‘Sizeable’ hoard of Iron Age metal found in Leicestershire

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A significant hoard of Iron Age metal has been uncovered by archaeologists working at a site in Leicester. The artefacts, which include spears, knives, iron brooches and reaping hooks, were found in the remains of houses and storage pits at Burrough Hill by a team from the University of Leicester. The discoveries are thought to represent one of the largest collections of such metalwork yet uncovered in the East Midlands.

Dr Jeremy Taylor, the project’s director, said: “Many of the finds date from between the fourth and first centuries BC. Burrough Hill is a scheduled monument and, because it hasn’t been under threat from development, it’s just sat there quietly for about 40 years”.

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Tributes paid to Thatcher at London funeral

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More than 2,000 people have attended the funeral of Margaret Thatcher in St Paul’s Cathedral in London. The former Conservative prime minister’s death last week has sparked extensive debate about the impact of her policies, with events around the country both celebrating and criticising her career. Read the thoughts of leading historians on Thatcher’s legacy in our online feature.

  

Small human species may have adapted to island environment

A diminutive species of human which co-existed with homo sapiens until approximately 12,000 years ago and whose remains were discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores may have shrunk in order to adapt to its environment, according to a new study. The research, published in the Royal Society’s Proceedings B Journal, suggests that Homo floresiensis became gradually smaller over the course of generations due to a process known as ‘island dwarfism’.

  

Positive reviews for Rijksmuseum reopening

  

Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum has received highly positive reviews following its reopening earlier this month. The Dutch state museum, which has been closed since 2003 for a renovation costing an estimated 375m euros (approximately £320m), features artefacts and paintings by artists including Vermeer, van Gogh and Rembrandt.

Study explores Neolithic building methods

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A project to learn more about the building methods used by Neolithic people has been launched by English Heritage. The research team will use archaeological evidence discovered at Durrington Wells to construct three buildings at Old Sarum Castle, with the finished reconstructions to be displayed outside a new visitor centre at Stonehenge.

  

Further rooms opened in Thomas Hardy house

Two further rooms in the house in which Thomas Hardy wrote some of his most famous works are set to be opened to the public this summer. The author’s bedrooms in Max Gate, where he wrote Tess of the d’Urbervilles and The Mayor of Casterbridge and lived until his death in 1928, will open once restoration work is completed later this year.

  

Statue of 16th-century ‘giant’ unveiled in Cheshire

A bronze statue of a ‘giant’ born in 1578 has gone on display in his home village of Hale in Cheshire. John Middleton is recorded as having been more than nine feet tall on his epitaph, although later indications suggest that his height may been closer to eight feet. According to local legend, Middleton defeated James VI and I’s chief wrestler in a bout at the king’s court.

  

Bieber criticised for Anne Frank comments

A message left by Justin Bieber in the guest book of the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam has met with a mixed reaction after it was posted on the museum’s Facebook page. The pop star’s comment, “Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber,” referred to the name given to his fans and was regarded by some commentators as self-involved, although museum staff have supported the Canadian musician.

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Image credits: Corbis (Thatcher); Charlotte Hodgman (hut)