Amberly Publishing, £14.99
Review Amy Brunskill
The latest publication in the 50 Finds from the Portable Antiquities Scheme series uses a wide range of artefacts, carefully selected from the 10,000 objects recorded through the PAS in Berkshire, to tell the story of life in this landscape. The book’s chronological structure and effective use of illustrations brings to life the history of the area from the Lower Palaeolithic to the late 1700s.
The objects chosen demonstrate both the changes that occurred over time and the continuity of many elements of life, ranging from the mundane to the spectacular. Among the artefacts presented are a Neolithic stone axehead (reflecting the growing importance of trade and changes in technology during this period), several examples of coinage from different periods (which demonstrate the influence of the Continent), and artefacts highlighting the developing nature of warfare, such as a medieval iron stirrup, an artillery ball from the Civil War, and a militia button from the late 18th century. It offers a succinct and engaging overview of the county’s history.