1945: Victory in the west

REVIEW BY GRAHAM GOODLAD. Over the past decade, Peter Caddick-Adams has established himself as a leading historian of land warfare in the second half of World War II. 1945: Victory in the West completes a trilogy in which the author has already covered the Normandy campaign and the Battle of…

Crucible of Nations: Scotland from Viking Age to medieval kingdom

Review by Russell Ó Ríagáin. This book is the third in a series associated with the Glenmorangie Company Research Project at National Museums Scotland, treating various aspects of Iron Age and medieval northern Britain. Arguably, it has been the most anticipated of the series, not least due to the author’s…

Street Furniture

Review by AB. The term ‘street furniture’ encompasses a wide range of everyday objects that are found along roads and in towns and cities around the world, from manhole covers and postboxes to bus stops and cabman’s shelters. In this book, Lynn Pearson looks at the street furniture of the…

Mosaics in Roman Britain

Review by Stephen R Cosh. Anthony Beeson has been among those at the forefront of mosaic research in Britain for many years, particularly on mythological subjects. This little book is very much a personal journey and summarises his own research and interpretations over that time. It is ‘intended as a…

London in the Roman World

Review by Owen Humphreys. You wait decades for a new book about Roman London, then two come along at once. Dominic Perring’s previous work Roman London (Routledge, 1991) was the standard reference for nearly 30 years. Now, just three years after Richard Hingley’s Londinium: A Biography (Bloomsbury Academic, 2018), Perring…

Ruins, Remains and Relics: Sussex

Review by Robin Hughes. Ruins, Remains and Relics: Sussex is a miscellany, organised into the three titular groups, of various historical curiosities from across the historic county of Sussex. Horlock explicitly emphasises the ‘unusual, offbeat, and decidedly quirky’, and the items range widely, from entire castles to a single spoon,…

Land of the Ilich: journeys into Islay’s past

Review by HB. In this deep-dive into the archaeology of the Ilich – the people of Islay – Steven Mithen toys with the concept of insularity, presenting an account of Scotland’s southernmost Hebridean island which demonstrates that the area is by no means lacking in historical cultural connections. These stretch…

The Idea of Marathon: Battle and Culture

Review by David Stuttard. On an August morning just over two and a half millennia ago in 490 BC, a numerically inferior army of democratic Athenians, their liberated slaves, and Plataean allies won an overwhelming victory over Persian invaders on the plain of Marathon. The battle has been seen as…

H of H Playbook

Review by Lucia Marchini. The myth of Heracles, his heroic strength and ability to meet seemingly insurmountable challenges, has proven an enduringly popular one. Emperors and kings made use of his mighty image, and he was even the subject of an animated Disney musical in 1997. Such adoptions of this…

The Greatest Invention: A History of the World in Nine Mysterious Scripts

Review by Andrew Robinson. All academics would presumably regard writing as one of the world’s great inventions, perhaps even the greatest invention. Philologist Silvia Ferrara certainly does. An expert on the undeciphered Cypro-Minoan script, she is the founder of a research group focused on the invention of writing, INSCRIBE (Invention…

Evensong: people, discoveries and reflections on the church in England

Review by Christopher Catling. Reading this book reminds me of the University of London’s Warburg Institute Library, which has a unique classification system designed by the library’s founder, Aby Warburg (1866-1929), to encourage serendipitous discovery: looking for one book, your attention might be directed to another volume that takes you…

The World of Stonehenge

Review by HB. This accessible and richly informative book, produced to accompany the World of Stonehenge exhibition at the British Museum (CA 384), treats Stonehenge as a ‘gateway’ into the interconnected worlds of British, Irish, and European prehistory. Wooden poles erected 10,000 years ago, near the site of the later…

The Great British Dig: history in your back garden

Review by CH. Those of us who enjoy relaxing of an evening with an episode or two of an archaeological TV show have been spoiled in recent years, with such tempting offerings as Digging for Britain, Digging Up Britain’s Past, not to mention the return of Time Team – and,…

The Archaeology of Merseyside in 20 Digs

Review by AB. Archaeological investigations have been taking place in Merseyside, in north-west England, since the 19th century, shedding light on the many communities who have inhabited the area over the last 10,500 years. In this brief but engaging publication, 20 archaeological sites have been selected that best tell the…

Religious Practice and Cultural Construction of Animal Worship in Egypt from the Early Dynastic to the New Kingdom: ritual forms, material display, historical development

Review by Salima Ikram. This book, based on a PhD thesis, focuses on Egyptian ‘animal worship’ from the 3rd to the 2nd millennium BC. In the introduction, the author states that the work aims to use multiple theoretical perspectives and concepts, including Egyptology, history of religions, and anthropology in order…

Rock Art Studies: News of the World VI  

Review by George Nash Prehistoric rock art is very much a world phenomenon, with assemblages found in every corner of the globe. To the expert eye, each region has its own unique style, engraving or painting technique, and chronology. Since the publication of the first News of the World volume in 1997 (based…

Olympia: a cultural history

Review by Paul Christesen Olympia is not an especially large archaeological site (the entire excavated area measures less than 1km on a side), but it is nonetheless a particularly complex one. Activity at the site began in the 4th millennium BC and continued, with some interruptions, all the way through…

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