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An 11th-century jaunt across Lough Corrib, Co. Galway, in a sleek logboat ended in disaster. A mishap cracked the hull open, forcing the crew to abandon both their boat and the Viking-style war axes stowed on board. Now survey of the Lough has revealed that this vessel was neither the first, nor the last to be swamped by its waters. Archaeologists are discovering a lost fleet of vessels – ranging from Bronze Age logboats to Victorian pleasure craft – preserved in its depths.
by its waters. Archaeologists are discovering a lost fleet of vessels – ranging
Survey also yielded spectacular results on Solsbury Hill, where it virtually peeled back the turf to reveal a hillfort interior in startling clarity. The riot of features within betray the presence of a thriving settlement, but how are they to be interpreted, and what can they tell us about the hillfort’s role in the wider landscape?
Excavation plans of Kingsmead Quarry, Horton, are on a scale normally associated with survey. Over a decade of excavation has laid bare almost 34 hectares of a palimpsest landscape. Among its field systems and farmsteads lay at least four Early Neolithic houses. These remarkable survivals are shedding new light on life within them, right down to the sweepings of their house-proud inhabitants.
On Iona, monastic table-scraps from around the time of St Columba have been on the archaeological menu. Typical high-status fodder such as venison shared kitchen space with a more local dish: seal. The monastery’s design, though, fed off more exotic archetypes. New research reveals how the brethren set out to build Jerusalem among Iona’s dark, panoramic hills.
Our contributors this month
LOGBOATS IN THE LAKE KARL BRADY Karl works in the Underwater Archaeology Unit of Ireland’s National Monuments Service. He has responsibility for the management of the Shipwreck Inventory of Ireland, and has undertaken surveys of several wrecks.
IONA PETER YEOMAN Peter leads research and archaeology for major projects within Historic Scotland’s Properties in Care estate. Before working at Iona, he led the project that informed the award-winning redisplay of the Renaissance Palace in Stirling Castle.
ASPARAGUS IN THE ROMAN WORLD STEFANIE HOSS Stefanie is a postexcavation specialist in Roman metal in the Netherlands. Her research interests include Roman food and dining habits, subjects she pursues both academically and practically.
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