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.
Pathways and trackways can be plotted, mapped, and walked, but because they cannot often be reliably dated, and are placed in time by inference alone, many archaeologists, especially those with a more scientific and empirical approach, have steered well clear of them. Martin Bell demonstrates how wrong we have been not to tackle this subject.
Review – Llangorse Crannog: the excavation of an early medieval royal site in the Kingdom of Brycheiniog
This detailed monograph reports on the excavation of the only crannog known in Wales: Llangorse. Written by Alan Lane and Mark Redknap, with contributions from many other scholars, the book takes its readers through a complete study of the crannog, its excavation, and its wider context.
The late 1960s and early 1970s were a period of massive redevelopment in Gloucester city centre – an area rich in archaeology. It was in this context that Henry Hurst – then the Field Archaeologist attached to Gloucester City Museum – led excavations on three sites from 1968 to 1971.
According to the most recent figures (from 2017), there are some 3,163 non-native species currently present in England, Wales, and Scotland, and 1,266 in Ireland, Dan Eatherley attests. The vast majority of these are plants – including many foods that we take for granted today, from apples to various forms of wheat – but they also include such familiar creatures as sparrows, donkeys, sheep and goats, house mice, and the domestic cat.
The use of the term ‘the Dark Ages’, to describe the early medieval period (5th-11th centuries AD) is closely tied to many of the misconceptions surrounding that era. This new publication, based on discussions at the 3rd University of Chester Archaeology Student Conference in 2017, examines public understanding of early medieval archaeology, identifying and challenging ideas that persist in popular views of the period.