Worcester, like many historic cities, has had its share of undistinguished 20th-century development. As this has come up for redevelopment, it has afforded numerous opportunities for archaeological investigations, which have revealed the city’s Roman origins. Roman Worcester developed on the road up the Severn Valley. It was a sprawling, unpretentious settlement, with an emphasis on making iron. This comprehensive report (20 years in the making!) describes the findings from a site on the periphery of the Roman occupation. Simple wooden buildings, associated with a large amount of pottery, were involved in light industrial activities, including iron smithing rather than the more common smelting found elsewhere in Worcester. But why was iron ore from the Forest of Dean brought to Worcester to be processed? Surely it would have been more economic to do that nearer to the ore fields? Worcester may be another example of the (to us) apparent irrationality of the Roman provincial economy.
Worcester Magistrates Court: excavation of Romano-British homes and industry at Castle Street, Andy Boucher, BAR Publishing, £54, ISBN 978-1407357041. Review by Neil Holbrook.
Just Out and Coming Soon Thames Mudlarking: searching for London’s lost treasures, Jason Sandy and Nick Stevens, Shire Publications, £9.99, ISBN 978-1784424329. Early Medieval Winchester: communities, authority and power in an urban space, c.800-c.1200, R Lavelle, S Roffey, and K Weikert, Oxbow, £49.95, ISBN 978-1789256239. EAA 172: excavations at Stoke Quay, Ipswich – southern Gipeswic and the parish of St Augustine, Richard Brown, Steven Teague, Louise Loe, Berni Sudds, and Elizabeth Popescu, East Anglian Archaeology, £50, ISBN 978-0904220841. Hadrian’s Wall: creating division, Matthew Symonds, Bloomsbury, £19.99, ISBN 978-1350105348. Mapping Death: burial in late Iron Age and early medieval Ireland, Elizabeth O’Brien, Four Courts Press, £50, ISBN 978-1846828591, The Economy of a Norse Settlement in the Outer Hebrides: excavations at Mounds 2 and 2A, Bornais, South Uist, Niall Sharples, Oxbow, £35, ISBN 978-1789255386.