Grave AX at Yeavering remains one of the most-extraordinary discoveries in Anglo-Saxon archaeology. Its occupant lay in a slightly flexed posture, with a goat’s head at the feet, a broken spear laid diagonally across the torso, and, running down the central axis of the grave, above the body, a Roman-style groma.
This pocket-sized guide to Belfast provides the reader with everything required for an enjoyable trip around 50 of its most historically significant sites. The information is presented in a convenient format, with a helpful map at the beginning and a discussion of each site set out in geographical order, beginning in the east of the city, at Stormont, and moving towards the older sites in the city centre, before turning to the Victorian and Edwardian heritage of south Belfast.
At The Box, in Plymouth, 14 colourful giants wait to greet visitors to this new museum (at time of writing, its COVID-delayed opening had been rescheduled to 29 September). Depicting monarchs, mythological beings, and more abstract concepts, these figureheads once graced the bows of 19th-century Royal Navy warships, providing a physical representation of the ships’ names.
In this volume, his second on the military heritage of Scotland’s cities, Gregor Stewart presents the history of Stirling, from Roman invasion in the 1st century AD through to the present day. The city’s location, at the lowest crossing point of the River Forth, has positioned it at the centre of many important military events in Scotland’s history, and evidence of this can be found throughout Stirling, even today.
Review – The Role of Anglo-Saxon Great Hall Complexes in Kingdom Formation, in Comparison and in Context AD 500-750
The site of Yeavering, Northumberland, identified in 1949 and excavated with some precision by Brian Hope-Taylor, remains the most comprehensively excavated great hall complex in Britain, and justifiably takes pride of place in any research on the subject. Yet the importance of this site and its research history has somewhat dominated the subsequent investigations on early medieval palatial complexes, sometimes to the detriment of understanding other sites and landscapes.
Review – Farmsteads and Funerary Sites: the M1 Junction 12 improvements and the A5-M1 Link Road, Central Bedfordshire
Farmsteads… is the result of the latest in a long line of infrastructure projects in Bedfordshire. The M1 itself opened in 1959, but it was not until 1969 that motorway archaeology developed. Early approaches had focused on single sites, but – with the construction of the M5 – emphasis shifted to the landscape as a whole. The two schemes represented by this volume began conventionally, with early assessment and evaluation followed by a series of excavations.
Leaving aside the extraordinary feats expected from the team who excavated the Bronze Age remains at Must Farm, later prehistoric settlement studies have, latterly, struggled to break new ground, despite many more dots on many more development-led distribution maps. Perhaps because of Must Farm, it is incumbent on students of the period to seek out those instances where the atypical will provide new, much needed, insight.
Manchester is a city with a long, rich history, the extent of which has been brought to light by the many archaeological digs that have taken place since the start of the 20th century, and in particular by the 50-plus excavations carried out over the last two decades.
What are we to make of the strange abstract patterns – cup marks and cups and rings – pecked into boulders and outcrops in upland areas? Can they be compared with similar designs on specialised monuments like stone circles, cists, and megalithic tombs? In that case, their wider significance can be investigated. Or is a clue provided by the choice of rock for these strange designs? If so, they can be treated as parts of the landscape.
London’s industrial past is an important part of the city’s history, but much of the physical evidence is now being lost to demolition and redevelopment projects. Here, Mark Amies sets out to address this, examining many of the important factories and industries that were once found across London.