The new British Archaeology is out today, and will be in the shops on Friday. It’s fabulous. I’ll get onto that soon, but first a diversion. With all that’s going on, sometimes I’m tempted to wonder why we should think so hard about the distant past. But no, it matters. It’s who we are, it’s … Continue reading The best of British archaeology
We put Scythians on the front cover of the new British Archaeology. They look great on the magazine, and they make a really terrific exhibition, a rare display of good old-fashioned archaeology at its jaw-dropping best. The article is written by St John Simpson, the show’s curator. In one of my favourite features of all … Continue reading Scythians in the new British Archaeology
My new British Archaeology came in the post today. It’s a really strong issue, with so much in it I thought I’d show the front pages for all the main features and columns. We’re very proud of it! It leads from the cover with new research at Chysauster, an ancient village in Cornwall where you … Continue reading Why British Archaeology is the best!
There’s a fascinating little film on Liss Llewellyn’s website, about the lost Morley College murals, The Pleasures of Life, created by three prominent inter-war artists in the late 1920s. Charles Mahoney worked in the Concert Hall, and Edward Bawden and Eric Ravilious in the student Refreshment Room. Their theme was theatrical fantasy, suggested by William … Continue reading Wilmington Man in Morley College
What connects Berkhamsted, Salford and Edinburgh with remote forests on the Pacific coast? Sixteen totem poles, traditionally carved in cedar. They are informed by beliefs, values and artistic conventions that evolved on the north-west coast of Canada and America and reach back into the 19th century and earlier. Like all traditional poles, they have nothing … Continue reading Britain’s fabulous totem poles
They had probably the worst clients in history. Parliament needed a new home after the medieval Westminster Palace burnt down in 1834. Charles Barry got the job of designing and building it, and he brought in Augusts Pugin to help him. They created one of the greatest 19th-century buildings in the world, that now represents … Continue reading Save the Palace!
I wrote earlier about the hoard of bronze pans found near Pewsey. Ruth Pelling, senior archaeobotanist at Historic England, tweeted “My wonderful flowers – most exciting material I've ever worked on”. I asked her more about them, a very unusual find. The principle plant material is grassland vegetation and bracken. Pelling counted 23 Centaurea flower … Continue reading Ancient flowers
The new British Archaeology has three great exclusives. I’ve already written briefly about two of them: new discoveries at Stonehenge, and some Roman pans buried with flowers which were preserved by the corroding bronze. Here’s the third. Last year I went to Bristol to talk to Peter Lord, co-founder of Aardman. We talked about archaeology, … Continue reading Peter Lord talks to British Archaeology about Early Man
Here’s another great story from the new British Archaeology, which went live online today (February 8). Conservation of a hoard of late Roman bronze pots and pans found near Pewsey, Wiltshire, has revealed they were packed with plants, among which were bracken and knapweed flowers. Eight mostly plain vessels had been carefully nested inside each … Continue reading Roman bronze pots and pans buried with flowers
The new British Archaeology, which went live online today (February 8), reports significant new discoveries near Stonehenge, among them the grave of a man who might have seen the earliest megaliths erected at the site. Cremated remains of over 100 people were buried at the first Stonehenge, from 3100BC – the largest cremation cemetery in … Continue reading Stonehenge finds tell of divided society