together by National Museums Scotland (NMS) in Edinburgh, and the arm-guard will now be lent to the British Museum&rsquo
  • Country diary: A drowned land in plain sight | Jan Miller

    Country diary: A drowned land in plain sight | Jan Miller
    Rhyl, Denbighshire: On the popular beach here, within earshot of the amusement arcades, we visit a 6,000-year-old forest that’s not fossilised but preserved by waterlogging“I must go back to a woollen vest, a woollen vest with sleeves!” my husband shouts – his favourite parody of the John Masefield poem “I must go down to the seas again” – at the fog and flurries of wind, intense rain and sleet as we carefully pick our way down the seaweed-slippery steps
  • Remains of ‘lost’ bronze age tomb discovered in County Kerry in Ireland

    Remains of ‘lost’ bronze age tomb discovered in County Kerry in Ireland
    Altóir na Gréine stood for approximately 4,000 years on Dingle peninsula before vanishing in 19th centuryThe remnants of a bronze age tomb once thought to have been destroyed and lost to history have been discovered in County Kerry on the Atlantic coast of Ireland.The tomb, known locally as Altóir na Gréine – the sun altar – stood for approximately 4,000 years on a hill outside the village of Ballyferriter on the Dingle peninsula before vanishing in the mi
  • Valley of lost cities that flourished 2,000 years ago found in Amazon

    Laser-sensor technology reveals network of earthen mounds and buried roads in rainforest area of EcuadorArchaeologists have uncovered a cluster of lost cities in the Amazon rainforest that was home to at least 10,000 farmers about 2,000 years ago.A series of earthen mounds and buried roads in Ecuador was first noticed more than two decades ago by archaeologist Stéphen Rostain. But at the time, “I wasn’t sure how it all fit together,” said Rostain, one of the researchers
  • Penelope Rogers obituary

    Penelope Rogers obituary
    The archaeologist Penelope Rogers, who has died aged 73, started out as a volunteer on digs at Hadrian’s Wall and beneath York Minster in the 1970s. She soon developed a special interest and expertise in textiles.Despite experiencing some resistance from the archaeological community – she was a woman with no formal qualifications – in 1980 she set up a business, Textile Research, that grew to incorporate a list of 250 clients worldwide, providing analysis for museums and archae
  • ‘People come to touch the walls’: fears for Istanbul’s crumbling Byzantine past

    Turkish city’s pre-Ottoman heritage is falling away through lack of care or being obscured for political purposesInside a municipal cafe built into Istanbul’s ancient city walls, waiters scurried back and forth carrying cups of strong Turkish tea and hefty slices of chocolate cake.On one side of the modern wooden building, the view opened towards the Bosphorus, on the other was a courtyard formed from the towering limestone and brick ramparts once built to defend the entire city from
  • Current Archaeology 407 – ON SALE NOW

    Happy New Year! And happy birthday, too, to Oxford Archaeology, one of the UK’s oldest commercial units, which recently celebrated 50 years in operation. When an archaeological organisation reaches such a significant milestone, it is a cause for celebration for all of us, demonstrating that the profession continues to thrive. Our cover feature explores how archaeological practices have changed over half a century, how these changes are reflected in some of the sites dug by OA, and what the
  • Current Archaeology 407

    Current Archaeology 407
    Happy New Year! And happy birthday, too, to Oxford Archaeology, one of the UK’s oldest commercial units, which recently celebrated 50 years in operation. When an archaeological organisation reaches such a significant milestone, it is a cause for celebration for all of us, demonstrating that the profession continues to thrive. Our cover feature explores how archaeological practices have changed over half a century, how these changes are reflected in some of the sites dug by OA, and what the
  • Oxford Archaeology at 50

    Exploring half a century of excavationsFounded in 1973, Oxford Archaeology is today one of the largest commercial units operating in the UK. Here we see one of its recent excavations, exploring a Roman villa estate at Priors Hall, Corby. IMAGE: Oxford Archaeology
    With one of the UK’s oldest commercial units recently celebrating its 50th birthday, Carly Hilts spoke to its founding director, Tom Hassall, and current CEO, Ken Welsh, about how the archaeological profession has changed over th
  • Excavating the CA Archive – Somerset Part I

    Somerset has been a fertile hunting-ground for Current Archaeology since the magazine’s inception. There is a wealth of archaeological sites and landscapes there, from the uplands of the Mendips to the lowlands of the Levels and many points in between, including some significant urban settlements. In addition, there are strong personal connections that led the founders of Current Archaeology, Andrew and Wendy Selkirk, to visit the county regularly, including with the archaeologists Philip
  • Jo Johnson’s New Domesday

