thinking about archaeology

Archive for April, 2011

Digging Deeper goes gardening

Enjoying the weather, I dug out an old shrub the other day and found a cemetery: what look to me like a few bones from a small dog and a cat. Today N was in the garden putting in a new plant, and found a skull. So I set to with trowel and brush and retrieved more bones, with the remains of a net bag which might give an identification of date and a few other bits and pieces, but no identification tags. I will report back when I’ve washed and examined the finds, and the question then will be, should I rebury them?


It looks as if the larger beast was buried in the string bag.

A spade depth down and the bones start to articulate, with signs of a small pit.

Lewis Binford 1930–2011

Lewis Binford died on Monday, an inspiring, bear of a man and without doubt the most influential world archaeologist of his times, not least here in the UK where amongst others Colin Renfrew encouraged us all to engage with his ideas: my photo shows Lew (on the left) and Colin (in cloth cap) at Stonehenge in 1981. Archaeological theory is drifting and needs to reaffirm its roots. Revisiting Binford’s work would be a great way to start, and with so many owing him so much I should think that’s almost bound to happen.

Another great magazine! And a visit to Greece

It seemed like winter when I started on the new British Archaeology, and now it’s out it feels like summer! Did it really take that long?

A recurrent theme in this issue is how archaeology today wants everyone to be part of the quest, which we have reflected on the cover – my guess is there are now more amateur (more…)

The Dig

John Tyrrell has posted a comment mentioning John Preston’s novel about Sutton Hoo. Preston talked about “the dig” for British Archaeology in 2007, and as the page is not on the magazine website, here it is.

I will write a note soon about the new British Archaeology which is out later this week. In the meantime, those of you who received their Current Archaeology this morning and wondered about the “Royal Wedding Special” cover and its succumbing to a “wedding fever sweeping the nation”, might like to know that British Archaeology features what’s happening to Egypt’s ancient past during the revolution, and a beckoning people’s archaeology in Britain.