Reviews

Creating-Society-and-Constructing-the-Past

Review – Creating Society and Constructing the Past

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.

Life-on-the-Edge

Review – Life on the Edge: the Neolithic and Bronze Age of Iain Crawford’s Udal, North Uist

In 1974, later prehistoric structures, including the remains of a kerb-chambered cairn, were discovered at Udal on the Hebridean island of North Uist. The discovery prompted archaeologist Iain Crawford to undertake a three-year excavation of the site during the early 1990s. This revealed a variety of burial-ritual structures, comprising a stone cist with datable human remains, bowl pits, and two late Neolithic structures incorporated into a larger ritual complex.

The-Roman-Pottery-Manufacturing-Site-in-Highgate-Wood

Review – The Roman Pottery Manufacturing Site in Highgate Wood: excavations 1966-78

This highly anticipated volume brings together the results of excavations of Roman kilns and associated features by volunteers in a public park in the London borough of Haringey, and detailed analysis of some 1,200kg of recovered pottery. As if making up for lost time, the authors treat readers to information in several forms. There is the traditional monograph, a free digital version, and an online typology.

London's-Waterfront-1100-1666

Review – London’s Waterfront 1100-1666: excavations in Thames Street, London, 1974-84

Anybody interested in the rich archaeology of London will be familiar with high-standard and detailed publications by the Museum of London and other professional archaeological companies. London’s Waterfront, published by Archaeopress, is no exception, but it stands out by adding new dimensions to what we know and what we do not yet know about the capital’s history.

Salisbury-hoard-Iron-Age-miniature-shields

Review – Hoards: a hidden history of ancient Britain

Hoards of different periods have been uncovered in many parts of Britain. A touring exhibition brings together some of these intriguing caches of objects hidden long ago, and explores the possible reasons behind their burial. Lucia Marchini travelled to Salisbury to find out more.

Links-to-Late-Antiquity

Review – Links to Late Antiquity

For decades, pottery of eastern Mediterranean origin found at 5th- to 7th-century sites in western Britain has been claimed as evidence for the survival of cultural links and direct trade between the two areas in the aftermath of Roman Britain.

Archaeologists-in-Print

Review – Archaeologists in Print: publishing for the people

A unique addition to the history of British archaeology, Archaeologists in Print is a closely researched examination of the story archaeology has told about itself. It explores archaeology across the 19th- and 20th-century British world, as told in two-shilling children’s archaeology books, breathless biographies, and all the books in between.

From-Roman-Civitas-to-Anglo-Saxon-Shire

Review – From Roman Civitas to Anglo-Saxon Shire

Bruce Eagles has spent more than 50 years studying and analysing the early medieval archaeology of Wessex – the area of south-central England. This book brings together a number of papers he has published on this subject, in some cases significantly revising and updating them in light of more recent work. Cumulatively, they present an important thesis on the ways in which a region of England developed from late Roman to Anglo-Saxon times.

Bioarchaeoloyg-of-Ritual-and-Religion

Review – The Bioarchaeology of Ritual and Religion

This volume derives from papers and contributions to a session of the same title at the European Association of Archaeologists conference that took place in Istanbul in 2014. Several books exist with a similar focus, but this one is noteworthy in that it showcases bioarchaeological research that does not relate directly to human remains.

The-World-of-the-Newprt-Ship

Review – The World of the Newport Medieval Ship

This is an absorbing account of medieval shipping, prompted by and focusing on the Newport ship – discovered in 2002 while building an arts centre near the River Usk in Newport, south Wales. It was a ‘big ship’, about 30m long and capable of carrying the equivalent of about 160 tuns (barrels) of wine. Dendrochronology indicates that it was built after 1449, almost certainly in the Basque Country; it was brought into Newport for refit or repair in the late 1460s and subsequently abandoned.

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