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HMS Namur brings a new meaning to ‘ship burial’. Normally the boat is a Sutton Hoo-style status-symbol for the deceased, but not at The Historic Dockyard Chatham. The discovery of a quarter of a Royal Navy warship buried beneath flooring has long puzzled archaeologists. Now the vessel’s identity is known, raising questions about whether her astonishing exploits over 47 years prompted her preservation in an unofficial memorial.
Traditionally the massive Roman military build-up in northern England is seen as stunting civilian activity and condemning the natives to abject poverty. The surprise discovery of a trading village at Faverdale is helping to change this. Here, North East entrepeneurs harnessed the military market, and relaxed in a miniature bathhouse. More recent military requirements are to thank for the Iron Age artefacts from Llyn Cerrig Bach. This pool was drained for peat to hold back sand clogging engines at a nearby airfield during World War II, revealing a rich haul of weapons, tools, and ornaments. These give an insight into Anglesey life around the eve of the Roman conquest.
Only running for 4½ miles, what the Tavistock Canal lacked in length it made up for in innovation. Recent survey has shed new light on an engineering marvel that witnessed the birth of modern transport. We are also delighted to announce next year’s Current Archaeology Live conference will take place on 1-2 March at London’s Senate House in partnership with the Institute of Classical Studies. More details to come, but see p. 41 for how to book. It would be great to see you there.
Our contributors this month
FINDING HMS NAMUR ALEX PATTERSON Alex is Collections and Galleries Manager at The Historic Dockyard Chatham. He is responsible for over 100,000 objects and archives relating to the 400-year history of Chatham Dockyard.
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ROMAN FAVERDALE JENNY PROCTOR Jenny (BA, MA, MIFA) has worked in British archaeology for the last 20 years. She is post-excavation manager for PCA’s northern office. Her research interests centre on north-east England in the Late Iron Age and Roman periods.
TAVISTOCK CANAL ROBERT WATERHOUSE Field Archaeologist for the Société Jersiaise in Jersey, Channel Islands, Robert was previously a freelance archaeologist. He has also worked for English Heritage, the National Trust, and local authorities in Devon and Somerset.
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