Current Archaeology

Archaeology and Media

A day in the life of Current World Archaeology

Hi there! We are Current World Archaeology, the international sister magazine to Current Archaeology (See their Day of Archaeology post here).

This Day of Archaeology has been a very busy Friday for the CWA team. Yesterday we signed off issue 66 of the magazine, and so today we have been approving all the pages with our designers, before they are whisked away to the printers. After all that work, it was only fair we celebrated by eating rather a lot of cake.

The work doesn’t stop after signing-off the magazine though. We then have to film and edit videos for our YouTube channel, upload articles to our website, and plan what is coming up in our next issue!

Even in our spare time we are working hard – Emma, our Marketing Manager, is spending her lunch break revising for the Viva presentation of her Masters degree in Forensic Archaeology and Anthropology, which she is giving early next week – good luck Emma! Our Editor-in-Chief, Andrew Selkirk, popped into the office today having just arrived back in the UK after some fantastic trips abroad to China and Greece – he is busy planning some fantastic new articles for future issues of CWA. Tiffany, from our Sales team, who studied Egyptology at University is busy eyeing up the new Egyptology books that have come into the office for review, and Polly, our Editorial Assistant, is busy creating a video for this Day of Archaeology post! Check out the video of Current Publishing’s Day of Archaeology below:

We have loved seeing all the Day of Archaeology posts coming in from all around the world! We hope you all had a great day – see you next year!

See more of Current World Archaeology:

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Polly Heffer

Editorial Assistant, Current World Archaeology

A Day in the Life of Current Archaeology

We love office birthdays (and biscuits!)

We love office birthdays (and we love biscuits even more!)

Hello, and welcome to Lamb House, a converted brewery building that lies a stone’s throw from the Thames in Chiswick, West London – home to Current Archaeology magazine, as well as our sister publications, Current World Archaeology, and Military History Monthly.

Today we’ve very much got that Friday feeling – possibly not helped by there still being vast amounts of cake in the office, from two team birthdays yesterday! – but as ever, there’s still lots to do. CWA went to press yesterday and their editorial team are just kicking off things for #67, while MHM is planning a big event for October.

Postcards from Team travels - and our office cooking rota

Postcards from Team travels – and our office cooking rota

Our Editor in Chief, Andrew Selkirk, has also dropped by for a visit – for the last few weeks he has been travelling all over the world, visiting fabulous archaeological sites (and gathering fabulous archaeological stories!) in Greece and China, which no doubt he will be keen to turn into articles soon. Right now he’s sitting with our design team, looking through holiday snaps (we mean site photos!).

Over at CA, we’re comfortably mid-cycle (click here to see what’s in out latest issue!), working towards the print deadline for issue 294. That means that much of the magazine has already been laid out, but there’s still news, book reviews, and a few odds and ends to polish off. Just as well we like to be busy…

We sent PDFs of most of our features back to their authors last week, so this has mainly been a day of making any final tweaks they might ask for – to make sure the articles are as accurate as possible, and that everyone’s happy with how they look – as well as hunting for some extra pictures, chasing up a few news stories, and finalising plans for a site visit next week – there’s nothing we like more than coming to see excavations.

Office mascot (knitted by one of our super-talented readers)

Office mascot (knitted by one of our super-talented readers)

Today also saw us putting the finishing touches to the text of the last feature yet to be completed – it’s an exciting one, and a bit of a CA exclusive, so we’re really looking forward to sharing it with you in a few weeks’ time – watch this space!

Wishing you all the best for the rest of the Day of Archaeology – and have a great weekend,

Carly Hilts
Assistant Editor, Current Archaeology

Behind the scenes at Current Publishing

Hello from Chiswick in West London, where the sun has finally come out and it’s all systems go in the Current Publishing office.

My name’s Carly – I’m the Editorial Assistant for Current Archaeology and Current World Archaeology, and as it’s the Day of Archaeology today I thought I’d take you behind the scenes to see how the magazines are put together.

Friday is treats day at Current Publishing, and today the morning got off to a very promising start with advertising maestro Mike earning literal brownie points by bringing in some baked goodies for us to share. We’re always excited when cake arrives in the office, and with one team birthday yesterday and two more imminent, there’s a lot of it about.

Right now we’re slap-bang in the middle of the press cycle. Our sister magazine Military History Monthly was sent to the printers yesterday, so today the full might of the design team has switched over to CWA, which is the next to go (in July).

Designer Justine is currently working her magic on the culture section, making our museum and book reviews look fabulous, while Art Editor Mark is experimenting with options for the next cover. At the moment we have 10 separate designs stuck up on the wall, which certainly brightens things up a bit!