    When I promised you a post this weekend it hadn’t, I admit, fully dawned on me that that would be the New Year’s weekend. But I was ready, ready to give you a report on an interesting paper about Bishop John of Nikiu and the chronicle he wrote that is one of our earliest sources for the Islamic conquest of Egypt… and then I left the notes at home, so now that will have to be next week’s. Instead, let’s inaugurate 2024 by having a go at an erstwhile minister of gove
  • ‘We have a lot of cracks’: Swedes seek to save Vasa warship – again

    Sweden’s most popular tourist attraction, a 17th-century vessel that foundered minutes after launch, needs another financial rescueIts beginnings were ill-fated – 333 years on the seabed after sinking minutes into its maiden voyage – but in the years since it was salvaged, the 17th-century Swedish warship Vasa has gone on to become one of Sweden’s most popular tourist attractions.The vessel, however, now faces a fresh challenge to its survival as its conservators warn it
  • Christmas downtime

    Happy end of the Latin calendar year to you all! (And if it hadn’t occurred to you that the timing of our winter break was a medieval legacy, I’m here to help.1) Since preparations for the festival press upon me as doubtless also many of you, I hope you’ll forgive the lack of a substantive post this week. I’ll be back next week! And may you all also enjoy a good break and thankyou for reading.1. Don’t believe me, check out Carl Philipp Emanuel Nothaft, "From Sukkot
  • National Trust archaeologists find medieval ‘gift token’ in Norfolk

    Coin-like lead piece found near Oxburgh Hall thought to have been doled out by ‘boy bishop’ during Christmas periodThey are the last resort for the most challenging of recipients, such as moody teenagers or the eccentric uncle you see once a year – but gift tokens also came in handy at Christmas in medieval times.National Trust archaeologists have discovered a token dating from between 1470 and 1560 that was probably given by the church to poor people to be exchanged for food.
  • Bad lessons from Roman handouts

    One of the more unpredictable ways of learning in my job is to pay attention to what turns up in the footnotes of my students’ written work. I work quite hard at putting together reading lists of recommended material, and there is no doubt at all that my good students’ researches beyond that have broadened my awareness of such material considerably. But not everything that my students find is so useful. There has often been a general tendency among the lower achievers not to use, or
  • Seminar CLXXXI: avoiding colonisation with medievalism

    First I should apologise for a late post; last weekend was very full of family business and I didn’t have a post even started before Sunday night, and then once I had, I realised I’d written the text for a post ahead of the one I’d meant. So that should speed things up this weekend, but what I meant to report first on was this online seminar, which actually fits well with the last post even though the timing was mostly a coincidence. On 28th April 2021 the Centre for Law and So
  • The Klein Hollandia

    Discovering a 17th-century Dutch warship off EastbourneIlluminating the past: a diver investigates a cannon (and its resident conger eel) belonging to the Klein Hollandia, a 17th-century Dutch warship that sank off the Sussex coast. ALL IMAGES: Martin Davies, unless otherwise stated
    The discovery of an anonymous shipwreck off the coast of Sussex set archaeologists on the trail of a 350-year- old mystery. Mark Beattie-Edwards reports on efforts to identify the sunken vessel and to protect its hi
  • Excavating the CA Archive – Dorset

    Dorset is home to some stunning archaeological sites, among the most remarkable in the country. Maiden Castle near Dorchester, for example, is to many the definitive Iron Age hillfort (see CA 336, March 2018), and the Cerne Abbas giant is another perennial favourite, its more overt attractions masking the conundrum of its age and origins (see CA 365, August 2020, and CA 376, July 2021). There is no shortage of coverage of the county in Current Archaeology, and so here I will provide some of my
  • Current Archaeology 406 – ON SALE NOW

    This month’s cover story takes us 32m below the waves off the Sussex coast. There, a previously enigmatic wreck has been named as the Klein Hollandia, a Dutch warship that sank in 1672 following an attack that helped to spark the Third Anglo-Dutch War. We piece together the archaeological detective-work that helped to pin down the sunken vessel’s identity, and share what has been learned of its past – as well as how its remains are being protected for the future.Our next featur
  • Current Archaeology 406

