This year, events are taking place across the country to celebrate the 1,900th anniversary of the construction of Hadrian’s Wall (the eagle-eyed among you may have spotted that this most-famous Roman landmark has also featured, in some capacity, in every issue of CA since January). This month our cover story considers whether the Romans too may have commemorated the Wall’s construction – and we also have an opinion piece asking how sure we can be about its date.
From monumental stonework to modern quarrying, we next head to Bedfordshire to learn about archaeological investigations at Black Cat Quarry, carried out before extraction works began on the site. There, excavations have revealed an impressive multi-period landscape, including Neolithic and Bronze Age settlements, a significant Roman farmstead, and what may be the remains of a Viking ‘fort’ referred to in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.
Archaeology can shed vivid light on the activities of past populations – but what can we learn about the make-up of such communities? Excavations in Leicester have revealed intriguing hints of diversity during the Roman period, including links to North Africa. We return to monumental themes for our next feature, exploring the hillforts of Britain and Ireland, the different forms they take, and their often-enigmatic purpose.
Finally, we take a trip to leafy west London to visit Marble Hill – an elegant Thames-side villa that has just been restored to its Georgian glory, and has a fascinating story to tell about its resourceful female owner.