The Med in history featured

The Mediterranean in History by David Abulafia (ed.)

Nine chapters, each by a different authority, tackle succeeding eras from early prehistory more than 3,000 years ago to the ‘globalized Mediterranean’ of the 21st century – though it ends just before the sad plight of refugees who risk their lives on these dangerous waters today. Each section is deftly stitched together and commented on by the editor, who concludes with his own […]

Death rituals featured

Death Rituals, Social Order and the Archaeology of Immortality in the Ancient World, by Colin Renfrew, Michael J Boyd, and Iain Morley (eds)

Bookended by Man Booker Prize winner Ben Okri, this collection begins with his poem, concludes with his essay, includes a reference to Damien Hirst’s pickled shark The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, and follows a conference called Death shall have no dominion, the title of a Dylan Thomas poem. Such literary and artistic references are apt: this […]


Book Review: Prehistory: The Making of the Human Mind

Prehistory: The Making of the Human Mind Colin Renfrew The Folio Society Ltd, £29.95 This beautiful new edition of Professor Renfrew’s Prehistory is a bookshelf essential for anyone interested in the questions and theories behind the cultural evolution of humankind. Here, Renfrew lends his expertise of archaeological theory, genetics, linguistics and radiocarbon dating to the vast […]

Book Review: Exchange Networks and Local Transformations

Exchange Networks and Local Transformations Maria Emanuela Alberti and Serena Sabatini Oxbow Books, £38.00 ISBN 978-1842174852   Exploring the complex web of social, commercial, and cultural contacts that existed between the peoples of Bronze and Iron Age Europe, this collection of articles neatly integrates archaeological theory with discoveries from the field. It is a wide-ranging […]

Book Review: Horemheb: the forgotten pharaoh

Horemheb: The Forgotten Pharaoh Charlotte Booth Amberley, £9.99 ISBN 978-1445610184   Coming to the throne shortly after Akhenaten and Tutankhamun, Horemheb is often overshadowed by his more famous predecessors. Yet his 15-year reign was vital in restoring stability to Egypt after the dramatic cultural and social changes of the Amarna period, Charlotte Booth writes in […]

Book Review: The Oxford Handbook of Wetland Archaeology

The Oxford Handbook of Wetland Archaeology Francesco Menotti and Aidan O’Sullivan (eds) Oxford University Press, £110.00
 ISBN 978-0199573493    Wetland sites are found on every continent except Antarctica, encompassing a huge range of environments. These waterlogged landscapes are ideal for preserving organic materials such as wood and leather, making them a treasure trove for archaeologists. […]

Book Review: The Glory of Byzantium and Early Christendom

The Glory of Byzantium and Early Christendom Antony Eastmond Phaidon Press, £59.95 ISBN 978-0714848105 Spanning the 4th-15th centuries, from the late Roman Empire to the Renaissance, the Byzantine Empire witnessed colossal cultural changes. Nowhere are these shifts reflected more clearly than in the art of its inhabitants, which sheds light on their interests, social structures, […]

Book Review: Rock Art and Seascapes in Uppland

Rock Art and Seascapes in Uppland Johan Ling Oxbow Books, £20.00 ISBN 978-1842175132 Sweden boasts a stunning array of Early Bronze Age artwork, with rocky outcrops crammed with images of boats, people, and animals (CWA 54). In this slender new volume, Johan Ling provides a detailed study of the imagery on around 80 rock panels […]


Book Review: The Twelve Caesars

The Twelve Caesars Matthew Dennison Atlantic Books, £9.99 ISBN 978-1848876859 The legends surrounding the first 12 rulers of the Roman Empire are legion. Called capricious, murderous, even mad by (not entirely disinterested) contemporary sources, their reputations lend colour to an already dramatic period of history. But what were Julius Caesar, Caligula, and Nero really like? […]


Book Review: Death and Dying in the Neolithic Near East

Death and Dying in the Neolithic Near East Karina Croucher Oxford University Press, £80.00 ISBN 978-0199693955 The Neolithic was a time of seismic change in human development, when sedentary farming took over from a nomadic, hunter-gatherer lifestyle. How a society treats its dead reflects the beliefs of the living, so can this transition be seen […]


Book Review: How to be a Viking: The Norse warrior’s unofficial manual

How to be a Viking: The Norse warrior’s unofficial manual John Haywood Thames & Hudson, £12.95 ISBN 978-0500251942 If you’ve ever wondered how to choose the right sword, or how best to organise your army into an effective swine-wedge (who hasn’t?), this book is the one for you. From what to expect on sea voyages […]


Book Review: Greeks & Parthians in Mesopotamia and Beyond: 331 BC-224 AD

Greeks & Parthians in Mesopotamia and Beyond: 331 BC-224 AD Wolfram Grajetzki Bristol Classical Press, £16.99 ISBN: 978-0715639474 Who were the Parthians? The Parthians are one of the forgotten peoples of history. When Alexander destroyed the Persian Empire in the 330s, Greek influence spread over the Persian world, and the Persians tend to be forgotten […]

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