When was Britain first colonised by early humans? The famous Boxgrove bones, found in the 1990s, date back about 500,000 years, and are still the earliest hominin fossils yet found on these shores. Flints from the Cromer Forest Bed, Norfolk, though, are increasingly pointing to a much longer duration. We explore how the story of early human activity in Britain, currently the subject of a major Natural History Museum exhibition, has come to span almost one million years (below, left).
You probably already know there is a new experience awaiting people at Stonehenge. We take a close look at the long-awaited visitor centre (above, right), and ask whether its opening marks the dawn of slow tourism or disenfranchises the ten-minute visitor? Chris Catling and Andrew Selkirk offer two contrasting takes on the successor to facilities condemned as a ‘national disgrace’.
A recent arrival at RAF Museum Cosford remembers a very different national emergency. Dornier Do17 bombers were widely used by the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain. Now recovery of one that ditched in the sea (below, left) is shedding light on a bomber arms-race, and the desperate aerial combat raging over England in 1940.
Traces of violence have been detected, too, on skulls deposited on the banks of the Walbrook in London (above, right). Dating to the Roman period, do these testify to a previously unknown blip in the Pax Romana, or provide a grisly insight into public entertainment, criminal justice, or the treatment of prisoners of war?
Also this month, we travel to Winchester for a special news report on the latest attempt to recover the remains of a missing monarch.