Books

Hadrian's-Wall---a-life

Review – Hadrian’s Wall: a life

Although attempts have been made to strip away later activity and present Roman – usually specifically Hadrianic – ruins to modern visitors, traces of the Wall’s afterlife still endure. Such sparse survivals, though, do not reflect the rich legacy of Hadrian’s Wall. That is the story that Richard Hingley, Professor of Archaeology at Durham University, sets out to tell in a fascinating volume that leads us from the Roman period to the 21st century.

Excavations-at-Milla-Skerra

Review – Excavations at Milla Skerra, Sandwick, Unst: rhythms of life in Iron Age Shetland

The lives of the Iron Age inhabitants of a coastal settlement in the most northerly of the Shetland Isles are captured in this fascinating excavation report. Over 12 centuries and the rhythms of the seasonal cycle, successive generations farmed the land, herded livestock, gathered and preserved food, made the tools and objects they needed, and maintained their settlement.

The-Oxford-Handbook-of-Historical-Ecology-and-Applied-Archaeology

Review – The Oxford Handbook of Historical Ecology and Applied Archaeology

This collection of papers examines the place of humans within their global ecosystem, along with their long-term modification of, and responses to, it. The book brings together contributors and subject areas from the fields of anthropology, archaeology, and landscape history in order to address major environmental issues, including lessons to be learned regarding water security, sustainable agricultural practice, and nature conservation.

Making-a-Mark

Review – Making a Mark: image and process in Neolithic Britain and Ireland

Making a Mark focuses on decorated portable artefacts from mainly the Neolithic, and provides the reader with an excellent discussion forum. Across the book’s 15 chapters, the authors discuss a number of issues, such as the would-be relationship between certain motifs found on both portable and static art (for instance, passage grave megalithic art). For this, the authors use several core areas of Neolithic Britain and Ireland.

Durovigutum

Review – Durovigutum: Roman Godmanchester

This large, handsome volume, organised into 11 well-crafted chapters and associated appendices, describes the trenching rationale from 25 sites and reveals the former street and building layout of the town, along with a vast artefact assemblage. The systematic and careful editorial not only brings to light an excellent synthesis of the fieldwork but also reveals something of the character of a man who spent 30 years of his life digging this significant Roman site.

Avanke,-Bever,-Castor

Review – Avanke, Bever, Castor: the story of beavers in Wales

In this fascinating book, Bryony Coles charts the history of beavers in Wales, from their earliest evidence dating to the Ice Age (found in Pontnewydd Cave in North Wales) to historical evidence that suggests that they continued to exist in Wales as late as the 18th century. The book explores the biology and behaviour of beavers and the physical evidence of their presence, and along the way considers the impact they had in medieval and later culture.

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