When is a round mound not a Bronze Age barrow? Jane
Downes has been investigating round mounds in Orkney to see how far they have been damaged by rabbits and cattle. She looked at six groups: but how many of them turned out to be
For megalithic enthusiasts, we have a special treat. What is it like to be in a chambered tomb on Mid-winters Day, when the rays of the setting sun finally strike down the passage into the heart of the tomb itself? At the Clava cairns in Scotland, Tim
Phillips and Ronnie Scott decided to find out by putting a tarpaulin across the passage and waiting for the midwinter sun to set. See their spectacular results.
We do not know who lived in Staircase House, on the market place in Stockport. It was built around 1460 and rebuilt in 1618,
but today it is derelict. But under the scaffolding, it is one of the finest examples of a medieval merchant's house, complete with its warehouse out the back. But how to persuade the Lottery Fund to restore a mere merchant's house? Robina McNeil has written the
Story of Mr Jones and his family, who lived at Staircase House,
but whose memory can only be reconstructed in our imagination.
Sandy in Bedfordshire was well known to motorists travelling north along the Great North Road, and it was well-known too for the Roman traveller as the site of a Roman posting station. But what were such posting stations like? Both surprisingly scruffy,
and surprisingly rich in objects, to judge by the excavations there.
Then a quick look at some of the excavations this summer, with the prospect of proper articles to come: there is the 'Seahenge' discovered in Norfolk, anew/old Avenue at Avebury, the hunt for
King Arthur's tomb at Winchester, a new Roman temple at
Wanborough, a new Roman town at Ashford, and a new Roman fort at Fishbourne. And a quick peek too at English Heritage's new powerhouse at Fort Cumberland.
Finally, and sadly, we say farewell to John Musty. For eighteen years, his Science Diary has been one of the most popular features of Current Archaeology, but now he must lay down his pen, and here he offers his valediction.
CURRENT ARCHAEOLOGY No.165 VolXIVNo 9 Published October 1999
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