Issue 143 July/August 2015


Issue 143 cover
Unmanned aerial vehicles are fast becoming popular consumer items, as technologies improve and prices fall. For field archaeologists struggling with step ladders, poles and kites, they seem to offer the dream way to get above it all. But how do they work? Are they safe? And do you need a licence to fly one? We report on the surprising things you can do with a drone

It’s Festival time!

The 25th Festival of Archaeology takes off on July 11. Last year’s festival, co-ordinated by the Council for British Archaeology, included over 1,000 events – and it just gets bigger and better! Meanwhile Scotland is mounting its own year-long celebration of archaeology, Dig It! 2015
Spong Hill
Some 40 years ago archaeologists excavated an entire Anglo-Saxon cemetery in Norfolk. They have returned to the enormous archive of burial records, unearthing unique insights into the international contacts of fifth century Britain, and the origins of England
The Lion Salt Works
When a Cheshire salt works closed in 1986, an industrial process alive since Roman times passed into memory. We report on a long and successful struggle to preserve one of Britain’s most curious and significant industrial sites
The Gaulcross hoard
Only three items were known to have survived from a hoard of Pictish silver found in north-east Scotland in 1838. Archaeologists returned to the site, and uncovered a further 100 pieces of silver, changing our understanding of the find which includes both Roman and Pictish silver from luxury objects, buried around AD500 
Egyptian treasure in Wigan
The controversial sale last year by Northampton Council of a statue, said to be of Sekhemka, highlighted the quality of ancient Egyptian artefacts scattered across the UK. We describe the discovery of an extraordinary collection in Greater Manchester, with an equally remarkable history
On a routine commercial excavation in Perthshire, archaeologists found the remains of a prehistoric ritual timber monument. That turned out to be only the start of an unexpected story


  • Letters
    A Roman inscription with bad grammar
  • Greg Bailey on TV
    What we thought of The Quizeum
  • My archaeology
    The British Museums’ Jonathan Tubb reflects on Islamic State’s destruction of heritage 
  • Correspondent
    Is there a future for archaeology in museums?
  • Casefiles
    Bailey Mill, Delph, Greater Manchester
  • Books
    The Spong Hill cemetery, and rich early bronze age grave goods
  • Spoilheap
    Neil MacGregor: 13 years at the British Museum
  • Briefing
    The UK's only archaeological events listing, with exhibition reviews
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