THE CELTIC ANTIQUITIES AND COINS BLOG HAS NOW CLOSED Sorry for the inconvenience and thank you for your interest.

Hope to see you elsewhere around the blogosphere!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Apologies for my absence

I just wanted to apologize for my absence from the Celtic Antiquities and Coins blog in the last few months.  As some of you know, I underwent major surgery this year, but unfortunately this has led to some significant complications, and may take some time to resolve (including at least one other surgery). I hope that I will be able to return to work soon and I thank you once again for your patience. With very best wishes. 

Monday, July 19, 2010

Time out for surgery

Just a note to let you know that I will be taking some time out to recover from surgery, but I will endeavor to add new blog posts when I can. Thank you for your patience.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Butser Experimental Ancient Farm, southern England

Although the real past will always elude us and we will never know EXACTLY what it was like to live in the Late Iron Age and early Roman periods of Britain, for almost 40 years Butser Ancient farm has been effective in offering a fascinating insight into ancient times. Recently, I wrote a blog post about the educational hands-on activities that are offered at Butser and further details may be found here


A 2,000-YEAR-OLD human skeleton has been unearthed alongside Iron Age artefacts near Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire

From: This is Gloucestershire

Discovery: Experts believe the skeleton could be of national significance

A 2,000-YEAR-OLD human skeleton has been unearthed alongside Iron Age artefacts near Tewkesbury.

Metal detector hunts in recent years had led historians to suspect an ancient community might be found there.

That was confirmed when contractors who were laying a new water pipeline began digging.
Senior project manager Stuart Foreman is leading a team of archaeologists on a six-week excavation at the site.

Get the rest of this article here

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Moray building site yields Iron Age finds

From Archaeology Daily News:

ARCHAEOLOGICAL finds at a Moray building site have been described as exciting by experts.

Burial memorials are among the evidence of an Iron Age settlement uncovered on the latest Springfield Properties housing development on Grantown Road, near Forres.

Archaeologists said some finds could hold key evidence for research into the neolithic period, sometimes referred to as the New Stone Age. They include pottery, metal and ironwork which show people occupied the area before it became an Iron Age farm.

Construction work is on hold until Edinburgh-based AOC Archaeology completes its examination of the Knockomie Meadows site.

The finds suggest a late Iron Age occupation from around 600AD, with evidence of a food storage pit, round houses and fencing for animals.

The site is thought to have been occupied during neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age and Roman times. Previous digs in a field next to the current site in 2007 and 2008 indicated people lived in the area more than 2,000 years ago.

Get the rest of this article here

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Derbyshire Iron Age bones were of pregnant woman

From the BBC:

Tests carried out on a skeleton discovered at an archaeological dig in Derbyshire have found it was that of a pregnant woman.

Experts said they were surprised by the female find because the site, near Monsal Dale in the Peak District, had been believed to be a military scene.

Now, extra lottery funding means there can be a second dig at the Fin Cop hill fort site to find out more.

Archaeologists unearthed the Iron Age skeleton last August.

Get the rest of this article here

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Rabbits Threatening Iron Age Mound on Small Hebridean Island

From The Telegraph:


A Hebridean Island which spent £600,000 getting rid of rats has now become over-run with rabbits

"We don't want the rats back - but the rabbits have become a major problem. They are threatening our archaeology which goes back 8000 years here. An Iron Age mound is a particularly target for them. It is a scheduled monument but it is being burrowed into by the rabbits and being eroded.

"Stone Age huts and dykes from the Clearances are having their foundations destroyed. They are in people's gardens - and being so far away from the mainland we rely a lot on growing our own vegetables.
"The only thing that are happy are the sea eagles. They have been having a real feast but obviously nowhere near keeping up with the rabbit population."

Get the whole of this article here.

Bob Geldof's Land Being Surveyed for Iron Age Remains

The former pop star and anti-poverty campaigner, Sir Bob Geldof, has allowed local Kent archaeologists to survey his land for Iron Age and Medieval remains.

Lynette Eyb ( has written a post about the project, which can be found here.

There is also an article by Kent News here

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Chariot find is a victory for Scots

From the Guardian:

The centuries-long tussle for prestige between England and Scotland may be about to end in victory for the clans, with new archaeological evidence suggesting that the first national leader of the British Isles was a Scot.

