S Carlyle, J Clarke, and A Chapman
Archaeopress, £26.00
ISBN 978-1784915346
Review Edward Biddulph

A mixed blessing for archaeologists, pipelines slice through the countryside, offering the chance to investigate and compare the use through time of different landscapes, but, constrained by the width of the pipeline trench, the slice is invariably too narrow to gain a firm grip on the archaeology. It is as if house buyers had to view a property by looking through the letterbox. Such was the challenge faced by the authors of this report on excavations along a 41km-long water pipeline. That their report is so clear, concise, and interesting is testament to the authors’ skills in making sense of limited evidence.

Remains of middle to late Iron Age settlement were recorded along the route, as was Roman settlement evidence, though with little sign of continuity between the periods. An early Saxon cemetery was also excavated: one of the urns contained Bronze Age pottery, which may have been curated as a talisman or to provide an ancestral link. A useful report for the archaeologist’s bookshelf.

This review was published in CA 332

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