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On the cover: As the 2012 Olympics flame makes its way around the UK, we look at what archaeologists found beneath the Games site. See page 14
As long ago as September 2003 – think about it – two of the UK’s biggest archaeological organisations had begun work investigating the future 2012 Olympics site. The early start partly explains why such a huge research and excavation project was concluded successfully without delaying construction. I am delighted that British Archaeology can bring you a unique report on the fascinating results.
But who amongst us knew that archaeologists were there at all? Or for that matter (to glance down the contents page of this issue), who knew in 1956 that a former mi5 agent was overthrowing Corsican prehistory? Who knew in July last year that archaeologists were retrieving a sword from the hold of a Viking ship buried in Highland Scotland, or that at the precise same time, Mick Aston had stumbled on the ruins of a 19th century monastery in Leicestershire? Now we can find out just what archaeologists are up to, as it happens, on the Day of Archaeology 2012. Last year, in the first event of its kind, over 400 archaeologists logged in from around the world to describe what they were doing or thinking. Whether it’s to write about your day, or to read about everyone else’s, you can join in at dayofarchaeology.com on June 29.
That is just the start of an exceptional summer of archaeology. On July 9 the British Museum hosts the 2012 British Archaeological Awards. On July 14 a 16day extravaganza begins, the 2012 CBA Festival of British Archaeology, with over 750 events across the UK (see page 62).
You won’t forget 2012. Archaeologists were everywhere.
This issue’s contributors include
François Grosjean researched and taught bilingualism at Paris, Boston and Neuchâtel, estimating in a recent Psychology Today blog that 20% of US speakers are bilingual. On page 24 he addresses a different topic: his father
Nicola Smith was an English Heritage inspector in 1988 when she was invited in to a farmhouse adjacent to a historic barn. What she saw led to a detective trail that has yet to end, as she describes on page 40
Matt Grove completed his PhD at Royal Holloway University of London in 2007, on early hominin behaviour. On page 44 he argues for a critical – but not exclusive – role for climate change in human evolution
Radiocarbon dates Unless otherwise noted, 14C dates are calibrated at 95% confidence (cal AD or cal BC, expressed as AD or BC). See britarch.net/lie (the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit) and Radiocarbon Dating, by S Bowman (British Museum 1990)
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