Some recent books from Archaeology at Glasgow
Some recent books from Archaeology at Glasgow
The history of cane sugar from its origins in the east to its status as a luxury foodstuff and even medicine in the medieval period to a commodity produced and consumed globally in today’s world is well known. Yet archaeologically, sugar is an invisible commodity, its presence usually being inferred from the humble sugar pots used in the last stages of its sophisticated production process. This book attempts to redress the imbalance between history and archaeology by reporting on the excavation of a medieval sugar refinery, Tawahin es-Sukkar near Safi, situated south of the Dead Sea in Jordan. There it was possible to explore many of the steps in the sugar-making process. The book’s title refers to the industrial waste whose study has shed light on those steps. To place this refinery in chronological and economic context, excavation was extended to the adjacent ‘support town’ of Khirbet Shaykh ‘Isa; the book presents its results.
The available archaeological evidence for sugar production across the Mediterranean is reviewed. There is particular emphasis on the sugar vessels and the light they can shed on the poorly understood relationship between primary production centres, refining, storage and consumption centres
The Neolithic of Mainland Scotland
What was life like in Scotland between 4000 and 2000BC? Where were people living? How did they treat their dead? Why did they spend so much time building extravagant ritual monuments? What was special about the relationship people had with trees and holes in the ground? What can we say about how people lived in the Neolithic and early Bronze Age of mainland Scotland where much of the evidence we have lies beneath the ploughsoil, or survives as slumped banks and ditches, or ruinous megaliths? Each contribution to this volume presents fresh research and radical new interpretations of the pits, postholes, ditches, rubbish dumps, human remains and broken potsherds left behind by our Neolithic forebears.
The Development of Neolithic House Societies in Orkney
Colin Richards and Richard Jones (eds.) 2016. ISBN: 9781909686892. Windgather Press. 512p, H279 x W215 (mm) full colour
Drawing on the results of an extensive programme of fieldwork in the Bay of Firth, Mainland Orkney, the text explores the idea that the physical appearance of the house is a potent resource for materialising the dichotomous alliance and descent principles apparent in the archaeological evidence for the early and later Neolithic of Orkney. It argues that some of the insights made by Lévi-Strauss in his basic formulation of sociétés à maisons are extremely relevant to interpreting the archaeological evidence and providing the parameters for a ‘social’ narrative of the material changes occurring in Orkney between the 4th and 2nd millennia cal BC.
The major excavations undertaken during the Cuween-Wideford Landscape Project provided an unprecedented depth and variety of evidence for Neolithic occupation, bridging the gap between domestic and ceremonial architecture and form, exploring the transition from wood to stone and relationships between the living and the dead and the role of material culture. The results are described and discussed in detail here, enabling tracing of the development and fragmentation of sociétés à maisons over a 1500 year period of Northern Isles prehistory.
Creating Material Worlds: The Uses of Identity in Archaeology
Despite a growing literature on identity theory in the last two decades, much of its current use in archaeology is still driven toward locating and dating static categories such as ‘Phoenician’, ‘Christian’ or ‘native’. Previous studies have highlighted the various problems and challenges presented by identity, with the overall effect of deconstructing it to insignificance. As the humanities and social sciences turn to material culture, archaeology provides a unique perspective on the interaction between people and things over the long term. This volume argues that identity is worth studying not despite its slippery nature, but because of it. Identity can be seen as an emergent property of living in a material world, an ongoing process of becoming which archaeologists are particularly well suited to study. The geographic and temporal scale of the papers included is purposefully broad to demonstrate the variety of ways in which archaeology is redefining identity. Research areas span from the Great Lakes to the Mediterranean, with case studies from the Mesolithic to the contemporary world by emerging voices in the field. The volume contains a critical review of theories of identity by the editors, as well as a response and afterword by A. Bernard Knapp.
Kinetic Landscapes. The Cide Archaeological Project: Surveying the Turkish Western Black Sea Region
Düring, Bleda & Glatz, Claudia (eds) 2016. Berlin: De Gruyter Open. Ebook ISBN 978-3-11-044497-1. pp. 504.
Turkey’s northern edge is a region of contrasts and diversity. From the rugged peaks of the Pontic mountains and hidden inland valleys to the plains and rocky alcoves of the Black Sea coast, this landscape shaped and was shaped by its inhabitants’ ways of life, their local cultural traditions, and the ebbs and flows of land-based and maritime networks of interaction. Between 2009 and 2011, an international team of specialists and students of the Cide Archaeological Project (CAP) investigated the challenging landscapes of the Cide and Şenpazar districts of Kastamonu province. CAP presents the first systematic archaeological survey of the western Turkish Black Sea region. The information gathered by the project extends its known human history by 10,000 years and offers an unprecedented insight into the region’s shifting cultural, social and political ties with Anatolia and the Circumpontic. This volume presents the project’s approach and methodologies, its results and their interpretation within period-specific contexts and through a long-term landscape perspective.
