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current archaeology number 45

In this issue . . .

What has been happening in archaeology in 1974? Much of this issue is devoted to a 'Round-up' of excavations to try to give some idea of what has been going on. But first of all, we look at the excavations at Beckford.

For too long the Iron Age has centred round Wessex, and Little Woodbury has been taken as a typical settlement. But at Beckford, in the Severn valley, the Rescue Archaeology Group has found an extensive Iron Age settlement which looks more like a village than the isolated farmsteads of the Little Woodbury type.

The major part of this issue is devoted to our 'Round-up' of some of the excavation sites we visited in 1974. We start by looking at the activities of the Committee on Rescue Archaeology in Avon, Gloucestershire and Somerset, and we then compare i t with the activities of the very different organisation in the Oxfordshire region. We then look at London, Peterborough, three excavations in Yorkshire before ending with Barnstaple.

Having waited so long for a comprehensive book on The British Iron Age, it is perhaps ironical that tw o books should appear on the same subject within 5 weeks of each other.

Thus instead of our usual book reviews we take this opportunity to take a look at the Iron Age through the eyes of Barry Cunliffe and Dennis Harding.

As a contrast to all the large-scale excavations being carried out by full-time archaeologists, the excavation of Lymm Slitting Mill is a good example of an excavation carried out by a local group in order that an archaeological site in the middle of a new public park could be properly displayed to the public.

"The study of Art " writes Martin Henig, "i s no longer popular among excavators". Having jus t completed his doctoral thesis on Gems in Roman Britain, Dr Henig here sets out to convert the philistines to a Love of Beauty.

Letters discuss the Professional Institution, C.S.E. Archaeology, and the strange problem of the Emperor Gallienus at The Lunt.

Our Cover Photo shows excavation in progress at Cirencester in the middle of the Roman town . In the foreground is part of a house with a worn mosaic, while in the deeper excavation beyond they are looking for the early fort.

291 Editorial

292 Notes and News

293 Beckford by William Britnell

298 Round Up

309 Books: The Iron Age

312 Lymm Slitting Mill

314 Gems in Roman Britain by Martin Henig

318 Letters