The remains of a mysterious figure found in an Iron Age chariot burial under the A1M motorway was of "exceptional significance" according to academics, who have also unearthed the leftovers of one of Britain's biggest feasts at his funeral site in Yorkshire.

Decorated with jewellery and finely wrought harness and chariot gear, the 2,400-year-old grave is thought to have been a rallying-point for Britain's tribes 500 years later when the Romans moved north. Some 300 young cattle from all over the country were brought to Ferrybridge to feed an assembly running into thousands not far from where a Little Chef now stands.

Get the rest of this article here

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Iron Age Skeletons and Viking bones go on display in Weymouth (with Video)

From the BBC News:

An exhibition of Iron Age skeletons and Viking bones found in excavations ahead of the Weymouth Relief Road has attracted 3,000 visitors.

The free event at Weymouth Pavilion Ocean Room includes ancient bones, Iron Age pottery and shale jewellery.

Archaeologists from Dorset County Council and specialists from Oxford Archaeology will be on hand to discuss the finds and answer questions.

Get the rest of this article here

Friday, March 12, 2010

New center for replica Iron Age attraction

From The News Portsmouth:

A new eco-friendly visitors centre is set to be built at a replica Iron Age farm.

Butser Ancient Farm, in Chalton Lane, Chalton, has seen its visitors soar by 10,000 to 20,000 over the last 10 years.

A bid had now been launched to build a £150,000 visitors centre at the site, which was founded in 1972 as an archaeological research site.

Reconstructed roundhouses and a villa at the farm give an insight into the life of Romans and Celts in ancient Britain.

Get the rest of this article here


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Iron Age hopes for Moray field

From The Press and Journal:


Experts believe they have discovered another Iron Age power centre in Moray.

Yesterday National Museums of Scotland curator Dr Fraser Hunter said investigations at a field at Burghead have possibly revealed “a high-status site”.

The archaeologist said the remains of four Iron Age roundhouses could lie buried beneath the soil.
He said: “In combination with the finds that have been discovered at the site, it suggests that this is one of the more important areas, one of the power centres of the Burghead area.”

The exact location of the site at Burghead is being kept secret while further investigations are carried out.

Get the rest of this article here

Weymouth Relief Road artefacts to go on show

From the BBC News:

A number of artefacts discovered during work on an £87m road development in Dorset are to go on display.

The Weymouth Relief Road is being built to ease traffic between Dorchester and Weymouth and Portland, where Olympic sailing events will be held in 2012.

The site attracted much interest when archaeologists found an ancient burial pit on Ridgeway Hill last year.

Items including ancient bones, Iron Age pottery and shale jewellery will go on display at Weymouth Pavilion.

Get the rest of this article here

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Bracelet found in Vale of Glamorgan is treasure trove

From the BBC:

An Iron Age fragment found in a south Wales village last year is the missing half of a bracelet first discovered in 2005, say archaeologists.

Experts from National Museum Wales believe the two bracelets parts, unearthed at Boverton, Vale of Glamorgan, were buried together.

A matching join was found and the decoration, a repeating triangle and a line of dots, proved continuous.

The item was one of four found in the county declared treasure by a coroner.

Get the rest of this article here

Monday, February 1, 2010

Archaeologists unearth Iron Age settlement in Kent

From the BBC:

The remains of an Iron Age settlement have been unearthed by archaeologists working along the route of a new £1.3m water pipeline in Kent.

Evidence of a dwelling, postholes, pits, ancient hearths and pieces of pottery were found on land in Pembury.

South East Water plans to lay a 4.6km (2.9 mile) pipe between Kipping's Cross Service Reservoir and Pembury.

The archaeologists, who were employed by the firm to survey the route, will now record and preserve the finds.

The period known as the Iron Age took place in Britain between about 750BC and about AD40.

Get the rest of this article here

Friday, January 29, 2010

'Oldest in Britain' Hallaton Roman coin may be evidence of early trade links with Corieltavi tribe

From the BBC:

A silver coin dug up as part of a hoard is the oldest piece of Roman money found in Britain, experts believe. The coin which has been dated to 221BC was found near the Leicestershire village of Hallaton with 5,000 other coins, a helmet and decorated bowl.

