British Archaeology – Back Issue 135

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First with the news

OLDEST HUMAN FOOTPRINTS OUTSIDE AFRICA

Exclusively in the new British Archaeology, Nick Ashton describes the latest extraordinary discovery in the story of Britain’s early humans – the oldest human footprints outside Africa. You can read how members of the Ancient Human Occupation of Britain project found the prints at Happisburgh, Norfolk, in May 2013, how they recorded them, and why they believe them to be so old, left by an unknown species of early human

 

+ ONE MILLION YEARS, FOUR SPECIES

A stunning new exhibition opens soon at the London Natural History Museum, showing what archaeology and natural sciences can achieve in telling the story of our past. We talk to Chris Stringer about the exhibition, and to Alfons Kennis, one of the Dutch twins who made the early human models – two ultra-realistic, stark naked men (the models…).

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First with the news

OLDEST HUMAN FOOTPRINTS OUTSIDE AFRICA

Exclusively in the new British Archaeology, Nick Ashton describes the latest extraordinary discovery in the story of Britain’s early humans – the oldest human footprints outside Africa. You can read how members of the Ancient Human Occupation of Britain project found the prints at Happisburgh, Norfolk, in May 2013, how they recorded them, and why they believe them to be so old, left by an unknown species of early human

 

+ ONE MILLION YEARS, FOUR SPECIES

A stunning new exhibition opens soon at the London Natural History Museum, showing what archaeology and natural sciences can achieve in telling the story of our past. We talk to Chris Stringer about the exhibition, and to Alfons Kennis, one of the Dutch twins who made the early human models – two ultra-realistic, stark naked men (the models…).

AMONG OTHER STORIES

 

ALFRED THE GREAT: HAVE THEY FOUND HIM YET?

Maybe not. A hip bone, excavated at Hyde Abbey in 1999 where Alfred’s remains were reburied in 1110, has been newly radiocarbon dated to a time consistent with his death in 899. We detail the arguments, and reveal that an Anglo-Saxon cemetery may lie nearby, providing a possible source of bones of Alfred’s age that the University of Winchester has discounted.

 

VIKINGS RETURN TO LONDON

The first part of the British Museum’s new extension, under construction since 2011, opens in March with an exhibition about Vikings. We went to see the installation of its first exhibit – the world’s largest Viking ship.

 

+ THE SHIP

The Dragon Harald Fairhair is a Viking longship – launched last year, in the largest project of its kind ever undertaken. Ahead of its arrival in Britain and the US, we hear how it feels to be among the crew.

 

THE EASTBOURNE ANCESTORS PROJECT

The remains of countless people dating from millennia of British history lie in museum collections across the country. Academic interest in them has never been stronger, but one heritage service went further: it invited in the public.

 

MY ARCHAEOLOGY

Broadcaster Dan Snow is the Council for British Archaeology’s new president. He talks about the importance of history in his family, and first world war archaeology: “The history that we’re taught in schools is so riddled with myths and particular points of view, that I think archaeology can provide that extraordinarily objective, quite new connection with the past.”

 

IN SEARCH OF NORTHAMPTON CASTLE

Northampton had a renowned medieval castle, but it was wiped away when a Victorian railway station was built. Plans for a new station offered the chance to rediscover the site. But was anything left?

 

THE REMAINS OF ROMANO-BRITONS

A recent feature in British Archaeology argued that studies of Roman Britain focus on the elite and miss ordinary people, about whom skeletal remains tell us little. An osteoarchaeologist defends the value of excavated burials

 

GERTRUDE BELL & MESOPOTAMIA

Gertrude Bell (1868–1926), born into a wealthy family in County Durham, was a pioneering traveller, writer and diplomat who left a lasting mark in the politics of the Near East. She was also an archaeologist who recorded ancient structures in what is now Iraq, many since damaged or destroyed.

 

REQUIEM

Our annual tribute to archaeologists and lovers of antiquity who died in the past year

 

 

REGULARS INCLUDE

 

* Spoilheap

Can we learn from accessories to theft? Thoughts on the death of a collector

* Greg Bailey on TV

Sacred Wonders of Britain

* Letters

The lot of working archaeologists, and garden walls

* Books

Great stone circles, and dating Anglo-Saxon England

* Briefing

Opportunities for fieldwork, conferences and more

* Correspondent

How the CBA groups network can help you

* Casework

Danesfield House, Buckinghamshire

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