Thursday 21st February 2013
Archaeologists investigating a site on Dartmoor have uncovered a sizeable collection of Bronze Age 'grave goods' described as being the most significant discovery yet made in the area. Artefacts found alongside human bones beneath the lid of a granite 'cist', or grave, unearthed in 2011, include a woven bag, a textile fragment featuring intricate leather fringing and an animal pelt containing a bracelet studded with tin beads.
The national park's chief archaeologist, Jane Marchand, said: "The whole thing was actually wrapped up in an animal pelt of fur. As we lifted it up very carefully a bead fell out and [we felt] the thrill of realising that actually this is a proper burial, this is a bead which belonged to a burial. That's what's so exciting: you wouldn't expect to find any archaeology somewhere like this, stuck out on this peat hag. You'll never be able to top this, ever."
Anglo-Saxons put off horsemeat by 'Catholic guilt'
Modern revulsion over the discovery that horsemeat has entered the food chain may stem from Anglo-Saxons viewing it as 'pagan food', according to a new study. The research, published in the Oxford Journal of Archaeology, draws on evidence from animal bones found at settlement sites around England which point to decreasing consumption of horsemeat at special occasions as Christianity was introduced between the sixth and eighth centuries AD.
Middleton Cheney bones more than 1,000 years old
Tests carried out on human bones discovered in a building site in Northamptonshire have revealed them to be more than 1,000 years old. The remains, which are those of a man, woman and infant, were discovered in a single grave by workers on a site in Middleton Cheney in December. Carbon testing points to the bones dating from between the late 7th and early 9th centuries, and archaeologists believe that all three individuals may have belonged to the same family.
Jane Austen anniversary marked with new stamps
A set of six stamps depicting scenes from Jane Austen's six published novels have gone on sale to mark the 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice. As well as commissioning the series, the Royal Mail will also be marking all letters sent from both Austen's birthplace of Steventon and the Hampshire village of Chawton, where she spent her final years, with a special postmark featuring a quote from the novel.
'Medieval village' uncovered in Selkirk water works
The remains of a medieval village have been discovered during the laying of a new water main at Philiphaugh, near Selkirk in the Scottish Borders. Archaeologists believe that evidence of several stone buildings with stone floors, connected by cobbled sections and spanning a sizeable area, point to the existence of a settlement rather than a single structure.
Grave of 'Peter the Wild Boy' awarded Grade II listing
Search for buried Burma Spitfires called off
Archaeologists in Burma have called off their search for Spitfires that were thought to have been buried following the end of the Second World War. Although the project team, led by David Cundall and financed by Wargaming Limited, hoped to find as many as 124 aircraft in the country, the story is now believed to be a myth.
Mantel to receive further literary award
Double Booker winner Hilary Mantel is set to receive an award at this year's Oxford Literary Festival, event organisers have announced. The author of novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, which explore the life of Thomas Cromwell, made headlines earlier this week following her comments about the Duchess of Cambridge. For more on Cromwell, see the March issue of BBC History Magazine, on sale from 28 February.
Image credits: © DNPA (Dartmoor); Royal Mail (stamps); English Heritage (Peter the Wild Boy)