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…

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…

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,…

Seasonal Settlement in the Medieval and Early Modern Countryside

Review by Stephen Mileson. This latest, well-produced, and richly illustrated contribution to the Ruralia series tells us much about medieval and early modern use of the mountains, moorlands, forests, and remote coastlines that lay beyond Europe’s more populous lowland valleys and plains. The geographical reach is admirably wide: 30 short…

Warrior Treasure: the Staffordshire Hoard in Anglo-Saxon England

Review by Kevin Leahy. This book joins the growing list of publications on the Staffordshire Hoard, but Warrior Treasure is published by Historic England and can be viewed as an ‘official’ popular account. Written by Chris Fern, one of the authors of the academic report (see CA 361 and my…

Buried: an alternative history of the first millennium in Britain

Review by E O’Brien. In Buried, Alice Roberts, derives information relating not only to the death of individuals but to the lives lived by those individuals from examination of their bones. Topics explored include infant mortality in the Roman world; decapitation; necrophobia; description of (and possible places of origin for)…

The Romano-British Villa and Anglo-Saxon Cemetery at Eccles, Kent

The site at Eccles in Kent was excavated on a shoestring from 1962 to 1976 by Alec Detsicas with the Lower Medway Archaeological Research Group and then the Eccles Excavation Committee. Lack of funding hampered post-excavation, and while Alec Detsicas tried to put publication plans in place before his death…

The Great British Dig: History in Your Back Garden

Review by Eugenia Ellanskaya. When it comes to interpreting archaeological sites, invisible ink comes to mind as a common medium that has been used to paint the elusive picture of our past. Eye-opening discoveries often come from those slight variations in soil colour and texture that demand subtle observation and…

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