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18 September 2014
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Books

Teaching Archaeology: A United Kingdom Directory of Resources edited by D Henson (Council for British Archaeology, 1996)

Discovering Archaeology in England and Wales by J Dyer (Shire, 1997)

Links

Council for British Archaeology: The site covers a wide range of topics, ranging from the latest news to education and conservation. It also includes a virtual library which links to government bodies, universities and special-interest groups.

Current Archaeology: An online extension of the magazine, featuring articles from back issues and links to relevant organisations.

Association for Environmental Archaeology: For those who are interested in the environment, this site from the University of York includes images and texts on the flora and fauna of rural archaeology.

Archaeology Data Service: Another site from the University of York, offering digital resources for research, learning and teaching.

Archaeological Resource Guide for Europe - ARGE: A guide to European archaeological resources, as well as links to journals and publishers. Searches can be performed by country, subject, time period or keyword.

Places to visit

Scara Brae – Neolithic village on mainland Orkney: For someone who has spent much of their archaeological career looking (unsuccessfully) for Neolithic houses in southern England, there’s something wonderful, if slightly infuriating, about seing a whole village of stone-built houses - complete with built-in furniture. Spectacular setting. After you’ve made the journey up here, take a look at all the other sites that the Orkneys have to offer. Fantastic!

Isles of Scilly: Visit here around the end of March, or in September for a graphic illustration of what effects changes in sea-level had in prehistoric times. Walking at very low tide between the islands, it’s odd to see field walls, hut circles and standing stones covered in seaweed, but this is the best drowned landscape that you can visit. And when the tide comes up, there’s plenty to see on dry land as well.

Castlerigg Stone Circle, Keswick, Cumbria: Much as I love Stonehenge and Avebury, I do occasionally need to get away from the masses of visitors and the associated bustle, and visit a quieter stone circle. Lots of my childhood holidays were spent in the Lake District, so I’m very fond of the landscape that surounds Castlerigg. Of course, if you’re in that part of the world and feeling energetic, then you can always go to the Langdale valley, climb 600m (2,000ft) up the Pike of Stickle, and wonder why prehistoric people went to such lengths to find stone for their axes.

Dover Castle: This has to be my favourite castle. Sitting on the cliffs of Dover, within sight of France, it’s not only massive, but seems to encompass so much of the history of the last 2,000 years within its walls. Everything from a Roman lighthouse (now part of the church) and a Norman Castle, to amazing cave systems that functioned as underground hospitals in times of war, and even secret Cold War nuclear-proof bunkers. Great for the family.

Butser Ancient Farm: Just south of the A3, 5 miles south of Petersfield, Butser is always worth a visit, as it transforms the evidence from pits and potholes, animal bones and pottery fragments into a living breathing farm, complete with animals and crops. But it’s not only a great place to visit, it’s a living experiment that over the years has taught us much about our Iron Age farming ancestors.

West Stow Saxon Village: Based in West Stow Country Park, Icklingham Road, West Stow, Suffolk, the village provides the perfect Saxon experience in East Suffolk. Tel: 01284 728718

Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor: Walk around in an entire prehistoric landscape, wrecked by over-cultivation 3,000 years ago, and still providing a powerful environmental message. Take an Ordnance Survey map and explore. For me, one of the most mysterious and powerful places on the moors is Stowe’s Pound, SX257726, just off the B2354, 4 miles north-east of Liskeard and 7 miles south-west of Launceston. I’ve never felt an atmosphere like this anywhere else. Try it.

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Published: 25-01-2005



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