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Twelve thousand years ago, Britain was joined to Europe by a great plain, where Mesolithic people lived and hunted. But as water levels rose, their home was submerged beneath the North Sea. What did this loss of place mean for the wave of migrants it created?

Mobility of another kind is under the microscope elsewhere in this issue, as an explanation is sought for those famous straight stretches of Roman road. Their courses were sometimes cribbed from previously surveyed long-distance alignments, which were projected across a landscape regardless of whether a road could cross it. So what was this surveying for? Are the alignments vestiges of military mapping in the Conquest period, as the empire sought to get a grip on exactly what it was conquering?

Of course, Rome was not just in it for the cartography, and forts and roads followed in the army’s wake. But how much impact did these have on local people? A recently published project at Hayton, East Yorkshire, has examined how occupation unleashed powerful economic forces that redrew the human landscape.

In Wales, it is the heritage-protection landscape that has recently been remade. Forty years after the birth of the Welsh archaeological trusts, we take a look at what has been achieved, and why the past is very much in the present.

Finally, CA is a bumper size this month, to give you a taste of this year’s fieldwork opportunities. There’s plenty to look forward to in the summer!

Our contributors this month

CHARTING THE ROADS JOHN POULTER AND ROB ENTWISTLE A Chartered Engineer, now retired, John has studied Roman roads in Britain for more than 50 years, while Rob was raised in Lancashire and studied history at Oxford, before working as Educational Adviser and Headteacher.

DOGGERLAND RISES JIM LEARY Jim is the Director of the University of Reading Archaeology Field School, which is based in the Vale of Pewsey in Wiltshire. He is also director of the Round Mounds Project, and was once in a Bollywood film.

HAYTON PROF. MARTIN MILLETT Martin is Laurence Professor of Classical Archaeology at Cambridge University. He is co-director of the Aldborough Roman Town Project, and also runs a GPR research project investigating Roman towns in Italy.

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