Neal Johnson
British Archaeological Reports, £35
ISBN 978-1407315966
Review Susan Greaney

This volume, a PhD thesis, is a detailed study of round barrows in the central and northern Anglo-Welsh borderland. This is an under-researched region, as other scholars have tended to focus their studies where barrows are densely clustered or have seen extensive antiquarian excavations. The book begins with an overview of approaches to round barrows and their settings, and a useful synthesis of evidence for prehistoric settlement in the study area. There follows a discussion of the general distribution and type of barrows in the region, the patterns of inter-visibility and topographic positioning within nine selected clusters of barrows, and a detailed examination of one site: a pair of barrows at Trelystan, Powys.

The study highlights the difficulties of working across national and county boundaries, with disparities between local data standards, fieldwork and research biases, as well as differential survival rates between upland and lowland sites. Nevertheless, there are some interesting conclusions relating to the siting of barrows near to sources of raw materials, route-ways, and river confluences.

This review appeared in CA 337.

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