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 story of Merseyside and its occupants over time. The sites are sorted into chronological chapters – prehistoric, Romano-British, medieval, post-medieval, and industrial – with several excavations offering an insight into the lives of the people who lived and worked there in each period. Throughout the history of Merseyside, its local resources and access to rivers and the sea have drawn people to the region. Their presence is reflected in the rich archaeological record, which stretches from the camps of Mesolithic hunter-gatherers to locations reused over many generations as sites of Bronze Age roundhouses, Romano-British farmsteads, and Viking longhouses, right up to the infrastructure related to the area’s more recent industrial and maritime trading past. All this is brought to life by a wonderful selection of images, and personal accounts from those involved in the excavations.

The Archaeology of Merseyside in 20 Digs, Liz Stewart and Vanessa Oakden, Amberley Publishing, £15.99, ISBN 978-1398109506.