    This month’s cover story takes us 32m below the waves off the Sussex coast. There, a previously enigmatic wreck has been named as the Klein Hollandia, a Dutch warship that sank in 1672 following an attack that helped to spark the Third Anglo-Dutch War. We piece together the archaeological detective-work that helped to pin down the sunken vessel’s identity, and share what has been learned of its past – as well as how its remains are being protected for the future.Our next featur
  • The Roman forts near Hadrian’s Wall are full of historical riches – and the climate crisis is destroying them | Richard Hobbs

    It isn’t just our planet’s future that’s at risk: soon the artefacts buried deep in our soil may be lost for everA remarkable discovery was made 50 years ago at Vindolanda, the Roman fort below Hadrian’s Wall. Four metres down, the archaeologist Robin Birley and his team came upon a mass of black, damp and stinky organic material. Miraculously preserved in this anaerobic time capsule were pieces of leather, including Roman shoes, some fragments of textile and numerous pie
  • A Forgotten Effort of Decolonization?

    The window behind which I was having the thoughts which begin this post is the uppermost leftermost gable in the building on the left of the neo-classical one, all of this being the Queen’s College, Oxford, and borrowed from their website
    I think this story begins in Oxford, although it doesn’t stay there long. At the time I was teaching in Oxford the History syllabus’s foundation was two sets of "papers", one in British History, covering the sceptred isles of my birth (in theo
  • Rescue Project of the Year 2024 – Nominees

    Rescue Project of the Year 2024 – Nominees
    Rescue archaeology is carried out in areas threatened by human or natural agencies. We’ve collated some of the best rescue projects that have been highlighted in Current Archaeology over the past year. Below are the nominees for Rescue Project of the Year.Voting closes 5 February and all the winners of the Current Archaeology Awards will be announced on 24 February as part of Current Archaeology Live! 2024. Click here to find out more about the event.Once you
  • Book of the Year 2024 – Nominees

    Below are some of the publications we feel most deserve to be recognised for their contribution to the field – the nominees for the Book of the Year award.Voting closes 5 February and all the winners of the Current Archaeology Awards will be announced on 24 February as part of Current Archaeology Live! 2024. Click here to find out more about the event.Once you’ve made your selection from the nominees below, click here to cast your vote.
    Picts: scourge of Rom
  • Research Project of the Year 2024 – Nominees

    Research Project of the Year 2024 – Nominees
    This has been another exceptional year for archaeological research. The following are some of the most exciting projects to have featured in CA over the last 12 months – the nominees for Research Project of the Year.Voting closes 5 February and all the winners of the Current Archaeology Awards will be announced on 24 February as part of Current Archaeology Live! 2024. Click here to find out more about the event.Once you’ve made your selection
  • Archaeologist of the Year 2024 – Nominees

    Archaeologist of the Year 2024 – Nominees
    Below are the three individuals nominated for 2024’s ‘Archaeologist of the Year’, whose achievements reflect the diverse work taking place within our field.
    Voting closes on 5 February and all the winners of the Current Archaeology Awards will be announced on 24 February as part of Current Archaeology Live! 2024. Click here to find out more about the event.Once you’ve made your selection from the nominees below, click here to cast your vote.Andre
  • Seminar CLXXX: rehabilitating the Carolingian priest

    The first time I blogged about one of Steffen Patzold’s papers, he later told me, it came as rather a shock to him when one of his students pointed it out to him. The episode threw me into a temporary tiz about whether I should in fact be writing up these semi-public events, whether it was like tweeting a conference paper (then a hot controversy) and so on, and although I decided in the end to carry on on the same basis, still, now that I find myself wanting to write up another of Steffen&
  • Piltdown Man remains exposed as fake – archive, 1953

    23 November 1953: Scientists pronounce the jaw and eyetooth found in 1912 and supposedly evidence of an early human species to be ‘deliberate fakes’The skull which was found at Piltdown in Sussex 40 years ago has lost some of its importance as a relic of primitive man, but it can still cause a considerable flutter among scientists and laymen who take a natural interest in their own ancestors. Three scientists, after careful investigation, now pronounce its jaw and eyetooth to be &ldq
  • The dogheads explained?

    So here is, as they say, a thing. You know I do frontiers, obviously, and you may also be aware that there are more essay volumes by medievalists or including medievalists on frontiers, in which there is usually no explicit comparison between cases except by the volume editors, than anyone should ever have to deal with.1 Back in 2021 I was finally making my way through one of these that had been on my reading lists since early in my doctorate, Walter Pohl’s, Ian Wood’s and Helmut Rei

Follow @archaeology_uk1 on Twitter!