Reading Between the Lines: The Neolithic Cursus Monuments of Scotland
Reading Between the Lines: The Neolithic Cursus Monuments of Scotland is the first systematic analysis of Scotland’s cursus monuments and is written by one of the foremost scholars of the Neolithic in Scotland. Drawing on fifteen years of experience of cropmark interpretation, as well as his involvement in several excavations of cursus monuments and contemporary sites, Kenny Brophy uncovers some of the secrets of the Neolithic landscape.
Only the third book ever written synthesising evidence for cursus monuments, this volume presents an innovative methodological approach that combines a close reading of the cropmark evidence, excavation results and phenomenological fieldwork. Themes addressed in the book include the development of monumentality amongst the early generations of Scotland's farmers, the social role of trees in Scotland's Neolithic and landscape transformations in the 4th millennium BC. The role of the emergent tradition of huge rectangular enclosures in eastern lowland Scotland in the development of monumentality in the Neolithic of southern England, with its chalkland giant cursus sites, is also explored. And the book takes a radical approach to monument typology and classification, re-defining but also dissolving the boundaries of the cursus class of enclosure.
Plain Pottery Traditions of the Eastern Mediterranean and Near East. Production, Use, and Social Significance
The evolution and proliferation of plain and predominantly wheel-made pottery presents a characteristic feature of the societies of the Near East and Eastern Mediterranean since the fourth millennium BC. This volume reevaluates the role and significance of plain pottery traditions from both historically specific perspectives and from a comparative point of view and examines the uses and functions of this pottery in relation to social negotiation and group identity formation.
Dùn Èistean, Ness: The Excavation of a Clan Stronghold
Rachel C. Barrowman (ed.) 2015. With contributions by Rachel C. Barrowman, Collen Batey, Ewan Campbell, Chris Dalglish, Steve Driscoll, Natasha Ferguson and Tessa Poller. Acair Press: Stornoway, UK. ISBN 9780861525393 pp 450.
Dùn Èistean, Ness: The excavation of a Clan stronghold is the culmination of more than 15 years of archaeological excavation, survey work, and research.
Dùn Èistean is a small, tidal, cliff bound island in Ness at the Northern tip of the Isle of Lewis, traditionally thought to be the stronghold of the Clan Morrison.
During the excavation work the team uncovered a large assemblage of gun flints – the earliest ever discovered in Britain – which were manufactured on the island. This is the first excavated and dated evidence for armed skirmishes on a later medieval Clan stronghold in the Hebrides. They also found a number of imported items such as pottery and coins, suggesting contact with maritime trade routes.
The results of the project has led the team to challenge the view that this was a site on the edge of the world, unaffected by the political troubles of the time. Instead, the material evidence suggests that Dùn Èistean was an important stronghold, placed in a highly visible location and might have had an important role in policing, or at least monitoring, passing sea traffic. Its inhabitants displayed a high level of self-sufficiency and sense of identity, but with important evidence of much interaction with the outside world.
The project was the initiative of the Dùn Èistean Archaeology Project (DEAP), which was set up by the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar archaeologist Dr Mary MacLeod, members of the Clan Morrison, prompted by the late Dr Iain Morrison, and the Ness Historical Society. It was funded by Historic Environment Scotland, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, and Heritage Lottery Fund, with the work carried out by a team from the University of Glasgow.
Eros, mercator and the cultural landscape of Melos in antiquity
The island of Melos in the Cyclades has a rich archaeology having played an important part in prehistory and throughout history. But owing to its unique geology it is also home to a wide array of rocks and minerals which have been exploited since the first human occupation of the island. This book is about the archaeology of the minerals industries of Melos in antiquity. The localities of their extraction and the type of processing they may have been subject to have been reconstructed on the basis of archaeological evidence.
At the site of Aghia Kyriaki, SE Melos, there is evidence for large-scale exploitation of alum in the Late Roman period, its processing in large shallow vessels and packaging into amphorae; there is also evidence for the use of geothermal energy there and in neighbouring Palaeochori Bay; there are phreatic explosions near the sulphur mines at Fyrlingos; finally, there are the egkoila of Melos, the rock-cut cavities carved out of the island’s ubiquitous white altered volcanic rock which gave rise to its minerals.
