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In September I started a degree in Ancient history and Archaeology having developed a keen interest in history due to travelling. Before starting my degree I subscribed to Current Archaeology which only cost me £20 (at the time they had an offer which was for copies of all of last year's magazines and all of the next year for £20). It was a good deal as the magazines are normally £4 each. This year I paid £38 for the year's subscription, which works out at about £3.16 each. The magazine gets delivered my doorstep and is full of useful information. I find this magazine good value for money as the pages are not full of useless adverts that you normally get in magazines. Current Archaeology keeps me up-to-date with all the archaeology news and as come in handy when doing my essays. When writing an essay I have to give examples of archaeological sites to back up my statements, Current Archaeology supplied me with these examples. Current Archaeology is an excellent magazine for information on British archaeology. There are not many magazines that cater for this. They also do a magazine called World Archaeology which I have also subscribed to this year. These magazines are a good source if you are studying archaeology and if you have a keen interest in archaeology.
Well, this is review that I have intending to get around to for quite some time now. I suggested the category to dooyoo a few months back, and as noone else seems in a hurry to fill it, I might as well get started. Yet another excuse to ramble on at you about my pet topic! :-) So, what experience do I have of "Current Archaeology"? Loads! I have been subscribing to this journal ever since I started university, so it is coming up for five years now. I think after that length of time, I should be in a good position to give you my opinion and know what I am talking about (in as much as I ever do?). I began my subscription on the advice of my university tutor who recommended it as important and topical reading - and affordable by students at that - and I have remained a reader ever since, even though I moved on to other things since I graduated in 2000. ● What is this magazine then? Well, if you haven?t already guessed from the title, it's about what is happening in the world of (mostly British) archaeology at the present time. In it published 6 times a year in a glossy full-colour magazine, and is aimed at the general reader rather than the academic - although it is still classed as essential reading for anyone studying this subject at university. Each issue contains reports of recent excavations, topical news, letters, book reviews and a science diary to keep you up to date and inform you of forthcoming events, digs, seminars and conferences. The nice people who publish CA also have an excellent website and produce an annual listing of all excavations and fieldwork in the UK who require volunteers to work on them. Current Archaeology has been around for 30 years now, and in that time has described over 900 sites and reviewed more than 1200 books - at present, it has a circulation of around 18,000 people. It is edited by Andrew and Wendy Selkirk from their home in Hampstead, who brought the magazine int o existence in 1967 as part of a shared dream to bring archaeology to an audience of ordinary enthusiasts at a time when the only publications were intended for academics. ● What is it like to read? This is non-academic journal, so writing is accessible enough for the general interest reader. All stories are well supplied with photos and illustrations, text is comfortably large and broken up with sub-headings (which we at dooyoo have already established as a good thing, of course!). It is expected that you have a basic background knowledge of the subject though, so it is perhaps not terribly suitable for the absolute beginner to archaeology. Although I have never read all articles in each edition, there is always something to interest me, and it was a brilliant source of easy-to-digest and up-to-date information for writing undergraduate essays. A typical issue will include: - News (short, very up to date reports, mostly from UK and Ireland) - Between 5 and 7 features on excavations, discoveries, debates, interviews with prominent figures or new resources - Diary (details of forthcoming events, obituaries, museum news, etc) - Book reviews (reviews of archaeology and archaeological science books published in the past two months) - Science diary (updates and information for archaeological scientists) - Letters from readers - A map showing where all sites mentioned in the issue are located, for the geographically challenged amongst us ● The Current Archaeology handbook of archaeology This is an extremely handy little book, published one a year and sent out to all subscribers with their magazines as part of the annual fee (usually in March or April). The handbook is a compilation of all things archaeological in Britain, and in my opinion is worth the subscription fee in itself. In the most recent edition, we got a list of all archaeological visitor attractions, national archaeology day events, recommended websites, local and national archaeological organisations (from the Friends of York Archaeological Trust to the Association of Archaeological Indexers!) and the most important thing (the digs!) in Britain. A very impressive feat of organisation, I must say. On more than one occasion, I have used the handbook as the starting point for arranging fieldwork, and it is an absolute must for anyone wanting to get involved in this way. It is also available online at www.archaeology.co.uk. ● How much does it cost? A yearly subscription costs £20 in the UK and £25/$40 overseas; back issues are currently £3 each. This magazine is not available in newsagents (too specialised), and needs to be ordered from the publishers on subscription. If you are interested, contact: Current Archaeology 9 Nassington Road London NW3 2 TX Web: www.archaeology.co.uk Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ● My overall opinion Good for students, enthusiasts and armchair archaeologists in the UK, but too specialised for anyone else. Unlike other popular interest magazines (such as "History Today"), it is not the sort of thing someone with no experience in archaeology can just pick up and become absorbed in (unless you are one of life's perpetually enthusiastic people, that is). Articles vary in their usefulness and readability depending on who had written them and what audience they are aimed at - but then, you are going to get that in any magazine. The best ones are a wonderful read, while others can be a cure for insomnia to say the least. Still, I reckon it is excellent value for money though, and I don't think I could survive a summer without my copy of the handbook now! As for the CA website - although not strictly part of this category, I think it warrants a mention here for sheer wonderfulness - this is a true example of what an enthusiast website shoul d be. Not only can you get updated dig information throughout the year, but also there are also news stories and visitor information for various sites/projects, career information, details of university courses and links to other useful sites. This site (www.archaeology.co.uk) is the perfect place to start for an introduction to the subject or get a flavour of what CA is about and whether it is for you. One of the most useful new features of the site is the timeline of articles that the editors have recently produced, so you can easily find information on specific periods from Palaeolithic to Post-Medieval. The site is attractive, colourful and very easy to navigate - and very much worth a look in! I hope this was useful to you, and as always, thanks for taking the time to read and rate! :-)