thinking about archaeology

Archive for July, 2009

Plinth box 10

Stone in hand

Site: Mia’s stone

Date: July 2009

What it represents: Future generations (more…)


Plinth box 9

The common musket as described by Skertchly

The common musket as described by Skertchly

Site: Brandon, Suffolk and Nuku’alofa, Tonga, south Pacific

Date:    1800

What it represents: The 18th and 19th century expansion of European trade, culture and aggression around the world (more…)


Plinth box 8

Lincoln Cathedral nave (Tilman2007)

Lincoln Cathedral nave (Tilman2007)

Site: Lincoln Cathedral, Lincolnshire

Date: 14th century

What it represents: Medieval Christendom and a peak in world architecture and engineering (more…)


Plinth box 7

Offa’s Dyke at the Devil's Pulpit (Pulpit Rock, a limestone stack created by quarrying, is out of sight), looking south (Gloucestershire County Council Archaeology Service)

Offa’s Dyke at the Devil's Pulpit (Pulpit Rock, a limestone stack created by quarrying, is out of sight), looking south (Gloucestershire County Council Archaeology Service)

Site: Offa’s Dyke, Gloucestershire

Date: AD785–790

What it represents: The origins of British society in warring Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in the aftermath of Roman rule (more…)


Plinth box 6

Hadrian's Wall near Housesteads fort, looking east (M Pitts)

Hadrian's Wall near Housesteads fort, looking east (M Pitts)

Site: Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland

Date: AD120s

What it represents: The first and most significant invasion from outside Britain, bringing political and cultural innovations that transformed the lives of people whose ancestors had known the land for millennia (more…)


Plinth box 5

Stonehenge. The four small standing stones (and one fallen) in a row across from the left, and the three slightly taller, carved pillars on the right (and two fallen, nearly hidden, behind) are bluestones. Some at least of these may once have stood in Aubrey Holes in 3000BC. All other stones are sarsen (M Pitts)

Stonehenge. The four small standing stones (and one fallen) in a row across from the left, and the three slightly taller, carved pillars on the right (and two fallen, nearly hidden, behind) are bluestones. Some at least of these may once have stood in Aubrey Holes in 3000BC. All other stones are sarsen (M Pitts)

Site: Stonehenge, Wiltshire

Date: 3000–2000BC

What it represents: The ultimate vision in religion, politics and technology in the last few centuries of stone age culture (more…)


Plinth box 4

Carn Brea looking east across entrance to a tin mine gallery, showing the 18th century hunting lodge (converted from a medieval castle) and Redruth below. Excavation revealed neolithic settlement and an enclosing wall beyond the rocks on the horizon

Carn Brea looking east across entrance to a tin mine gallery, showing the 18th century hunting lodge (converted from a medieval castle) and Redruth below. Excavation revealed neolithic settlement and an enclosing wall beyond the rocks on the horizon

Site: Carn Brea, Cornwall

Date: 4000–3500BC

What it represents: The change from thousands of generations spent living entirely on native wild foods, to farming with alien domesticated plants and animals, and the first warfare (more…)


Plinth box 3

Geological core from the seabed between Shetland and Norway, showing the flint in position  (British Geological Survey)

Geological core from the seabed between Shetland and Norway, showing the flint in position (British Geological Survey)

Site: Bed of North Sea between Shetland and Norway

Date: 16,000–8000BC

What it represents: The last, sophisticated hunter-gatherers (modern humans) to possess Britain, when lower sea levels meant it was a peninsula of continental Europe (more…)


Plinth box 2

A fine flint handaxe and another worked flint in situ in the Boxgrove silt in 1995, with a cast of the hominin tibia  (M Pitts)

A fine flint handaxe and another worked flint in situ in the Boxgrove silt in 1995, with a cast of the hominin tibia (M Pitts)

Site: Boxgrove, West Sussex

Date: 524–478,000 years ago

What it represents: Homo heidelbergensis, one of the most sophisticated early human species ever seen, some 350,000 years before full Neanderthals evolved (more…)


Plinth box 1

700,000-year-old stone artefact from Pakefield  (Phil Crabb, Natural History Museum)

700,000-year-old stone artefact from Pakefield (Phil Crabb, Natural History Museum)

Site: Pakefield, Suffolk

Date: 750–680,000 years ago

What it represents: The first human species north of the Alps (more…)