Cumbria’s Prehistoric Monuments

Adam Morgan Ibbotson has successfully brought together around 100 prehistoric sites from across Cumbria into a much-needed single volume. Home to a range of prehistoric monuments, Cumbria has more than just stone circles, with notable examples including the Mayburgh Henge and the Great Urswick burial chamber. The book begins by…

The Viking Great Army and the Making of England

The arrival of the Viking Great Army on British soil in AD 865 had an immeasurable impact on England. No longer content with hit-and-run raids, this force – which was far greater than any previously seen in Britain – aimed for political conquest and settlement. In only a decade or…

50 Finds from Buckinghamshire: objects from the Portable Antiquities Scheme

In this latest book in the 50 Finds series, Arwen Wood, Finds Liaison Officer for Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes, presents Britain’s history through the objects found across the county and recorded with the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS). Sadly lacking in standing archaeological remains, Buckinghamshire is sometimes thought of as a…

Brickmaking: history and heritage

It is always interesting to find a new book about bricks. Often ignored, these little marvels need to be celebrated, and, for this reviewer at least, there can never be too many opportunities to do so. The ability to manufacture sufficient bricks to meet demand underpins the industrial history of…

The City of Babylon: A History, c.2000 BC – AD 116

The history of the Mesopotamian city of Babylon had a powerful legacy even within antiquity. Today, many are familiar with the city, situated in modern Iraq, for its numerous appearances in the Bible and for the fabled wonder of the ancient world, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. For the Roman…

A Short History of Humanity: How Migration Made Us Who We Are

Over the last decade, revolutions in the scientific analysis of archaeological material have allowed us to delve deeper into the origins and migrations of modern humans. Through the lens of Johannes Krause, director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, and journalist Thomas Trappe, this volume brings the nascent…

Thames Mudlarking: Searching for London’s Lost Treasures

In the 19th century, mudlarks were people (mainly children) who would scour the muddy banks of the Thames for items like coal and metal that they could sell on. Nowadays, mudlarks set out at low tide (with mandatory licences from the Port of London Authority) in search of something different:…

Bar Locks and Early Church Security in the British Isles

Have you ever wondered why there is often a big hole in the wall just inside a medieval church doorway? This book is primarily a study of the bar locks they were made to hold. Some were huge – like the still-functioning ones that go more than 3m deep into…

Hoards from Wiltshire

The landscape of Wiltshire is full of indications of the county’s rich history, but perhaps some of the most compelling information about the area’s past comes from the hoards buried beneath its soil. The contents of these hoards vary widely, as do the reasons for their deposition, but all offer…

Life, Death, and Rubbish Disposal in Roman Norton, North Yorkshire

This report describes the results of excavations conducted in 2015-2016 on the Brooklyn Hall site, south of the River Derwent, opposite the fort at Malton, and immediately west of the main road from York. All those involved are to be commended for ensuring the results and analysis have been published…

Visions of the Roman North: art and identity in northern Roman Britain

This remarkable and important study of the art and culture of northern Roman Britain has been published almost two decades after my own – The Heirs of King Verica (Tempus, 2002; 2nd edition: Amberley, 2010), which dealt almost entirely with southern Britain – first appeared. Both are highly personal visions,…

The Maltese Archipelago at the Dawn of History

This, the third volume to tackle the legacy data from Malta (Tanasi et al. 2011; 2015), effectively lays the groundwork from which to launch renewed archaeological investigations. Its reinterpretation of past excavations highlights the fragile nature of the archaeological remains on the island and the limitations of past fieldwork concerning…

Growing up in the Ice Age

Growing Up in the Ice Age represents both the first book-length work on the lives of children throughout the Plio-Pleistocene, and a superlative example of how the study of children can be fully integrated into more traditional areas of Palaeolithic research. After making a strong case for why we should…

Pre and Protohistoric Stone Architectures: comparisons of the social and technical contexts associated to their building

Generically, monuments are organised using four recognised architectural elements: the mound, the entrance or façade, the passage, and the chamber.  I suppose a fifth element could be landscape. These clear building traits are repeated across much of Atlantic Europe. However, there are many idiosyncratic nuances that establish regional traditions in monument-building,…

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