Egypt 1801: the end of Napoleon’s eastern empire

Within the space of three years between 1798 and 1801, Napoleon’s aspirations for an eastern empire were smashed. Not in Europe, where he reigned militarily supreme, but far away in the Near East – by Nelson at the Battle of the Nile on 1 August 1798; in Palestine after being…

The Romans in the Nene Valley

Review by CH. This engaging overview of archaeological evidence in the Nene Valley spans the Iron Age to the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons. Although relatively slim at 72 pages, it is packed with information and richly illustrated, drawing on the author’s more than 40 years of experience excavating and researching…

Adrift: the curious tale of the Lego lost at sea

I’d wager that every one of us has beachcombed at some point in our lives. Collecting intriguing, eye-catching, and occasionally useful objects from the foreshore of beaches, lakes, and rivers is an instinctual behaviour likely as old as our earliest ancestors. And many people don’t just collect the objects that…

A History of Norfolk in 100 Places

Review by HB. From traces of Palaeolithic life along the coast to deserted medieval villages and a Cold War airfield, A History of Norfolk in 100 Places is a whistle-stop tour of the county’s most intriguing buildings, archaeological sites, and historic landscapes. Each ‘place’ is assigned its own entry and…

Iron Age Chariot Burials in Britain and the Near Continent

Review by Peter Halkon. Chariot burials are icons of Iron Age Britain. Apart from those found near Edinburgh and in Pembroke, they are clustered in eastern Yorkshire, with an outlier at Ferry Fryston in West Yorkshire. The most spectacular were at Burnby Lane and The Mile, Pocklington. Remarkably, both burials…

At Home in Roman Egypt: A Social Archaeology

At Home in Roman Egypt offers the first full-scale investigation of life as experienced by the ordinary people of Roman Egypt in the 1st to 4th centuries AD. It approaches the subject by looking at the life course, following people’s experiences throughout the various stages of their existence, from conception…

Egyptian Mythology: A Traveller’s Guide from Aswan to Alexandria

What was understood about the gods, goddesses, spirits, and demons in ancient Egypt depended to a great extent on what was being explained or taught and by whom, when, and where. What was formally written down was also governed by fear of accidentally unleashing negative magical forces. Moreover, the ancient…

A Maya Universe in Stone

In 1951, Quest for the Lost City was published in the United States. Reviewed in The New York Times as ‘a sort of overland Kon-Tiki’ – in reference to Thor Heyerdahl’s recent Pacific Ocean adventure – the book was an instant success and remains in print today. In 1955, it…

Roman Bath: a new history and archaeology of Aquae Sulis

For me, the crux of this book comes on page 132. Peter Davenport explains that ‘the plan of the Classical temple [was altered] into something quite similar to the more usual plan of temples in the north-west of the empire, the so-called Romano-Celtic temple…’. It is not the first time…

Greco-Roman Medicine and What It Can Teach Us Today

This book examines aspects of the medicine practised in the Roman Empire from the reign of Augustus to that of Marcus Aurelius. ‘Roman medicine’ was an amalgam, which combined the theories and practices of Greek physicians operating within the so-called ‘Hippocratic tradition’ with those of various healers from all over…

Prehistoric Rock Art in Scotland: archaeology, meaning and engagement

Over the past 50 years or so, the later prehistoric open-air rock art of Scotland has received much useful attention with the sterling work of researchers Ronald Morris and Stan Beckensall. It is only recently, though, that interest through Historic Scotland’s ‘Scotland’s Rock Art Project’ (ScRAP) has fully recognised the…

Iron Age and Roman Settlement at Highflyer Farm, Ely, Cambridgeshire

This well-produced collaborative volume (with 12 subsidiary authors and two illustrators) presents – very timeously – the results of the 2018 excavation of c.4.5ha of development land on the outskirts of Ely. While intermittent use is attested from the late Neolithic, the periods dominantly represented extend from the middle Iron…

Explorations in Archaeology and Philosophy

Showcasing 12 articles in four parts, Explorations in Archaeology and Philosophy emerged from a 2017 interdisciplinary conference, and the editors aimed to represent the diversity of topics that arise when archaeology and philosophy meet. This target is emphatically achieved. Part I deals with ‘Theory and Inference’, and contains an interesting…

A Maya Universe in Stone

A Maya Universe in Stone delves deeply into the imagery, inscriptions, and political and social contexts of several ancient Maya carved limestone lintels made in the late 8th century AD, likely in Guatemala’s Department of Peten. Eminent epigrapher and archaeologist Stephen Houston edited the book and wrote its four chapters…

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