The ancient texts and epigraphic evidence also take centre stage, depicting the nature of Melian society from the momentous events of 416BC to the Late Roman period. This book will have wide appeal to archaeologists and historians, to geologists and mineralogists and to all those interested in the island or just visiting it.
About the Authors: Effie Photos-Jones is an archaeological scientist and director of SASAA, a company based in Glasgow specializing in the scientific analysis of archaeological materials. She has co-directed archaeological research projects in the Aegean and carried out many archaeometallurgical studies in Greece including at Lavrion. She has published extensively on the topic of ancient technologies. Her current interests focus on early mineral pharmacological agents and the industries that made them available in antiquity. Alan J Hall recently retired as Senior Lecturer at the University of Glasgow where he taught geoarchaeology. His specialist research interests are in mineralogy and geochemistry. He co-directed the research project on Melos.
Published by Potingair Press. Distributed by Archaeopress.
Italo-Mycenaean pottery: the archaeological and archaeometric dimensions
Richard Jones, Sara T Levi, Marco Bettelli and Lucia Vagnetti, 2014, Italo-Mycenaean pottery: the archaeological and archaeometric dimensions, Incunabula Graeca CIII, CNR Istituto di Studi sul Mediterraneo Antico, Rome. ISBN 978 88 87345 20 9; pp. 602 (incl. colour plates).
This volume presents the fruits of research that began in the 1980s concerning a class of pottery that has assumed increasing importance in Italian late prehistory, namely pottery of Mycenaean type or style, usually decorated, dating from the 17th to 11th century BC, and found throughout peninsular Italy, Sicily and Sardinia. Its significance lies in the way this pottery reflects Italy’s growing connections with the outside world at this time, mainly with the Aegean but also further afield to the east. Establishing that much of this pottery was made within Italy has led to its labelling ‘Italo-Mycenaean’.
Following the book’s introduction, there is a gazetteer of sites where this and related pottery has been found in Italy. The next chapter provides a comparative chronology between the Aegean and Italy. There is then the presentation of the pottery itself, its characterisation by style and with science-based analysis to determine its origins and technological attributes; the results of experimental reconstruction are included. The impact of external influences on the indigenous cultures within Italy and Italy’s role in the so-called Late Bronze Age ‘International Age’ in the Mediterranean are among the main issues considered in the last chapter.
Landscape and Interaction: Troodos Archaeological and Environmental Research Project, Cyprus
The Troodos Mountains, in central Cyprus, are a region of great physical and cultural diversity. The landscapes range from fertile, cultivated plains to narrow, dry valleys and forested mountain regions and this physical topography is overlain by a rich human cultural landscape of farming, mining, industry, settlement, burial and ritual behaviour. Over six field seasons, a team of specialists and fieldwalkers from the Troodos Archaeological and Environmental Survey Project (TAESP) investigated the northern edge of this region and explored the complex and dynamic relationship between landscape and people over 12,000 years. The results of their integrated and interpretative approach are presented in two volumes.
Beginning with a considered overview of the context, research aims and methodology of the project, Volume 1 (Methodology, Analysis and Interpretation) provides detailed accounts of the archaeology, material culture, geography and environmental record of the entire survey area. This wealth of information is then bought together to produce a series of chronological and thematic analyses of the interaction between people and landscape in this region of Cyprus from the Prehistoric through to the Modern period.
Covering four regions of the survey area (The Plains, Karkotis Valley, Upper Lagoudhera Valley and The Mountains), Volume 2 (The TAESP Landscape) focuses on explicit research questions appropriate to each region. Organised geographically, chronologically and thematically, each region is investigated from the Neolithic to the present day. Notable new discoveries include the pattern of Bronze Age Settlement in the Plains, Archaic rural sanctuaries and cemeteries, the scope of Late Roman copper-mining and isolated Medieval mountain settlements. Taken together, these wide-ranging and interdisciplinary perspectives give a nuanced and sensitive approach to a strikingly multi-faceted landscape.
