Reviews

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Review – Offa’s Dyke Journal, Volume 1

The archaeological societies founded in the 19th century embraced all aspects of the discipline, and from about the beginning of the 20th century societies came to be formed. In recent years, they have been joined by more-specialist societies and journals. And, in a new move related to changes at publishing outlets, journals are being produced and distributed by publishers rather than societies. Now we are presented with a journal on a single, albeit complex, monument, Offa’s Dyke, adding to the growing range of journals published by Archaeopress, and on open access.

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Review – Living on the Edge of Empire: the objects and people of Hadrian’s Wall

Do we need another book on Hadrian’s Wall? The answer in this case is a resounding ‘yes’. The authors curate the magnificent collections derived from several centuries of research, excavation, and antiquarian collection along the frontier. Their expertise and knowledge are demonstrated by their selection of illustrations, but this is not a mere catalogue. Each object has been chosen to illustrate a particular aspect of the lives of the people – men, women, and children; military and civilian – who lived along the frontier and in its shadow.

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Review – Nazi Prisons in the British Isles: political prisoners during the German Occupation of Jersey and Guernsey 1940-1945

This is a welcome addition to the literature on confinement, a topic that has developed from a little-studied phenomenon into one of most vibrant areas within the subdiscipline of Conflict Archaeology. Gilly Carr has been a part of this through her work on the Channel Islands during the Second World War. She has been investigating Lager Wick, a forced labour camp on Jersey, and has many publications on the impact of WWII on the Channel Islands.

Gloucester

Review – Gloucester: the Roman forum and post-Roman sequence at the city centre

Concentrating around Southgate Street, Hurst’s meticulous open-area investigations revealed the Roman legionary headquarters, over which he discovered remains of the later Roman forum. Above lay the very different archaeology of the 10thcentury renewal of the town, an Anglo- Saxon basis for the city’s heyday in the 13th century. I was a young volunteer on these excavations, spellbound by Hurst’s masterful management of slim resources to tell a great story about one of Britain’s first coloniae, then an early Roman city and its medieval successor.

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Review – The Ness of Brodgar: as it stands

The Ness of Brodgar in Orkney is ‘a site of superlatives’. So write the authors of this absorbing new book about a truly extraordinary site. Nestled on a thin spit of land between two lochs, the Ness is a unique complex of monumental buildings in an area already rich in Neolithic archaeology.

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Review – The Dissolution of the Monasteries in England and Wales

Hugh Willmott’s important new book seeks to redress the balance by providing a more-rounded and -nuanced explanation of the processes involved in the Dissolution (which were unquestionably complex and far-reaching), as well as the reasons for it. He does not hide away from any aspect of the events or people involved, and provides copious examples across a wide variety of themes centred on them.

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Review – The Isle of Man: Stone Age to Swinging Sixties

Within its 225 square miles, the Isle of Man boasts an impressively diverse historic landscape spanning some 10,000 years of human activity. In this compact but wide-ranging book, our guide is Matthew Richardson, curator of social history at Manx National Heritage.

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