” Shipwrecks off the English Coastline “

#AceHistoryNews says the number of wrecks off England’s coast is a stark reminder of our reliance on shipping: 37,000 vessels, cargoes, and even ditched aircraft have been identified. Events that often spelled tragedy for crews have transformed these craft into time-capsules. While most post-date 1815, traces of scattered cargoes date back to the Bronze Age. Many lost vessels are still waiting to be found.

Something that may have been lost without us even realising is the Hastings battlefield. An Abbey founded after the fighting was believed to mark the spot, but rival candidates have recently emerged. Time Team’s investigation (below, left) led them to ask whether a roundabout now lies where Harold Godwinson was cut down.

Less severe injuries could earn the afflicted a spell in a Medieval hospital. Excavations at Cambridge revealed a hospital cemetery (above, right) and gave an insight into 12th-century health care. The dig also touched on a former archaeologist’s garden, where disturbed burials had been re-interred in a way that evokes Neolithic practice.

Neolithic burial rites are also under the spotlight at the Garn Turne dolmen (below, left). As well as exposing the earliest masonry-working known in Britain, digging has shed light on how gigantic capstones were lifted using Neolithic technology.

Work at Welwyn may have uncovered a very different form of funerary monument (above, right). Burials focused on a large pit have raised questions about whether this could be a symbolic gateway to the underworld.

Courtesy of Matt Symonds – Editor Current Archaelogy

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