I am delighted to be writing my first editorial for The Post Hole and can only apologise for the long delay between issues - I can assure the readers that the next issue will be published within the next three months. Many thanks, as ever, to my fantastic editorial team for their hard work on this issue.
It seems almost redundant to state that this is an exciting time for archaeology, but it is worth revisiting some of the archaeological headlines from the past few months.
The extreme heatwave over the summer proved a boon for landscape archaeologists, as previously hidden features revealed themselves in the parched fields, from the buried foundations of country houses to Iron Age barrows in nearby Pocklington. It is to be hoped that the sites identified from these cropmarks may now be preserved and the subject of future research.
Particularly relevant to the contents of our October issue is the discovery of the earliest known drawing by Homo sapiens in Blombos Cave, South Africa, a stone flake cross-hatched with ochre pigment (for further information, see Henshilwood et al. (2018). ‘An abstract drawing from the 73,000-year-old levels at Blombos Cave, South Africa.’ Nature, 562(7725), pp.115–118).
This obviously has fascinating implications both for our understanding of early cognition and the behaviour and purpose behind prehistoric art: a topic which is expanded upon in this issue by Courtney St. Clair Miller, who takes a theoretical approach to investigate non-functional artefacts as a reaction to societal pressures in prehistory. Also in this issue, James McCrea analyses an engraved bone from Gough’s Cave as evidence of deliberate imitation of osteophagia; and Yuxi Xie assesses the impact of Vere Gordon Childe on modern theoretical archaeology.
The Editor’s Choice this issue is Alphaeus Talk’s work on the presence, and notable absence, of bog bodies in Norway. This fascinating examination of a vastly under-researched topic outlines the existing evidence of Norwegian bog bodies, possible reasons for their under-representation in the archaeological record, and areas for future investigation.
Finally, I’m happy to announce that our colleagues at the Scottish Student Archaeology Society have published their first issue of Barrow Magazine since 1980. The Summer 2018 issue is available online at https://barrowmagazine.wordpress.com/ and I would strongly encourage our readers to subscribe to this varied and interesting magazine.
We are currently accepting submissions for our January issue! If you would like to share your thoughts, research or experience on a wide range of archaeological topics, please submit your work to submissions [at] theposthole.org. For guidance on submission, please visit our author advice page.
editor [at] theposthole.org