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current archaeology number 84

In this issue .. . We are busy re-writing the history of the late Roman Army in our lead article on Chester, while prehistoric Scotland and the Somerset Fens make up the other major articles in this issue of Current Archaeology.

First, the Diary, where Lloyds Bank doubles its grant, the Ancient Monuments Board rejects Heseltine, Roman Mosaics are studied, and Planners stop Dig.

What happened to the legionary fortresses when the legions ceased to be the spearhead of the Roman Army? At Chester, excavations over the past decade have begun to paint a completely new picture of the fortress in the 4th century when the barracks were demolished and large areas were kept as open spaces.

Huge prehistoric rubbish dumps have long been known to exist in central Scotland. They consist mostly of oyster shells and have traditionally been dated to the mesolithic, but excavations at Nether Kinneil have shown that they may go down into the Neolithic.

The Recumbent Stone Circle at Strichen in Aberdeenshire has always been unique among such monuments in that the Recumbent Stone lay to the north. However recent excavations showed that the existing stone circle was a fake, and that the original stone circle lay to the north.

In Books we look at The Military Decorations of the Roman Army, Cruck Construction, An Atlas of Anglo-Saxon England, The Parish Churches of Medieval England, The Archaeology of the English Church, Londinium, A Thesaurus of British Archaeology, The Penguin Book of Archaeology, Environmental Archaeology, The Vectis Report, The North Derbyshire

Archaeological Survey, and volumes on the archaeology of Essex, Sussex and Hampshire.

The New Town of Glenrothes in Scotland has acquired two new ancient monuments. At Balbirnie a stone circle had to be moved because it lay in the path of a new road, but when a henge monument was discovered at Balfarg, the stone circle was reconstructed in situ and the new houses were built elsewhere.

Down in the Somerset Levels the emphasis is on preservation and presentation. Thus a replica of the Abbot's Way has been reconstructed, a new museum has been opened, and a plan is being made for a huge watering system to preserve the oldest trackway in the world.

Our Opinion Column turns again to dendrochronology and reports on a recent conference at Hamburg, at which the Germans announced tree ring dating going back into the Bronze Age.

Archaeology in Pictures is a feature which we launched in the very first issue of Current Archaeology but which has been dormant ever since. We now revive it with pictures of the new museum at Norton Priory and a picture of our Science Correspondent down a hole in Kingstonupon-Thames.

Letters deal with Entry charges for Ancient Monuments, The Gateways of Lincoln, A Correction of Radiocarbon Dates, and What is a Villa? Finally, there is a brief round-up of forthcoming Events.

Cover photo: Strichen: the Recumbent Stone and its two flankers, taken from the north. Photo: A. Peebles.

3 Diary

6 Chester 13 Nether Kinneil by Derek Sloan 16 Strichen by lain Hampsher-Monk and Philip Abramson

20 Books

23 Balbirnie and Balfarg

25 The Somerset Levels

28 Opinion: Dendrochronology by Ruth Morgan

29 Archaeology in Pictures 30 Letters

31 Events

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