Pearl of the Desert: A History of Palmyra

Review by Jennifer A Baird. Palmyra has long been considered the jewel of Syria. In recent years, the site – which is internationally well-known for its monumental remains – has become infamous after those remains were targeted for destruction, casualties of the ongoing Syrian conflict, which has taken many lives…

Lyde Green Roman Villa, Emersons Green, South Gloucestershire

Review by Simon Esmonde Cleary. Excavations in 2012-2013 on the north-eastern edge of Bristol revealed an area of landscape with evidence of human activity from the Neolithic to the recent past, but the most-plentiful evidence – which was excavated in four main areas and forms the focus of this volume…

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The Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth

With the 40th anniversary of the raising of the wrecked Tudor flagship Mary Rose approaching this autumn, the Portsmouth-based museum dedicated to the vessel is trialling immersive new approaches to illuminating its archaeology. Carly Hilts visited to find out more.…

Land Surveying in Ireland, 1690-1830

Review by William D Shannon. O ’Cionnaith, himself a land surveyor, presents a vivid account of how Ireland became one of the most-mapped countries in the world, following the Cromwellian and Williamite land redistributions, which led to the Down Survey of the 1650s and the Trustees Survey of 1700-1703. The…

Shadowlands: a journey through lost Britain

Review by HB. Shadowlands is a moving and at times personal tour of Britain’s lost villages and urban spaces. The author pointedly excludes the historical remains of ‘urban success’ found in places like Bath and St Albans, choosing instead to journey through ‘Ghost Britain’ and sites of ‘squandered potential’. These…

Assessing Iron Age Marsh-Forts

Review by Ian Ralston The subtitle to this volume – ‘with reference to the stratigraphy and palaeoenvironment surrounding The Berth’ – indicates clearly its main objective: detailed consideration of the environs of the Shropshire fort, the subject of several small-scale excavations since the 1960s. (Those archaeological results are included only…

The Prehistoric Artefacts of Northern Ireland

Review by C McSparron. This book is a comprehensive catalogue of finds of artefacts made by archaeologists, antiquarians, and members of the public over centuries in Northern Ireland. It records discoveries from excavations, field-walking, stray finds, and material from museum and institutional collections. The area considered, Northern Ireland, is not…

Atlas of the Hillforts of Britain and Ireland

Review by Andrew Tibbs. This invaluable contribution to our knowledge of hillforts is the most complete study on the subject in Britain and Ireland to-date. A long-awaited volume, it sheds much light on these somewhat enigmatic structures, detailing the results of the project of the same name, which ran from…

Qatar: Evidence of the Palaeolithic Earliest People Revealed

Review by George Nash. The visible prehistoric sites of the Arabian Peninsula are all too clear to see, with burial-ritual and settlement sites of the Neolithic, Bronze Age, and, in particular, Iron Age providing the most obvious presence. Less visible are those sites that date from earlier times. Recent fieldwork…

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Tutankhamun: excavating the archive

A century after Tutankhamun’s tomb first captured the world’s attention, a new exhibition at the Bodleian Library offers fresh insights into the famous discovery through archival material. Amy Brunskill visited to find out more.…

The Restless Republic: Britain without a crown

The execution of King Charles I in January 1649 and the subsequent abolition of the monarchy turned Britain into a republic, which it would remain until the Restoration of Charles II 11 years later. Yet it is a period of British history that so often exists only in the shadows,…

Review: Fort George

Open 9.30am-5.30pm daily (April to September) and 10am-4pm daily (October to March)Ardersier, Inverness, IV2 7TDwww.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/places/fort-george/+44 (0) 1667 462 834 Fort George is an imposing reminder of a turbulent period in British history. Its commanding position on the Moray Firth in northern Scotland symbolises the British government’s determination to impose its…

War on film – Enemy at the Gates

As the Russian army commits appalling atrocities in Ukraine, it might not feel like the best time to recall the heroism of the Red Army in the Second World War. But this year marks the 80th anniversary of the titanic Battle of Stalingrad, which lasted from late August 1942 to…

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