current archaeology number 96
In this issue
This is a rather wet issue of Current Archaeology, with front line reports from the Fens, and some stunning tree-ring dates. But we dry up a little with Hadrian's Wall and Whithorn.
First, in the Diary we look at the Congress of Independent Archaeologists, New Plans for Maiden Castle, TAG, Stonehenge, and The Trustees for the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland.
On the fen side of Peterborough, Francis Pryor and his team are investigating some fabulous wet sites. At Flag Fen he provides us with a front line account of his discovery of a Bronze Age lake village, with the first house emerging from the peat.
Then at Etton, Maisie Taylor has been excavating a waterlogged causewayed camp.
Finally, at Maxey they have been elucidating a Bronze Age ritual landscape, with a cursus and a grand henge-cum-long barrow. As we explain, it's all very nostalgic for CA.. .
In Books we discuss Past Imperfect, Place Names in the Landscape, The Thetford Treasure, Religion in Roman Britain, The Gods of Roman Britain and Pioneers of Prehistory. Was Hadrian's Wall Hadrian's? Or was it, for the most part, built by Severus? Extensive excavations are taking place in the National Trust stretch, and we report on the findings.
The biggest scandal in archaeology today is Navan Fort, in Northern Ireland. Navan is the Mycenae of Celtic mythology yet a quarry threatens to surround it. Look at the photo on page 19, and get out your cheque books!
Tree ring dating is growing up. In Recent tree-ring work in Sheffield, Jennifer Hillam shows that it is no longer merely a method of obtaining dates, but details about economic organisation: which of our medieval seaports used local timbers, and which used imported timbers?
Whithorn is one of the great names of the early British church, associated by Bede with St Ninian. Hitherto the early remains have been scanty, but the recent small scale excavations revealed both the Anglian cemetery and earlier occupation.
Finally, Letters look at The Limerick Ditty, Grubenhauser, Town Walls, Vinamul, and Feeding Samian to your wife...
Cover Photo: Was Hadrian's Wall gleaming white? This close up of the front face shows traces of abundant mortar: carelessness, or deliberate whitewash?
6 Flag Fen by Francis Pryor
14 Books 16 Hadrian's Wall
19 Navan Fort
21 Recent tree-ring work in Sheffield by Jennifer Hillam