This month’s cover story features an extraordinary Anglo-Saxon find from Northamptonshire: the Harpole Treasure. This necklace, the richest of its kind yet discovered, had been chosen to accompany an evidently high-status woman to the grave in the mid-7th century. Ongoing analysis of her burial and the artistry of its artefacts will surely help to illuminate the period in which she lived and died. Finds like these also highlight why it is so important for developer-funded excavations to remain an integral part of the planning process: had the site not been investigated ahead of new housing, the isolated grave might never have been identified.
Next is a rather more recent site, again uncovered ahead of development: Weeley Barracks in Essex, which was built amid fears of French invasion during the Napoleonic Wars. What can we learn about its buildings, and the people who lived there?
The feature that follows is the second part of a planned Orkney trilogy drawing on my visit to the islands last summer; here we bring you the latest news from the Ness of Brodgar and its amazing Neolithic buildings, as the site marks 20 years since its discovery. We then explore a third development-led dig, this time at Priors Hall near Corby. There, a second series of excavations have shed further light on the remains of a Roman villa estate that we first covered in CA 370. How has the story developed since our initial article? Read on to find out more.
Finally, we learn about the evolution of an enigmatic and intriguing form of monument, Neolithic long cairns, and ask whether an example in south-east Wales was the archetype for this innovative tomb-building tradition?