archaeology
subscribe
Special Introductory Offer!

Heat Wave

Late Neolithic Monument

Boyne Valley, Ireland

By DANIEL WEISS

Monday, October 15, 2018

Heat Wave Ireland Boyne Valley Neolithic MonumentBrú na Bóinne, or the Palace of the Boyne, on Ireland’s east coast, features an astounding concentration of prehistoric monuments. More than 90 are known in all, and summer 2018’s scorching weather has added yet another—only traces of which were seen in a previous lidar survey. Located just north of the River Boyne, the new monument dates to 2900–2500 B.C. and became visible in pits, postholes, and sections of ditch.

 

The monument, which likely served as a site for rituals, features a circular double ditch broken up into sections. The entire complex is surrounded by a double ring of timber posts. “The posts may have been connected in some way to create a wall or fence,” says archaeologist Stephen Davis of University College Dublin. Sectioned ditches are nearly unknown in the late Neolithic, according to Davis, and while double rings of posts dating to the period have been found in Scotland, they had never before been found in Ireland. A box-shaped structure on the monument’s western side once had particularly large posts, and may have served as an entrance. Davis notes that the newly discovered monument probably had some relationship to another one just to its southeast, which also appeared this summer as a wide, desiccated ring marking what was once an earthen or stone bank.

WWI Military Camp

Hawick, Scotland

By JARRETT A. LOBELL

Monday, October 15, 2018

Heat Wave Scotland Hawick WWI Military CampIn the very early years of the twentieth century, the Stobs Military Camp served as a training ground and living quarters. Just before World War I, it was the place where Scotland readied for combat. And during the war, it became a POW camp where both civilian and military prisoners were housed in 80 wooden huts that each measured 120 by 20 feet and were surrounded by barbed wire. Stobs eventually closed in 1957, and its layout is reasonably well known from the master plan drawn up in 1917. According to Andrew Jepson of Archaeology Scotland, however, parts of the camp that hadn’t been seen in many years became evident during summer 2018’s heat wave. “We clearly knew that the building foundations and networks of paths were there, but over the decades they had become difficult to identify in some areas as nature began to reclaim the land,” says Jepson. “An attempt to locate precisely some of the corners of the barracks hut foundations last year proved relatively unsuccessful,” he adds, “so we were excited to see so much of the camp appear before our eyes.”

 

Heat Wave Scotland Hawick WWI Military Camp Plans

WWII Air Raid Shelter

Cambridge, England

By JARRETT A. LOBELL

Monday, October 15, 2018

Heat Wave England Cambridge WWII Air Raid ShelterDuring the Second World War, Cambridge, like most of England, was under threat of aerial bombardment. The first daylight raids over the country took place in June 1940, and they continued throughout the remainder of the war, killing some 40,000 civilians. Though Cambridge itself was not badly hit, the city experienced 424 air raid alerts during which high-explosive bombs, oil bombs, and other incendiaries were dropped, killing 29 people. Some of the city’s residents may have hidden in a concrete air raid shelter built under the green of Jesus College in 1939. Its outlines are an unexpected reminder of the war only recently made visible.

Medieval Castle

Ceredigion, Wales

By ERIC A. POWELL

Monday, October 15, 2018

Heat Wave Wales Ceredigion Medieval CastleThe raised earthwork motte, or mound, of Castell Llwyn Gwinau, a medieval fortification that sits atop an isolated hill in western Wales, is about five feet high and some 100 feet in diameter. This remote spot is not obviously strategic, and it is possible the tenant of a nearby farmstead built the castle simply to signal his position as a knight. Although the location of the castle was known, the drought made its layout clear. Brown sections at its summit likely mark the remains of a stone wall, and a green ring indicates its ditch. The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales discovered at least 100 sites during the heat wave. “So much new archaeology is showing, it is incredible,” says Toby Driver, the commission’s senior aerial investigator. “The summer’s urgent work in the air will now lead to months of research in the office in the winter months to map and record all the sites which have been seen and to reveal their true significance.”

Roman Fort

Caerhun, Wales

By DANIEL WEISS

Monday, October 15, 2018

Heat Wave Wales Caerhun Roman FortCanovium was one of a network of wooden forts that housed tens of thousands of troops during the Roman invasion of Wales in the first century A.D. Around A.D. 120, when many of these soldiers were shipped north to work on Hadrian’s Wall, Canovium was among the forts in Wales made permanent and rebuilt in stone. This past summer, evidence of these stone walls appeared, with just the northeast corner obscured by a still-active medieval parish church.

 

Based on previous excavations and historical sources, says archaeologist Peter Guest of Cardiff University, the fort is known to have been home to an auxiliary unit. Its 500 soldiers were drawn, at least initially, from recently conquered peoples—most likely Batavians, Gauls, or Thracians. “The fort was occupied for 200 years or more,” says Guest. “It wouldn’t be surprising then if a number of the recruits that lived there grew up just outside the fortress. They were the sons of existing soldiers and the grandsons of soldiers before them.”

 

Advertisement

Advertisement

IN THIS ISSUE


Advertisement


Advertisement