Current Approaches to People, Places and Things in the Early Medieval Period: Proceedings of the 12th Annual Early Medieval Archaeology Student Symposium. Edited by: Heather Christie and Megan Kasten
The Early Medieval Archaeology Student Symposium was created in 2007 to provide a platform for research students and early career archaeologists focusing on the early medieval period (c. AD 300 - 1200) to discuss and present their work. Over the years, the symposium has become a major event at which new and interdisciplinary research is presented in the field. The 12th Annual Early Medieval Archaeology Student Symposium (EMASS 2018) was held in Glasgow from 19 - 21 April and was jointly hosted by the University of Glasgow and the Glasgow School of Art. Twenty-one papers and four posters by a total of forty individuals were presented over two days, of which nine are included in this volume. These papers highlight interdisciplinary theoretical and methodological approaches which have led to new and innovative research on the early medieval period.
Beale, G., Schofield, J. and Austin, J. (2019) The archaeology of the digital periphery: computer mice and the archaeology of the early digital era. Journal of Contemporary Archaeology, 5(2), pp. 154-173.
Glatz, C. et al. 2019 Babylonian encounters in the Upper Diyala River valley: Contextualizing the results of regional survey and the 2016-2017 excavations at Khani Masi. American Journal of Archaeology 123.3
Archibald, D., Driscoll, S.T. , Doherty, C. and Perry, M. (2018) Dossier on Govan Young: Exploring children’s historical consciousness through film and archaeology. Film Education Journal, 1(2), pp. 193-208
Finlay, N., Campbell, E., Ceron-Carrasco, R., Housley, R., Huggett, J. and Smith, C. (2018) Iron Age occupation evidence from Port Lobh, Colonsay (Scottish Inner Hebrides). Scottish Archaeological Journal
Perruchini, E., Glatz, C., Hald, M.M., Casana, J. and Toney, J.L. 2018. Revealing invisible brews: A new approach to the chemical identification of ancient beer. Journal of Archaeological Science 100: 176-190.
In a break away from the traditional mono-disciplinary scope of academic enquiry, this volume sets forth a challenge for practitioners within, and outwith archaeology to develop multi-disciplinary approaches in the study of identity in general and aspects in the formation of national identity in particular. The entanglement of identity and nationhood is explored from the prehistory of northern Britain; the establishment of a proto-Scottish identity in the early Middle Ages; facets of Scottish identity at home and in the wider diaspora of Empire; and the more recent heralding of Scottish identity as a multiethnic construction. Set against the backdrop of a groundswell change in the Scottish political landscape and the unprecedented, and largely unexpected, energised and proactive politicisation of the Scottish electorate in the lead up to and aftermath of the 2014 Independence Referendum, the volume is a timely and relevant contribution to discussions of national identities. By bringing together specialists covering a wide array of time periods and subject specialisms, we transcend the concept of identity. This is achieved by exploring the links of nationhood and Scottish identity in the early 20th and 21st Centuries in the ongoing quest for independence demonstrating the political manipulation of history, imagery and mythology entangled in political propaganda.
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
Kenneth Brophy, Gavin MacGregor and Ian Ralston (eds.) 2016. ISBN: 9780748685721. Edinburgh University Press. 320p, 234 x 156 mm, 66 bw Ill.
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
Claudia Glatz (ed) 2015. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press. ISBN: 9781629580906. pp304.
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.