CWA Editor Caitlin is putting the finishing touches to the last couple of features that are going into the next issue (#54), giving them a last polish before they are signed off as ‘ready to lay out’, while CA Editor Matt is out in the field, visiting an excavation at Oakington in Cambridgeshire where some seriously spectacular Anglo-Saxon burials are being uncovered. We covered the site in CA 261, and it’s fantastic to see that there are more stories to reveal. Watch this space for more information in CA 270!

Meanwhile, our boss Rob is tinkering with the ‘Flatplan’, doing clever things to the system we use to plan the layout of each issue, track the progress of articles and generally organise our lives, and our intern Roseanna is lending a hand with the news section, hunting for breaking stories all over the world. We’re always grateful for another pair of hands in the office, and it’s such fun sharing what media archaeology is all about with people who are as passionate about the past as we are.

This is the great thing about working at Current Publishing – we’re a small team but everyone has a unique and important role to play, and every day is different. Although I work for both magazines, because of where we’re at in the schedule I’ve been mostly focussing on CWA today. It’s great fun jumping between UK and international stories.

This morning I finished a two-page article about a site in Peru and wrote a fact box about Phrygians for a feature on Turkey, while this afternoon I’ve been sourcing pictures and turning around a breaking news story about World Heritage Sites for the CWA website.

Much like digging, you never know quite what each day is going to bring – but that’s what makes it so exciting.

Find out more – you can find Current Archaeology on Facebook here, or follow us on Twitter at @currentarchaeo.

Current World Archaeology’s Facebook page is here, and we tweet as @worldarchaeo. 


I am a conservation student at the Institute of archaeology, currently writing.. I mean.. finishing .. yeah it’s totally nearly finished.. ..err.. my ..err.. dissertation on the reburial of England’s remains from a conservation perspective.So my day began like all good student days do: being awoken just before six, drinking three cups of coffee and setting about making a stop motion video entry for ‘day of archaeology’. Pretty early on it transpired that having never done this before and never having given it any thought didn’t pay off in the ‘wow you’re a natural’ way or even in the ‘it’s ..umm.. charming’ that I had hoped for.

Nevertheless, it distracted me from all the books for at least an hour.

The rest of my day was very similar to all my other 2011 summer days: reading, cereal, writing, reading,writing, tea, reading, reading, banana, writing, writing, writing, library, reading… etc.. however the day did end with an amazing onigiri I bought in Waterloo station and just moments before that the Mortimer Debate.

So it was a salmon onigiri and presuming it had sat in a transport hub all day it was pretty – pretty – pretty good, and the debate, yeah that was really good too and completely not overshadowed by the ensuing food. Mortimer is the new ‘campaigning mouthpiece’ for archaeology, it is aimed at anyone and everyone who cares about our past and wants to have a voice or listen to discussions or just to create a furore (I’m inferring this part). With the philosophy “Our Past, Our Future, Our Choice”, and having no political ties, the potential for debate is compelling.

The inaugural debate saw Cllr Alan Melton (recently reached the mass media by expressing a wish to disregard PPS5 whilst simultaneously referring to archaeologists as developer hindering ‘bunny huggers’), Tony Robinson (of time team fame and YAC), Andrew Richardson (Finds Manager for Canterbury and helped develop the Portable Antiquities Scheme) and Andrew Selkirk (editor in chief of Current Archaeology and a supporter of amateur archaeology). The debate was great, but then I am a fan of debate, who isn’t? It’s so nice in a really frustrating way to see people with differences hash them out in a public forum in search (under the guise?) of finding a solution. People did really seem to be trying to find ways of understanding each others opinion and appeasing each others sensibilities, which was nice.

I am so used to putting debate on to paper for the purposes of my dissertation that I may have forgotten where my opinions lie. My dissertation is a discussion on the two year reburial edict the government introduced in 2008 applying to all exhumations within England and Wales and how this will form consequences in conservation decision making. The first part of the dissertation has rightly or wrongly found itself in the throes of an abstruse philosophical debate regarding the rights of the dead, the rights afforded to the dead and the rights of the living. I have largely managed to avoid entering the mineshaft of ‘existence’ as I am ironically see-through and quite clearly couldn’t face it. So the rest harps on about the potential for conservation to involve itself in reburial. While I do not think reburial is wrong, like many I feel that it is currently being handled badly; appeasing no one and arguably causing more ethical issues than it is solving. That said I do think we should instigate a new fashion for tombs, ones powered by solar panels that maintain perfect environment control for the newly deceased, or maybe spray people like the mary rose, or freezing people..

So this is the room I spend most of my time in. I call it ‘lounge’. About eight months ago I took over the dining/only table as my desk and have been quite happy here although I do tend to get sunburnt on one side of my face – just like a real archaeologist *sigh*.