Category: Articles

Galloping down the centuries: new light on Britain's chalk-cut hill-figures

With the widespread use of optical stimulated luminescence (OSL) for dating soil samples, the mysterious giant hillside carvings of horses and men are finally being placed in an historical context. Paul Newman, author of a comprehensive survey of the subject, considers our current knowledge of these impressive relics, set against the many ways we have […]

Making a mint: the archaeology of a Late Iron Age industry

There were no credit crunches in the Late Iron Age: highly skilled Celtic mintmasters took painstaking care to ensure money had real, solid, and unchanging value. Mark Landon has studied two huge hauls of coin-making debris from North Hertfordshire and reports on his findings.

Buckles, belts and borders

How soldiers’ fashions reflect political turmoil in Late Roman Britain A Romano-British army in Spain. Anglo-Saxon mercenaries in eastern England. A great tribal confederation spanning south Britain. Stuart Laycock has been finding fresh evidence for the storm and strife at the end of Roman Britain in collections of buckles and belt-fittings.

Metals And Metalworking: A Research Framework For Archaeometallurgy

This is another quietly evangelising publication, priced to ensure a wide circulation and written by the leading experts in their field, part of whose purpose is to alert non metallurgists (NMs) to the sorts of thing that get metallurgists (Ms) excited so that NMs across the archaeological community can help Ms identify sites and material […]

Hambledon Hill, Dorset, England – Excavation and Survey of a Neolithic Monument Complex

It is astonishing to think that this two-volume report, the definitive account of Roger Mercer’s excavations at Hambledon Hill between 1974 and 1986, has only just been published when the results of those excavations have in fact influenced the thinking of every archaeologist who has ever worked on a Neolithic causewayed enclosure over the last […]

Who Built Beverley Minster?

Nothing is as good as a question to establish the theme of a book. But in this case the question is not just answered by trawling through historical records to establish which wealthy patrons sought to bribe St Peter by sponsoring the construction of one of England’s finest churches: our authors are just as concerned […]

Human Remains In Archaeology: A Handbook

This is an excellent book about a subject so fundamental to archaeological field practice that nobody should be let loose on an excavation unless they have read it. Human remains are everywhere, and this book tells us what we need to know about the laws relating to finds of human remains, and how to excavate, […]

Blood And Mistletoe: The History Of The Druids In Britain

Many archaeologists regard Druids with disdain, as cranks or romantics who claim to have roots deep in the ancient past, but whose practices are largely invented in relatively recent times. This may be so, but archaeologists and Druids share a huge amount of DNA: certainly in the early years of the 18th century, it was […]

Designs Upon The Land: Elite Landscapes Of The Middle Ages

Tuscany is famous for handsome villas set in elevated positions overlooking formal gardens of clipped box that give way to an increasingly wild landscape of water and woodland and terminating in a borrowed view of distant hills or peaks. The pattern is formulaic and deliberate, and is linked to complex ideas about the relationship between […]

Roman Mosaics Of Britain Vol 3: South East Britain

Coming to a library near you soon (one hopes, given the investment involved in owning a copy) is the third volume in David Neal and Stephen Cosh’s project to create the first complete corpus of Roman mosaics of Britain.