The Chapel and Burial Ground on St Ninian’s Isle, Shetland: Excavations Past and Present
Rachel Barrowman (2012). Society for Medieval Archaeology Monographs, Volume 32 ISBN: 978-1-907975-46-2 Paperback: 256 pages
This volume is the definitive account of the excavation which led to the discovery of the magnificent hoard of 28 pieces of Pictish silverware on St Ninian’s Isle, Shetland in 1958. It includes a reassessment of the original archives and finds, including an ogham stone found on the site in 1876 and a fantastic collection of glass beads, as well as several new small-scale excavations on the site of the chapel and its burial ground. Taken together, this work reveals a long sequence of settlement beginning in the Iron Age. The first church was built on the site in the 8th century, and accompanied by a long cist cemetery with cross-incised stones and shrine sculpture. The church may have continued in use into the 9th or 10th centuries, and the recent work has confirmed that the famous hoard was buried into its floor. There was a degree of continuity between the pre-Christian and Christian burials, with evidence that the site was a special place for burial before the advent of Christianity. The report describes these burials in detail, ending the story sometime between the 11th and end of the 12th centuries, when an adult male who had died a violent death was moved to be buried on the site. Thereafter the site was inundated with wind-blown sand. A new chapel with an accompanying long cist cemetery was then built above the earlier church, and a chancel was added later. The associated graveyard continued in use until around 1840, long after the building was demolished.
Lemnian Earth and the earths of the Aegean
The earths of the Aegean, the ‘industrial minerals’ of antiquity, were used daily by people as medicines, pigments, fumigants, mordants or washing powders. Attempting to bring these elusive substances out of the relative obscurity of the documentary sources, this book investigates whether they can be found today on the islands that gave them their names and whether they still ‘work’. Probably the most famous of the earths is that from the island of Lemnos in the north Aegean which was bestowed with rituals blessed by pagan gods and the Church for over two thousand years. Having found its source and examined its properties, the authors suggest that ancient myths and rituals may be covert ways of expressing geochemical and/or industrial processes, whose aim was to enhance the properties of a natural material with positive results to health and the prevention of diseases. The need to understand the earths of the Aegean is now very important: they can potentially throw light on a well-recorded practice known as geophagia, the deliberate consumption of clays by humans and animals; equally, they can guide current and ongoing pharmacological research into minerals-based antibiotics. The book includes practical information for the visitor to Lemnos who wants to explore the relevant aspects of the island’s history and archaeology.
About the Authors: Effie Photos-Jones is an archaeological scientist and director of SASAA, a company based in Glasgow specializing in the scientific analysis of archaeological materials. She has co-directed archaeological research projects in the Aegean and carried out many archaeometallurgical studies in Greece including at Lavrion. She has published extensively on the topic of ancient technologies. Her current interest is in early mineral pharmacological agents and the industries that made them available in antiquity. Alan J Hall recently retired as Senior Lecturer at the University of Glasgow where he taught geoarchaeology. His specialist research interests are in mineralogy and geochemistry. He co-directed the research project on Melos.
Unit Price £30.00
Transport Stirrup Jars of the Bronze Age Aegean and East Mediterranean
Hal Haskell, Richard Jones, Peter Day and John Killen, INSTAP Press Monograph, 2011
The transport stirrup jar was a vessel type used extensively in the Late Bronze Age III Aegean world. Found in a variety of contexts, the type was used both to transport and to store liquid commodities in bulk. The peak of the production and exchange of this jar corresponded with the time of economic expansion on the Greek mainland. Their presence in large numbers in storerooms indicates the movement of commodities and the centralised storage and control of goods. The broad distribution of stirrup jars at coastal sites in the eastern Mediterranean and their presence in the cargoes of the Uluburun, Gelidonya, and Iria shipwrecks clearly shows their role in the extensive exchange networks within the Aegean and beyond. Because they represent significant Aegean exchange, tracing their origins and movement provides information regarding production centres and trade routes. This study concentrates on determining the provenance of the jars and the subsequent tracing of exchange routes. The fully integrated research design is an interdisciplinary, collaborative archaeological project that embraces typological, chemical, petrographic, and epigraphic approaches in order to shed light on the jars' classification and origin. The identification of production centres and export routes is critical for a full understanding of the economic and political conditions in the Late Bronze Age Aegean and eastern Mediterranean.
Colleen E. Batey (2010). English Heritage Guidebook, 40 pages
This newly presented guidebook for the enigmatic site of Tintagel Castle, Cornwall, which is one of English Heritage’s most popular visitor attractions, incorporates many of the new results from the excavations carried out by Glasgow University under the directorship of Professor Chris Morris with the author. It provides details of building complexes which complement those already visible on the island prior to excavations which commenced in 1990, and which reinforce the extensive nature of the 5-7th century occupation of the site. New reconstruction drawings of the large settlement to which were brought exotic imports form the Mediterranean and Spain – ceramics and glass in particular – provide the background for the 5-7th century. Likewise those for the later massive castle built by Richard, Earl of Cornwall in the mid-13th century help with the understanding of the complex stone walls so visible on the geographically impressive site today.
