The River Thames must be one of the longest archaeological sites in Britain, both in terms of distance and duration. People have been collecting artefacts from the muddy foreshore or dredged from the river since the 19th century. More systematic exploration of the waterfront has followed, and, in 2008, the Thames Discovery Programme, an ambitious project involving fieldwork, public events, and the training of an army of volunteers, was launched. This book describes the results of that project, revealing the story of the river from prehistory to modern times.
Recent railway improvements entailed large-scale excavations in the outskirts of Alchester, a Claudian fortress evolving into Oxfordshire’s largest Roman town. Published at impressive speed, this splendid fieldwork monograph presents important new findings for the history of Alchester’s hinterland.
This volume offers the reader a radical view of what prehistoric pits did and the various social layers that made them more than just part of a domestic or ritual structure. Using modern architectural ethics and construction concepts, Bailey goes some way to making sense of the mindset and complex entanglement associated with ancient construction methods.
This is a well-rounded and readable account of research undertaken at Blick Mead, and one that undeniably establishes the site’s importance in adding to our understanding of the British Mesolithic, and of the wider Stonehenge landscape. Recollections from some of the project volunteers, which are printed at the start of each chapter, are a fitting tribute to the team’s community involvement and how many people have given their time to help investigate the site. But this monograph also serves as a timely reminder of the site’s significance at a time when the spring and its ancient contents are reportedly threatened by plans for the forthcoming Stonehenge tunnel.
This volume has been 16 years in the making, its origins being found in a regional research framework seminar in 2002. While most of the contributions in the book were presented as papers at that seminar, they are by no means out of date, however, having taken into account, for example, recent excavations and the latest data from the Portable Antiquities Scheme.
This is the third and final volume in the New Visions of the Countryside of Roman Britain series, whose geographical scope is England and Wales. The latest volume, like its companions, focuses on the people who lived in the countryside, probably accounting for some 90% of the population of Roman Britain. By concentrating on the majority of poorer rural dwellers, the text offers a contrast to the elite occupants of grand countryside villas. This volume attempts a social archaeology of rural lives.
When the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal took the throne in 669 BC, his empire was at its height. As well as defeating enemies in violent confl ict and hunting lions, Ashurbanipal saw himself as a scholar and amassed a vast royal library. A major exhibition at the British Museum takes a close look at this self-described ‘king of the world’ and the Assyrians in Iraq, Syria, and beyond. Lucia Marchini went along to find out more.
Northern England’s monetary history was quite distinct from that of the south in the pre-Viking period, and Abramson’s ambitious book is one of the few sustained discussions of it. Across eight chapters that fizz with new information, he establishes the idiosyncratic framework of Northumbrian coinage in terms of what he (with tongue only partly in cheek) calls gold, silver, and bronze.
When we think of the First World War, our minds inevitably turn to the barren quagmires of war-torn northern France and Belgium, the squalid conditions and boredom of life in the trenches, the excitement and fear of going over the top, and what seems to us to have been the senseless slaughter of millions of soldiers. While this is all true, Legacies of the First World War reminds us that the war was fought on many fronts, not least in England, with much of the evidence of the home front still present for us to discover.
The traditional chronological divisions of prehistory are a useful means of breaking down a dauntingly long period of human history, but carry the risk of presenting prehistory as a series of self-contained chunks, rather than a continuum. In this exciting volume, Alex Davies demonstrates the value of looking beyond a single period to investigate change and continuity over a thousand years or so in the Thames Valley.