Unique Iron Age shield found by Leicester archaeologists — ULAS News


, , , ,

The 2,300-year-old bark shield is the only one of its kind ever found in Europe A unique bark shield from the Iron Age has been discovered by archaeologists from the University of Leicester, the only one of its kind ever found in Europe. The shield, which measured 670 x 370mm in the ground, was found […]

via Unique Iron Age shield found by Leicester archaeologists — ULAS News


A Beginner’s Guide to Archaeology: Treasure Act 1996 and Portable Antiquities Scheme


, , , , , ,

The second of our hot topics within archaeology was that of metal detecting. There are already some resources on this topic on this blog about metal detecting, the treasure act and the portable antiquities scheme.

This video from Archaeosoup from February 2019 reviews the DCMS consultation about the function of the Treasure Act 1996:

This presentation from the Digital Engagement in Archaeology Conference discusses Portable Antiquities Scheme and its impact on the public:

A Beginner’s Guide to Archaeology: Human Remains in Archaeology


, , , , , ,

In our last session we looked at a couple of hot topics within archaeology that are sure to generate plenty of discussion. The first of these was that of human remains. There are already some resources on this topic on this blog which includes links to a lot of the legislation and how to guides by respected bodies within the discipline.

This Archaeoduck video interviews a human osteoarchaeologist, Lauren McIntyre, who talks through what happens when human remains are excavated in the UK:

A Beginner’s Guide to Archaeology: Radiocarbon Dating and Thermoluminescence


, , , , ,

In our last session, we continued the subject of dating within archaeology by looking at absolute dating methods. There are already some resources on this subject on this blog which can be found by following the link.

Perhaps the best known of these absolute dating methods is radiocarbon dating. These two short videos from Archaeoduck help to explain how that method works and some of the pros and cons.

Other forms of dating exist. These include thermoluminescence, which is explained briefly in this video by Archaeosoup:

A Beginner’s Guide to Archaeology: Dendrochronology


, , , , , ,

In our last session we looked at various dating techniques. One of these techniques was dendrochronology. This video from Archaeosoup provides more information about this dating method:

There are other resources on relative dating, including the vole clock, available on this site. Please follow the link to find out more.


A Beginner’s Guide to Archaeology: The Harris Matrix


, , , , , ,

In our last session we talked about context and stratigraphy. There are already some resources about these on this blog which you can find by following the link.

As part of understanding the relationship of different contexts with one another, we talked about the Harris Matrix. This video by Archaeosoup also helps to explain this idea:

A Beginner’s Guide to Archaeology: Planning and Archaeology


, , , , , ,

In our first session we talked about the National Planning Policy Framework and how that relates to archaeology. We, therefore, particularly looked at the section on conserving and enhancing the historic environment. There is an interesting video here by Archaeosoup which discusses the dynamic of heritage versus new homes. Are archaeology and modern life truly at odds?

We also discussed non-invasive archaeology techniques. There is already some information about these on this blog if you follow the link, however, you may also be interested in  this video by Archaeosoup which explains what field walking is:




Beginner’s Guide to Archaeology: Reading List


, , , , ,

Whilst it is not essential to do any background reading before the course begins, you may find it useful to do so. The reading list below contains books that you can read. You don’t have to read all of these and we don’t specify any that you must read. Instead, these are readings you can use to gain a preliminary understanding of topics, as well as to study in more depth those parts of the course you are particularly interested in. You may also want to take a look at magazines such as British Archaeology, World Archaeology and Current Archaeology.

Further suggestions about ways you can extend your understanding of topics through books, television etc may also be posted as appropriate here on the blog.

Aitken, M. 1990. Science-based Dating in Archaeology. Longman. (Introduces several different science-based dating techniques used by archaeologists)

Bahn, P. 2012. Archaeology: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. (Latest edition of popular, concise introduction to archaeology)

Carver, M. 2009. Archaeological Investigation. Routledge. (General introduction to the process of fieldwork from discovery to publication).

Drewett, P. 2011. Field Archaeology: An Introduction. (2nd edition). Routledge. (Leading text introducing principles of field archaeology)

Gamble, C. 2015. Archaeology: the basics (revised 3nd edition). Routledge. (A good general introduction to a lot of concepts)

Gater, J & Gaffney, C. 2003. Revealing the Buried Past: Geophysics for Archaeologists. The History Press Ltd. (A good introduction to archaeological geophysics by the Time Team ‘geofizz’ guys)

Greene, K. & Moore, T. 2010. Archaeology: An Introduction (5th edn). London: Routledge. (A good general introduction. You may also wish to check out the associated online resources: http://cw.routledge.com/textbooks/greene/).

O’Connor, T. 2005. Environmental Archaeology: Principles and Methods (2nd edn.) The History Press. (General introduction to environmental archaeology)

Mays, S. 2010. The Archaeology of Human Bones (2nd edn). Routledge. (General introduction to the archaeological analysis of human remains)

Renfrew, C & Bahn, P (eds). 2004. Archaeology: The Key Concepts. Routledge Key Guides. (Collection of different chapters written by experts in their field)

Renfrew, C. & Bahn, P. 2016. Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Practice (7th edn). Thames and Hudson.  (Aimed at 1st year undergraduates, but still very accessible to read and covers a lot of topics)

Previously unknown human species found in Asia


, , ,

Those who have previously undertaken ‘The Human Journey’ course may be interested in some news recently published in Nature of a new hominin species, Homo luzonensis.

To quote the abstract of the original article:

A hominin third metatarsal discovered in 2007 in Callao Cave (Northern Luzon, the Philippines) and dated to 67 thousand years ago provided the earliest direct evidence of a human presence in the Philippines. Analysis of this foot bone suggested that it belonged to the genus Homo, but to which species was unclear. Here we report the discovery of twelve additional hominin elements that represent at least three individuals that were found in the same stratigraphic layer of Callao Cave as the previously discovered metatarsal. These specimens display a combination of primitive and derived morphological features that is different from the combination of features found in other species in the genus Homo (including Homo floresiensis and Homo sapiens) and warrants their attribution to a new species, which we name Homo luzonensis. The presence of another and previously unknown hominin species east of the Wallace Line during the Late Pleistocene epoch underscores the importance of island Southeast Asia in the evolution of the genus Homo.


The Anglo-Saxons: End of an Age


, , , , , , ,

In our last session on the Anglo-Saxon period in England, we looked at how the period came to an end.

This video provides a handy short synopsis of the Viking invasion of England

These six short video clips from BBC Teach investigate the claimants to the throne in 1066, the battles at Fulford, Stamford Bridge and Hastings, and then the aftermath as William secures his grip on the English throne.

In this documentary Tony Robinson reveals the real story behind the last great Anglo-Saxon king. Far from being just the loser at the Battle of Hastings, Harold was a charismatic leader.

If you would like to do further reading, the following webpages may be of interest to you:

Don’t forget that if you wish to look back over the resources available in this blog, just select Saxon in the tag cloud on the left to filter the entries to just those with relevant material. If you wish to see what happened next, select Normans to pull up resources relating to the Norman world.