Historic Govan: Archaeology and Development
Chris Dalglish and Stephen T. Driscoll (2010). Published by the Council for British Archaeology on behalf of Historic Scotland. The book is 173 pages long and illustrated in colour. Price £9.50.
This survey offers a broad-ranging synthesis of the history and archaeology of Govan and aims to interest the general reader and to inform conservation guidance for future development.
The burgh’s origins in the early Christian times are demonstrated by the remarkable and enigmatic series of carved stones contained in Govan Old Parish Church. This church remained a haven of tranquillity during Govan’s remarkable transformation, in less than a century, from a small riverside settlement to the centre of world shipbuilding.
Hofstaðir. Excavations of a Viking Age Feasting Hall in North-Eastern Iceland
Gavin Lucas (ed.) 2009. With contributions by Colleen Batey, Garðar Guðmundsson, Ian T Lawson, Thomas H McGovern and Ian A Simpson. ISSN 1670-8431. Institute of Archaeology, Reykjavík. Monograph No 1. 2009 (440 pp).
This is the first monograph to be published by the Institute of Archaeology in Iceland, and brings together the results of an international collaboration at a well-preserved, but little understood, structure in North Eastern Iceland. The culmination of the work of several multi-disciplinary scholars, this volume sheds light on a site which was identified as a Viking Age pagan temple after excavations by antiquarian Daniel Bruun in 1908. Excavations between 1992 and 2002 re-opened and fully excavated the structural complex which was established in the mid 10th century AD and abandoned some 90 years later.
The monumental aisled hall measures some 40 metres in length, making it the largest in Iceland, and its seven satellite structures provided indication of many aspects of economic exploitation: iron working, textile production as well as animal husbandry. There are proven links with a broad and resource-rich hinterland, which saw coastal marine fauna as well as inland raw materials for artefact production being brought to the site. The site is clearly of high status, as demonstrated through its grand architectural style and access to a varied hinterland, although the material culture assemblage is not particularly impressive. It was clearly a place for large social gatherings and feasting.
Defining a Regional Neolithic: Evidence from Britain and Ireland
K. Brophy and G. Barclay (eds.) 2009. Neolithic Study Group Seminar Papers 9, Oxbow Books
This book is the latest, and ninth, collection of papers from a Neolithic Studies Group day conference. The topic - regional diversity - is an important theme in Neolithic studies today, and embraces traditions of monumentality, settlement patterns and material culture.
The contributors to this volume address issues of regionality through a series of case-studies that focus not on the traditional 'cores' of Wessex and Orkney, but rather on other areas - the 'Irish Sea Zone', Ireland, Scotland, Yorkshire and the Midlands.
K. Brophy is joint co-ordinator of the Neolithic Studies Group.
From Bann Flakes to Bushmills: Papers in Honour of Professor Peter Woodman
Nyree Finlay, Sinead McCartan, Nicky Milner and Caroline Wickham-Jones (eds.) 2009. Prehistoric Society Research Paper 1, Oxbow Books and the Prehistoric Society, ISBN-13: 978-1-84217-355-8, 224p
This volume of papers is dedicated to Peter Woodman in celebration of his contribution to archaeology, providing a glimpse of the many ways in which he has touched the lives of so many. The twenty-one contributions cover many aspects of predominantly Mesolithic archaeology in Ireland, mainland Britain and North-west Europe, reflecting the range and breadth of Peters own interests and the international esteem in which his work is held. His particular interest in antiquarians and the material they collected began early in his career and Part 1 presents papers which deal with artefacts and finds by antiquarians. Part 2 is concerned with papers on fieldwork projects, both new sites and sites which have been re-investigated, predominantly focusing on the Mesolithic period. Part 3 presents papers on the theme of people and animals, particularly the topic of the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition from different angles.
Rural Landscapes of the Punic World
This book offers the first comprehensive overview of rural settlement in the Punic world by bringing together and comparing evidence from across the western Mediterranean. A substantial part of the volume is taken up by a detailed discussion of the literary and archaeological evidence for Punic rural settlement in Sardinia, Sicily, Ibiza, Andalusia and North Africa. It also explores the multiple connections between rural settlement, agrarian organisation and regional colonial situations in order to offer new insights in Carthaginian colonialism and local Punic rural settlement, and their role in the wider Mediterranean context.
