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Editor’s letter

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 future might hold for exploring the past.

From development-led investigations to pioneering feats of engineering, we then head west from Oxford into Wales, to take a trip through the 225-year history of the Swansea Canal and its industrial influence.

Travelling further west still to Co. Roscommon in Ireland, our next feature spotlights a different aspect of infrastructure, revealing how investigations associated with road-improvement works have uncovered the remains of a previously unknown medieval settlement and multigenerational cemetery.

For our final feature, we return to Wales but move further back in time to learn how recent excavations in Beaumaris, Anglesey, have revealed the surprise survival of a section of the town’s medieval defences that was thought to have been demolished long ago.

Finally, don’t forget to cast your vote in the upcoming CA Awards. Turn to p.60 to learn how to have your say, and for the latest details of our annual conference, at which the results will be announced.


News Dr Kathryn Krakowka Kathryn is Deputy Editor of CA. A human osteologist, she recently completed her DPhil in the study of violence in medieval London, and has a passion for all things related to archaeological science.

If walls could talk Matthew Jones Matthew is a partner in C R Archaeology. He is a specialist in postMedieval pottery, with a particular interest in the social history and trade of north-west Wales, and is currently studying Welsh imports and exports in Chester and north Welsh archives.

If walls could talk Catherine Rees Catherine is a partner a C R Archaeology, a company she founded in 2011. She has worked in commercial archaeology for 15 years, with a particular interest in Neolithic Wales and Nonconformist chapels, publishing papers on both topics.

Listings Amy Brunskill Amy is CA ’s editorial assistant, and assistant editor of our sister-magazine Current World Archaeology. She graduated from Durham University, focusing on art in Palaeolithic Europe, and has worked for a number of museums and heritage projects.

FOLLOW US: @CurrentArchaeo currentarchaeologymag @current_archaeology



Editorial Editor: Carly Hilts Deputy editor: Dr Kathryn Krakowka Editorial assistant: Amy Brunskill Contributing editor: Christopher Catling Contributing editor: Joe Flatman Art editor: Mark Edwards Designer: Emma Morgan Subeditor: Simon Coppock Editor-in-chief: Andrew Selkirk Tel: 020 8819 5584 Publisher: Maria Earle Managing director: Robert Selkirk

Commercial Advertising sales manager: Mike Traylen Tel: 020 8819 5360 Marketing & digital manager: Emma Watts-Plumpkin Tel: 020 8819 5575 Commercial director: Libby Selkirk

Subscriptions Current Archaeology is published monthly for a subscription of £59.95 for 12 issues. Non-UK subscriptions are £83.95. Back issues: £6.95 each/£8.95 non-UK Binders/slip cases: (hold 12 copies) £15/£20 Subscriptions should be sent to: Current Publishing O fi e , 295 Chiswick High Road, London W4 4HH Tel: 020 8819 5580 (office hours) Subscription queries to: or online at: Printed in the UK by William Gibbons

Unauthorised reproduction in whole or part is prohibited without written permission. The publisher, editor and authors accept no responsibility in respect of any products, goods or services which may be advertised or referred to in this issue. Every effort has been made to secure permission for copyright material. In the event of any material being used inadvertently or where it has proved impossible to trace the copyright owner, acknowledgement will be made in a future issue. 191223190



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