current archaeology number 57

In this issue . . .

Neolithic Stone Axes and Roman London form the major and contrasting features of this latest issue of Current Archaeology.

After the Editorial, in which we look at the plight of the 'Units', the Diary gives the results of the Independent Rescue Archaeology Competition and then looks at RESCUE and The Wealth of the Roman World.

There has recently been a second revolution in the study of Neolithic stone axes, and here we summarise the recent CBA conference on this subject. After looking at the original revolution in the 1940s, when it was first realised that stone axes came from distinctive 'factories', we come on the second revolution, the realisation that the densest concentration of particular types is sometimes well away from the 'factory' area.

We then discuss the Langdale 'factory' (p 295), how stone axes were made (p 296), flint axes (p 297), and shaft-hole axes (p 298). We then turn to work abroad, in Brittany (p 299) and Holland (p 300). We conclude with a long look at Australia (p 301), where Professor Mulvaney has been finding out how valuable objects were distributed by the Aborigines.

As a tailpiece, Stephen Briggs puts the cat among the pigeons wit h the highly unorthodox suggestion that stone axe 'trading' is, after all, a myth.

At Dover the Roman Painted House is now open. Here Brian Philp describes how, when inflation threatened to make the cost of the cover building too high, he and his team of archaeologists took over the whole project and built the vast structure themselves.

In Books we discuss To illustrate the monuments: Essays on archaeology presented to Stuart Piggott, Hillforts and the latest publications from the British Museum.

In London the big excitement recently has been the discovery of the Roman riverside wall which has produced a rich harvest of reused sculptured stones. Here Charles Hill first describes the excavations and shows how the wall was built. The majority of the sculptured stones, however, came from a triumphal arch, and Tom Blagg describes how this was recognised and shows how it can be reconstructed. We then give an account of tw o inscriptions and Ralph Merrifield reports on the finest sculpture of all, that of the four mother goddesses.

We conclude wit h Letters on 'The Archers', C.B.A. publications, King's Lynn, Infants' earbones, the Old World Archaeology Newsletter, the Rahtz method of excavation, and Decapitated Burials.

Cover Photo: Building the Roman Riverside Wall at London, as envisaged by Peter Warner. Drawing reproduced by courtesy of the Department of Urban Archaeology, the Museum of London.

291 Editorial 292 Diary 294 Stone Axes 303 .. . or Glacial Drift?

by Stephen Briggs 304 Dover by Brian Philp 306 Books

308 The London Riverside Wall by Charles Hill 311 The London Arch by T. F. C. Blagg 316 Two Inscriptions 317 The Four Mother Goddesses by Ralph Merrifield 318 Letters