Reviews

Links-to-Late-Antiquity

Review – Links to Late Antiquity

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.

Archaeologists-in-Print

Review – Archaeologists in Print: publishing for the people

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.

From-Roman-Civitas-to-Anglo-Saxon-Shire

Review – From Roman Civitas to Anglo-Saxon Shire

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.

Bioarchaeoloyg-of-Ritual-and-Religion

Review – The Bioarchaeology of Ritual and Religion

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.

The-World-of-the-Newprt-Ship

Review – The World of the Newport Medieval Ship

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.

The-Old-Stones

Review – The Old Stones: a field guide to the megalithic sites of Britain and Ireland

‘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.

Henry-VII-funeral-effigy-head,1509

Review – Westminster Abbey

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.

Archaeology-of-Oxford

Review – The Archaeology of Oxford in 20 Digs

This enjoyable little book takes the reader on a whistle-stop tour of the buried heritage of one of Britain’s iconic historic cities. Each chapter addresses a key excavation or discovery that illuminates a particular aspect of the city’s past, and the development of antiquarians’ and archaeologists’ efforts to understand it.

Ragstone-to-Riches

Review – Ragstone to Riches

Ragstone was quarried from the upper Medway valley in Kent on a vast scale during the Roman period: the walls of Roman London were built with it, and the Blackfriars ship sank with a cargo of the stone. Little is known about the industry, though, and Simon Elliott’s survey is therefore hugely welcome.

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