With enormous capstones perched precariously on stone supports, Neolithic dolmens appear to defy gravity – and, in some cases, interpretation. Why were these mighty monuments built across northern Europe, and were their stone frames intended to impress, or originally concealed within earth mounds? Our cover story investigates the options.
Equally monumental in construction, though very different in nature, are the frontier fortifications of Hadrian’s Wall. How did the Romans source the stone used to build this edifice – and how were these materials redistributed and reused in subsequent centuries? A community archaeology project that has excavated more than 15 sites on and around the Wall since 2019 set out to find more.
Hadrian’s Wall left an indelible mark on the surrounding area, but our next feature explores rather earlier environmental evidence, based on recent scientific analysis of sediment, pollen, and aDNA samples from the Mesolithic ‘home base’ at Blick Mead, near Stonehenge. The results paint a vivid picture of a long-vanished landscape.
From Salisbury Plain, we then soar towards the northern fringes of Britain, paying a visit to the Outer Hebrides, and specifically South Uist, where cutting-edge augmented reality technology is being used in innovative ways to illuminate the island’s rich archaeological heritage, from Bronze Age mummies to a Viking longhouse.
Finally, we take a tour of Dulverton House, a former monastic infirmary near Gloucester Cathedral which was recently refurbished to become a Sixth Form Centre. What have these works revealed about the building’s long and varied past, and what material traces of these earlier incarnations survive?