This important publication is the first study of medieval agriculture in Wales to be produced in many years, and as such offers a valuable contribution to a subject that has been far less comprehensively written about than it has in England and Ireland. It sheds more light on the relationship between agricultural development and wider social and political change in Wales during this period.
The study of isotopes – chemical signatures preserved in our bones and teeth that shed light on diet and movements during life – are increasingly becoming a major part of archaeology, frequently redefining how we look at different periods and featuring in most post-excavation analyses. But we still have a long way to go in terms of being able to use them to confidently pinpoint a person’s specific origins. At the moment, most isotopic maps are still fairly crude and the science is better at identifying local vs non-local rather than confidently determining exact locations. A new study, recently published in Science Advances, has highlighted the need to make sure these maps are more accurate, bringing up the potential impact that agricultural practices might have in certain regions.
Edited by David Bird Oxbow Books, £40.00 ISBN 978-1785703195 Review John Manley This book of 17 papers provides a significant overview of our current understanding of agriculture and industry in south-eastern Roman Britain. It opens with a summarising chapter drawn from the New Visions of the Countryside of Roman Britain project, followed by a scene-setting […]