David Sprason, county council cabinet member for communities and wellbeing, said: "Leicestershire boasts the largest number of Iron Age coins ever professionally excavated in Britain in the Hallaton Treasure. To also have the oldest Roman coin ever found is something very special."

The Hallaton coin is on display at the Harborough Museum, Market Harborough, alongside other coins that were excavated at a late Iron Age shrine of the Corieltavi tribe dating to the first century AD.

[Full article]

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Archaeological dig uncovers the past in Llay

From the BBC:

Since 2002, archaeologists and local enthusiasts have been digging at the site of an Iron Age hillfort in Llay, Wrexham

Take a walk on the banks of the River Alyn from Bradley to Llay, what we call today the Caer Alyn project area, and you will see few glimpses of its former glory.

Gone are the Iron Age people who built the Caer Alyn hillfort and Watts Dyke, and gone are the wheels that drove Medieval mill machines. Today, we're using the landscape to tell the story of the past.

The Caer Alyn project started with just one test pit as part of the Channel 4 TV programme, Time Team's Big Dig in 2002. Since then the Caer Alyn community archaeological heritage project has gone from strength to strength.

Get the rest of this article here

Bodies in the Bog and the Archaeological Imagination by Karin Sanders: review

From the Telegraph:

Bodies in the Bog and the Archaeological Imagination
By Karin Sanders
CHICAGO UP, £26, 317pp

In 1969, PV Glob, a distinguished professor of archeology in Denmark, published a remarkable book. The Bog People was written in response to a request from a group of schoolgirls at an English convent. These young ladies had become excited about photographs of the mysterious discovery, in a Danish bog, of a almost perfectly preserved body dating back to the Iron Age and known as the Tollund Man, from the area in which he was found.

He lay in the ancient peat, entirely naked except for a thin leather cap and a lanyard around his neck. As Glob described in his charming, plainly written book, Tollund Man joined Grauballe Man and Windeby Girl (who turned out to be Windeby Boy), disinterred from the Jutland fens; a mute, macabre gathering looking like crumpled, leathery marionettes.

Get the rest of this article here

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Iron age gold jewellery goes on display in Edinburgh

From the BBC:

A hoard of Iron Age jewellery found by a treasure hunter in Stirlingshire has gone on display in Edinburgh.

The four solid gold neck ornaments, or torcs, could be more than 2,000 years old.

They were found in a field by safari park manager David Booth, who was using a metal detector for the first time.

They are now owned by the Crown and have been placed on public view at the National Museum of Scotland for the next three weeks.

Fraser Hunter, the museum's curator, said "These four gold torcs are very beautiful, very displayable objects.

"They have many stories to tell."

Get the rest of this article with Podcast here.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

eBook: An Iron Age Settlement outside Battlesbury Hillfort, Warminster and Sites along the Southern Range Road

A recent eBook from Wessex Archaeology is now available to download for free. “An Iron Age Settlement outside Battlesbury Hillfort, Warminster and Sites along the Southern Range Road” can be read online via the Scribd iPaper viewer or downloaded as a PDF file. The book is written by Chris Ellis and Andrew B. Powell. A few hard copies may also available for purchase (ISBN: 978-1-874350-47-7).

For further information and download instructions, please visit the Wessex Archaeology website at:

Beccles dig unearths ancient secrets


From The Advertiser24:

Archaeologists attempting to piece together the history of an Iron Age site on Beccles marshes believe they are moving a step closer to drawing conclusions.

A team of students from University of Birmingham descended on the marshes for three weeks in the summer to try to unravel the mystery surrounding the site.

In 2006, three rows of wooden posts inserted into the ground were unearthed while flood defence work was being carried out.

The posts have been traced for about 500m from the contemporary dryland edge just outside Beccles, north to the edge of the River Waveney.

The digs have confirmed that the three parallel rows of large oak posts have been dated using tree rings to 75BC, which is the late Iron Age. It was initially believed that the posts could mark out a causeway that provided a main route into Beccles, although further interpretation of the site is currently under way.

Get the rest of this article here:

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Rare sheep die in animal attack

From the BBC News:

Five breed rare sheep have been killed in two separate attacks at a Cambridgeshire education centre.
The Celtic (Soay) sheep were in a herd of 10 at Flag Fen Bronze Age Centre, an archaeology site in Peterborough. There are few of the species left in England.

Get the rest of this article here