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When a hole appeared in the summit of Silbury Hill, English Heritage had a crisis on their hands. As a major conservation operation swung into action, a team of archaeologists grasped this opportunity to re-enter the mound. Their remarkable discoveries have demolished views of Silbury Hill as a chieftain’s vanity project.
A powerful figure may be responsible for an archaeological anomaly at
A powerful figure may be responsible for an archaeological anomaly at Auldhame, though. Historical accounts refer to the Viking king Olaf Guthfrithsson being struck down as a punishment for attacking the churches of St Balthere. Could this raid explain the presence of a Viking burial in a recently discovered monastic cemetery?
On Salisbury Plain, a hunter-gatherer home-base is being excavated at Blick Mead. This remarkable Mesolithic missing link is rewriting the origins of the ceremonial landscape around Stonehenge, and raising questions about whether its earliest Neolithic monuments were inspired by the traditions of the hunt.
The transition between Roman Britain and Anglo-Saxon England also continues to excite debate. While the image of Roman soldiers waving goodbye as they sailed away has long since been debunked, could it be that the imperial twilight brought more continuity than change?
Finally, I’m off for six months to research Hadrian’s Wall milecastles. Nadia Durrani – formerly of Current World Archaeology – will take the reins while I’m away, and Chris Catling will appear as a special guest editor. For now, I would like to leave you with a piece about why I find milecastles so fascinating. I hope you will forgive this indulgence.
Our contributors this month
THE MANY FACES OF SILBURY HILL JIM LEARY Jim, formerly of English Heritage, is the Director of the Archaeology Field School at the University of Reading. From 2015, the field school’s focus will be on the Vale of Pewsey in Wiltshire.
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THE SACKING OF AULDHAME ANNE CRONE Anne is a Project Manager at AOC Archaeology Group, managing post-excavation programmes through to publication. She specialises in dendrochronology and the study of wooden artefacts and structures, and researches crannogs through survey and excavation.
RETURN TO BLICK MEAD DAVID JACQUES David is Senior Research Fellow in Archaeology at the University of Buckingham. He has directed excavations at Blick Mead since 2005, and was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 2013 in recognition of this research.
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