By publishing all this evidence and new interpretations in English, this book intends to draw attention to Punic archaeology in general and to these rural studies in particular and to situate them in the wider Mediterranean context of both classical antiquity and Mediterranean archaeology.
Prehistoric and Protohistoric Cyprus: Identity, Insularity, and Connectivity
A. Bernard Knapp 2008. Oxford University Press
A. Bernard Knapp presents a new island archaeology and island history of Bronze Age and early Iron Age Cyprus, set in its Mediterranean context. Drawing out tensions between different ways of thinking about islands, and how they are connected or isolated from surrounding islands and mainlands, Knapp addresses an under-studied but dynamic new field of archaeological enquiry - the social identity of prehistoric and protohistoric Mediterranean islanders.
In treating issues such as ethnicity, migration, and hybridization, he provides an up-to-date theoretical analysis of a wide range of relevant archaeological data. In using historical documents to re-present the Cypriot past, he also offers an integrated archaeological and socio-historical synthesis of insularity and social identity on the Mediterranean's third largest island.
Elginhaugh: a Flavian fort and its Annexe (2 vols)
W.S. Hanson, with K. Speller, P.A. Yeoman and J. Terry. 2007. Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies. Britannia Monograph 23 (London). ISBN 978-0-907764-34-2. 2 vols, 686 pages, 171 line-drawings, 70 tables and 64 plates
Elginhaugh is the most completely excavated timber-built auxiliary fort in the Roman Empire. This report provides an assessment of all the structures, with particular emphasis on the identification of stable-barracks and the implications for the identification of garrisons based on fort plans, while extensive examination of the annexe makes a substantial contribution to the debate about the function of these attached enclosures. Because the occupation is so closely dated (A.D. 79-87), the site provides a very precise dating horizon for the wide range of artefactual material reported on. Of particular importance is the evidence for the local manufacture of coarseware and mortaria, including the identification of a new mortarium potter. An extensive programme of environmental analysis provides insight into issues of local environment and food supply. Finally, there is unique evidence that the site continued to function as a collection centre for animals after the garrison had departed.
A Roman Frontier Fort in Scotland: Elginhaugh
W.S. Hanson, 2007. Tempus (Stroud) ISBN 978-0-7524-4113-9. 159 pages, 7 text figures, 2 tables and 26 colour plates
Elginhaugh is the most completely excavated timber-built auxiliary fort in the Roman Empire. The excavator tells two interrelated stories: the processes involved in the discovery, excavation and interpretation of the evidence from the site and the nature of life on the furthest northern frontier of the Roman empire in late first century AD.
We learn how the fort, garrisoned for less than a decade, fits into the Roman conquest and occupation of Scotland; how it was built and maintained; and about the range of buildings found inside. We are shown how the evidence demonstrates that the garrison, at first thought to be entirely infantry, was in fact cavalry, with the troopers living alongside their horses. We see how the extensive excavation within the fort annexe helps reaffirm the function of these attached enclosures as primarily military rather than for civilian occupation. We learn about the nature and quality of daily life: what the soldiers ate and how they spent their time. Finally, we see the impact of the military presence on the environment and the local population, and how the site continued to function as a centre for taxation in kind even after the garrison had departed.
Excavations at Tintagel Castle, Cornwall, 1990-1999
Rock-perched sea-girt Tintagel is a romantic and magical place that resonates with Arthurian associations – and the archaeological reality is no less intriguing than the legend.
Investigation of the site began in the 1930s, when Dr Ralegh Radford uncovered remains of buildings with significant volumes of eastern Mediterranean and North African pottery of 5th-7th century date, suggesting a western British site of iconic importance in the economy of the late Antique and Byzantine world.
The research presented in this book comes from renewed fieldwork carried out at this promontory site over several seasons between 1990 and 1999, using modern archaeological techniques, together with previously unpublished work from Radford’s private archive, along with that of his architect, J.A. Wright.
This work demonstrated the complexity and variability of building forms and associated occupation at the site and the wide-ranging connections of Tintagel during the 5th-7th centuries, as reflected in the extensive ceramic assemblage, while re-examination of the “Great Ditch” has established that this is the largest promontory or hill-top site of its period.
A unique glass assemblage and a stone with probable imperial inscription to Honorius – later the object of graffiti from three post-Roman personages, Paternus, Coliavus and Artognou – serve as dramatic testimony to the cultural and literary milieu of high-status Dumnonian society in the post Roman period.
