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.
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.
Undoubtedly, Professor Lawrence Keppie has made some of the most significant contributions to our understanding of the Antonine Wall, as well as to the rest of Scotland during the Roman period. It is therefore fitting that this volume has been produced to honour his work.
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.