Built in 1071, Oxford Castle was an imposing fortification with one of the largest mottes in the country. Largely abandoned by the late 16th century – though it was briefly refortified in the Civil War – the castle ultimately evolved into a prison that operated until 1996. When this institution closed, redevelopment of the site gave Oxford Archaeology the opportunity to carry out a decade of investigations between 1999 and 2009 – uncovering finds spanning the 11th century to the present day.
Terse, heightened prose relates a set of nested journeys: a Beaker chief to his death and hinted excarnation, his daughter with his body to death-rites at Woodhenge, and the poet’s pilgrimage from his Cotswold heimat to Holme-next-the-Sea on the East Anglian coast.
This a handsome and well-researched volume on the history and archaeology of the German High Seas Fleet. It presents the results of the latest underwater survey techniques.
Review – Early Neolithic, Iron Age, and Roman settlement at Monksmoor Farm, Daventry, Northamptonshire
This report describes excavations by MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) on the edge of Daventry. The archaeology was concentrated in three areas, each remarkably different in character.
This is a thoroughly revised, weighty second edition, and can be regarded as a companion piece to Richard Bradley’s recently co-authored and more broadly focused The Later Prehistory of North-west Europe (2015). This book concentrates on those few islands on the western fringes, blinking in and out of Europe, and proceeds to examine their history closely.
Professor Joanna Brück has produced a fresh textbook of the Bronze Age that builds a complex picture of the period from the personal up to the broader landscape in Britain and Ireland. Joanna explores the period through the intricacies of the relationships between people, objects, structures, and landscapes. This contrasts with the standard approach, which focuses on overviews and the ‘bigger picture’, often framed by questions of power and control.
In 2003, an excavation by MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) discovered a spectacular Anglo-Saxon burial chamber at Prittlewell, near Southend-on-Sea. Since then, expert analysis of the burial and its contents has indeed yielded a vast array of new information – the result of which is this absorbing monograph, which is packed with insights from the scientific studies that have been undertaken on the finds.
Priests in Roman Britain are a mysterious bunch. How were they organised? What do their regalia tell us about their roles? What do the contexts in which priestly objects were found reveal about priests’ activities? These are the questions that Alessandra Esposito seeks to address.
On this whistle-stop tour of Roman York, Adam Parker gives us a tale of two cities. One is the military fortress, which was established in AD 70 or 71 and would shape the growth of the city long after the Romans left. Then there was the colonia, the civilian settlement that developed on the other side of the river. Over time, it acquired all the necessities of a grand city: public baths, townhouses decorated with mosaics, temples, monumental tombs that lined the roads into the city, and, possibly, an amphitheatre.
The Isle of Raasay is in sharp focus in Scottish culture. It is the place whose cleared settlements informed Sorley MacLean’s important Gaelic poem Hallaig. It is the landscape where Calum MacLeod spent ten years in the 1960s and 1970s hand-building a road to keep his community connected.