Continental and Mediterranean imports to Atlantic Britain and Ireland AD 400–800
Ewan Campbell 2007. Council for British Archaeology Research Report 157. (York)
From the 5th to 8th centuries AD there was a flourishing trading network linking the Atlantic coasts of Britain and Ireland to the Mediterranean and north-west Europe, bringing imported pottery and glass as well as new ideas to these areas. New material is constantly being found in rescue excavations, and it is now recognised that the imports are more widespread and more diverse than previously realised. This monograph is the first comprehensive account of the material, giving full contextual information, linked to an online database. Around 1000 vessels from 150 sites are described, including fine tablewares, drinking vessels and transport containers for luxuries such as dyestuffs, nuts, wine and olive oil. The chronology and typology of the wares are discussed in detail, as the imports are often the most robust dating evidence from sites which are otherwise poor in surviving material culture. The wares catalogued include Phocaean Red Slipware, African Red Slipware, Late Roman Amphorae, sigillées paléochrétiennes grise (D ware), E ware, and glass of Campbell’s Groups A-F. Detailed taphonomic studies, developed here to deal with the problems posed by small assemblages, help to tease out the depositional processes at some of the most significant sites from this era, including Tintagel, Dinas Powys, Whithorn and Dunadd.
The imports reveal aspects of early medieval society which are otherwise missing from the historical record. They show the Atlantic West had widespread contacts with the Byzantine Empire and Merovingian France, belying the view that this area was peripheral or backward in European terms. The trade was controlled from a few nodal sites with royal characteristics, where wealth was accumulated and used to produce the elaborate jewellery characteristic of the west. Through the analysis of the imports we gain significant new insights about the growth of royal power at this formative stage of Insular early medieval states. This book will be an invaluable aid to students and researchers of material culture and trade in early medieval Europe.
Articulating Local Cultures. Power and Identity under the Expanding Roman Republic
Between the 6th and 1st c. B.C. the Roman Republic expanded from a small city-state in central Italy to a major power holding sway over much of the Mediterranean. While the military and political events and the major structural consequences of this expansion have been widely studied, relatively little attention has been given to the specifically local social and cultural developments in all of the affected regions. To be sure, there are questions that have been considered individually, but it is only recently that they have begun to be examined in a systematic fashion and with comparisons made between different regions. The issues relate, for instance, to the incorporation of a given region into the expanding Republic. How did it take place in different regions (including those of the Italian peninsula)? How did it involve the local élites and the social and economic structures on which their power was based? If we look further down the social and economic scales, to what extent were the majority of rural inhabitants of Mediterranean lands affected and how did they cope with the new reality?
This book builds on many previous studies of ‘Romanisation’ in the western Mediterranean, and in that sense we aim to contribute to this strand of Roman archaeology. At the same time, however, the book diverges from mainstream Romanisation research by adopting an explicitly local perspective in order to examine the differences between the ways in which both different regions became part of the Roman Republic and how different social and economic groups within these regional communities were incorporated in the new Republican setting. It is the persistence, transformation or disappearance of pre-existing local cultural traditions, in conjunction with the spread of Roman and Italic traditions and material culture in these regions, that constitute the key theme.
Neolithic Scotland: Timber, Stone, Earth and Fire
Gordon Noble 2006. Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 0 7486 2338 8 Paperback
This account of Scotland's Neolithic period - from its earliest traces around 4000 BC to the transformation of Neolithic society in the Early Bronze Age 1.500 years later - synthesises and interprets excavations and research conducted over the last century and more. It brings together all the available evidence essential to understanding the first farming communities of Scotland. And, using a range of social theory, the author provides a long-term and regionally based interpretation of the period, suggesting new directions in the study of the Neolithic.
After outlining the chronology and material culture of the Neolithic in Europe, Gordon Noble considers its origins in Scotland. He suggests that differences in the nature of the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition explain why the Earlier Neolithic in Scotland is characterised by regionally distinct monumental traditions and, further, that these reflect different conceptions of the world. He uses a longer-term perspective to examine the nature of monumental landscapes in the Later Neolithic, and to consider how Neolithic society as a whole was created and maintained through interactions at places in the landscape where large-scale monuments were built. He ends by considering how the Neolithic was transformed in the Early Bronze Age through the manipulation and re-use of the material remains of the past
The archaeology of a collection: the Keiller–Knowles collection of the National Museum of Ireland
Peter Woodman, Nyree Finlay and Elizabeth Anderson (eds) 2006. Wordwell/National Museums of Ireland. ISBN 1869857976
In 1924 W.J. Knowles’s collection of 30,000 artefacts—the vast bulk of which comprised prehistoric Irish stone tools—was put up for auction in London. As a result, the largest collection of Irish archaeological artefacts was dispersed among a variety of dealers, collectors and museums. One of the purchasers, Alexander Keiller, donated 15,000 objects to the National Museum of Ireland in 1938, a large proportion of which derived from Knowles’s collection.
