Happy New Year! And happy birthday, too, to Oxford Archaeology, one of the UK’s oldest commercial units, which recently celebrated 50 years in operation. When an archaeological organisation reaches such a significant milestone, it is a cause for celebration for all of us, demonstrating that the profession continues to thrive. Our cover feature explores how archaeological practices have changed over half a century, how these changes are reflected in some of the sites dug by OA, and what the future might hold for exploring the past.
From development-led investigations to pioneering feats of engineering, we then head west from Oxford into Wales, to take a trip through the 225-year history of the Swansea Canal and its industrial influence.
Travelling further west still to Co. Roscommon in Ireland, our next feature spotlights a different aspect of infrastructure, revealing how investigations associated with road-improvement works have uncovered the remains of a previously unknown medieval settlement and multigenerational cemetery.
For our final feature, we return to Wales but move further back in time to learn how recent excavations in Beaumaris, Anglesey, have revealed the surprise survival of a section of the town’s medieval defences that was thought to have been demolished long ago.
Finally, don’t forget to cast your vote in the upcoming CA Awards. Turn to p.60 to learn how to have your say, and for the latest details of our annual conference, at which the results will be announced.