In his introduction, W B Bartlett denies he is making any attempt to write a ‘definitive history’ of the great sweep of the Viking Age. Instead, his aim is simply to explore some of the key events and figures involved. But, despite this modest framing, he has achieved a wide-ranging and very informative overview of this eventful period of history – and an interesting read, too.
Author: Carly Hilts
Archaeological sleuths Clare Hills, David Barbrook, and Margaret Bockford return in Nicola Ford’s cleverly constructed crime novel, a sequel to The Hidden Bones (see CA 340). This latter book featured a research dig on a barrow cemetery, but its successor dives into the world of commercial archaeology.
The tidal reach of the River Thames is the longest archaeological site in Britain, its rhythmically rising and falling waters exposing a wealth of material spanning millennia of human activity along its banks. For the last decade, thousands of features and objects have been recorded by the Thames Discovery Programme and its volunteers – but people have also been exploring the foreshore and its finds on a more informal basis for centuries.
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.
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.
The most-famous date in English history is said to be 1066 – but what was the immediate impact of the Norman Conquest? We explore a recently discovered coin hoard, the largest of its kind, buried in Somerset c.1068. What can it tell us about the first years after the Battle of Hastings?
This summer marks 80 years since the Sutton Hoo ship burial was discovered, revolutionising our understanding of the Anglo-Saxon period. The site has just reopened to the public following a £4 million investment. Carly Hilts paid a visit to see how a celebrated story had been presented anew.
What can the first Bronze Age gold torc to be found in Norfolk for 25 years tell us about the influence of the region’s population 3,000 years ago?
‘This is an archaeological book, I make no pretensions to write history.’ So writes Martin Carver in his wide-ranging new book – yet the more than 700 pages that follow represent a sweeping and impressively comprehensive account of Britain’s past, spanning the 5th to 11th centuries AD.
Written with an evocative turn of phrase and a sharp eye for interesting detail, Citadel of the Saxons is packed full of information, and impressive in its scope given that it is under 200 pages long. Rory begins his account in the 5th century amidst the ruins of Roman London, before tracing the settlement’s rebirth and rise to new heights of prosperity, ending with the Norman Conquest of 1066.