Happy New Year! It always feels odd when I sit to write my December letter, knowing that I am addressing you in a different year – and the past year has been a particularly strange one, both in our own lives and for archaeological fieldwork. I hope 2021 brings brighter times for us all – and I look forward to joining you there in a few weeks!
Isle of Man
Isle of Man
Recent assessment of a unique burial assemblage from the Isle of Man has helped illuminate a rare type of funerary practice also found in parts of Wales and northern England. This new work provides a blueprint for moving away from traditional single-object typologies towards a more holistic approach that takes into consideration multiple forms of evidence in order to get a clearer picture of varying cultural practices across different regions.
Within its 225 square miles, the Isle of Man boasts an impressively diverse historic landscape spanning some 10,000 years of human activity. In this compact but wide-ranging book, our guide is Matthew Richardson, curator of social history at Manx National Heritage.
The Isle of Man lies at the centre of the Irish Sea and is characterised by its own insular traditions, while also being subject to influences from all those regions surrounding the sea – as well as beyond. This is evident in the megalithic monumental tradition described within this volume, which presents the evidence from Man and places it in its wider context. This definitive account will appeal to scholars of British prehistory, as well as those interested in Manx studies. Although the initial research took place several decades ago, the editors have conscientiously reviewed and updated it.
Based on archaeological and fragmentary documentary evidence, the Irish Sea was a significant superhighway during prehistory, right through to the medieval period, and beyond. The Isle of Man appears to have been a significant stepping stone for adopting art and architecture, especially during the early Christian period, when 200 or more carved stone crosses occupied many of the churchyards on the island.