This book details the history of the Keiller–Knowles Collection, examines the typology and distribution of the artefacts represented, and signals the curatorial lessons to be learnt, regarding both the issue of dispersal and the peculiar problems associated with cataloguing a collection of this size. The significance of the Keiller–Knowles Collection in the broader context of Irish lithic studies is also analysed.
A Crannog of the First Millennium AD: Excavations by Jack Scott at Loch Glashan, Argyll, 1960
Anne Crone and Ewan Campbell, 2005. Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland Monograph. ISBN 0 903903 36 9. 153pp, 59 figs, 36 plates
The early medieval crannog in Loch Glashan was excavated in 1960 by Jack Scott, in advance of dam construction. Originally interpreted as a domestic settlement, the crannog produced a rich organic assemblage of wood and leather objects as well as exotic items such Continental imported pottery and a brooch studded with amber. Tantalising glimpses of this assemblage have appeared in publications over the years but, for the first time all the evidence from the crannog has been drawn together and re-examined. New radiocarbon dates, together with datable artefacts, suggest a complex chronology for the crannog, with activity throughout much of the 1 st millennium AD. This extended chronology is at odds with the scant structural remains which display little evidence of the refurbishment and repair that one might expect had the crannog been occupied for hundreds of years. This apparent conflict is examined, raising general questions about the taphonomy and post-depositional history of crannogs. A new explanation is put forward, suggesting that the visible stratigraphy is the result of a complex sequence of erosion due to the effects of wind and water movement, eroding and dispersing deposits and artefacts.
Re-examination of the artefact assemblage, which comprises the bulk of the evidence from Loch Glashan, has provided many new insights, perhaps the most significant of which is the identification of a leather satchel which may have held books, the oldest surviving example of a type known to have been used by early monks. Its presence on the crannog is puzzling but other artefactual evidence, together with its location, suggests that the crannog may have had a non-domestic function, possibly as a craftworkers site where leather was worked and exotic items for the aristocratic elite of the early medieval kingdom of Dál Riata were produced.
The Archaeology of Mediterranean Prehistory
Emma Blake and A. Bernard Knapp (eds.), 2005. Blackwell Studies in Global Archaeology. ISBN: 9780631232674
This book offers a comprehensive introduction to the archaeology of Mediterranean prehistory and an essential reference to the most recent research and fieldwork.
- Only book available to offer general coverage of Mediterranean prehistory
- Written by 15 of the leading archaeologists in the field
- Spans the Neolithic through the Iron Age, and draws from all the major regions of the Mediterranean's coast and islands
- Presents the central debates in Mediterranean prehistory—trade and interaction, rural economies, ritual, social structure, gender, monumentality, insularity, archaeometallurgy and the metals trade, stone technologies, settlement, and maritime traffic—as well as contemporary legacies of the region's prehistoric past
- Structure of text is pedagogically driven
- Engages diverse theoretical approaches so students will see the benefits of multivocality
The Collection of Cypriote Antiquities in the Hunterian Museum, University of Glasgow
Basak Arda, A. Bernard Knapp and Jennifer M. Webb 2005. (Corpus of Cypriote Antiquities 26, Studies in Mediterranean Archaeology XX:26. Sävedalen: P. Åström’s Förlag)
The Hunterian Museum at the University of Glasgow, Scotland's oldest museum, opened in 1807, and now contains an array of very diverse assemblages and collections. This publication presents all the holdings of Cypriot pottery and other materials in the museum's various collections, and seeks to integrate them into archaeological and museological discussions. The aims of this work are: to integrate a previously unpublished and largely unknown collection of material into the wider spectrum of Cypriot (and Mediterranean) archaeology; to contribute to ongoing efforts to publish Cypriot materials dispersed to museums worldwide in the wake of 19th century colonial practice; and to supplement discussions on the value and uses of unpublished and unprovenanced museum material.
This work originated in Basak Arda's 2003 dissertation for the Taught MPhil course in Mediterranean Archaeology, Department of Archaeology, University of Glasgow (supervised by Professors Elisabeth Moignard (Department of Classics) and A. Bernard Knapp (Department of Archaeology). In this thoroughly revised version of the MPhil dissertation, Knapp, together with Arda, rewrote and restructured the main text, whilst Webb collaborated