For decades, pottery of eastern Mediterranean origin found at 5th- to 7th-century sites in western Britain has been claimed as evidence for the survival of cultural links and direct trade between the two areas in the aftermath of Roman Britain.
A unique addition to the history of British archaeology, Archaeologists in Print is a closely researched examination of the story archaeology has told about itself. It explores archaeology across the 19th- and 20th-century British world, as told in two-shilling children’s archaeology books, breathless biographies, and all the books in between.
Bruce Eagles has spent more than 50 years studying and analysing the early medieval archaeology of Wessex – the area of south-central England. This book brings together a number of papers he has published on this subject, in some cases significantly revising and updating them in light of more recent work. Cumulatively, they present an important thesis on the ways in which a region of England developed from late Roman to Anglo-Saxon times.
This volume derives from papers and contributions to a session of the same title at the European Association of Archaeologists conference that took place in Istanbul in 2014. Several books exist with a similar focus, but this one is noteworthy in that it showcases bioarchaeological research that does not relate directly to human remains.
This is an absorbing account of medieval shipping, prompted by and focusing on the Newport ship – discovered in 2002 while building an arts centre near the River Usk in Newport, south Wales. It was a ‘big ship’, about 30m long and capable of carrying the equivalent of about 160 tuns (barrels) of wine. Dendrochronology indicates that it was built after 1449, almost certainly in the Basque Country; it was brought into Newport for refit or repair in the late 1460s and subsequently abandoned.
‘Power to the people’ and all praise to ringmaster Andy Burnham! In 2012, veterinarian Olaf Swarbrick published his gazetteer of standing stones, which, although a heroic effort showing what a single researcher, standing outside the financially constrained academic ring, can contribute, lacked the ‘kerb appeal’ achieved by Burnham and his circle of friends.
New displays in Westminster Abbey’s eastern triforium (the gallery above the nave) explore the long history of the church, its royal links, and its importance as a national monument. Lucia Marchini takes a look at the recently opened Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries.
Last month’s ‘great excavation’ explored prehistoric Somerset through the work of John and Bryony Coles along the Sweet Track. In this month’s column, I stick with the same county, but move to a different era and two very different ‘great’ archaeologists: Mick Aston and Chris Gerrard at Shapwick.
We are all familiar with the Classical gods who were imported to these shores with the arrival of the Roman army, but the beliefs and religious practices of Britain’s Iron Age inhabitants are far more shadowy. Miranda Aldhouse-Green explores how far archaeology can help to illuminate this enigmatic picture.
New evidence, brought to light by researchers from Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) and local historians from the Derry Tower Heritage Group, suggests that a ‘lost’ medieval round tower may in fact have been hiding in plain sight in the heart of Derry City for centuries.