Book Review: How Ancient Europeans saw the World

Peter S Wells Princeton University Press, £24.95 ISBN 978-0691143385 As a professor of anthropology, Peter Wells’ interest in neuroscience and cognitive psychology brings a lot of interesting ideas to archaeology. Some might disagree with his rejection of the words ‘art’ and ‘artefact’ as too loaded with modern ‘mental baggage’, yet this bold approach is certainly […]


Book Review: Pharaoh: King of Egypt

Margaret Maitland British Museum Press, £9.99 ISBN 978-0714119984 This small book takes on a huge subject: the role of the pharaoh as head of state, as divine intermediary to the gods, and as military leader. It is a concise, scholarly, yet highly accessible introduction to the subject that aims to ‘look beyond the pharaoh’s dazzling […]


Book Review: Who was who in Egyptology?

Ed. Morris L Bierbrier Egypt Exploration Society, £35 The Egypt Exploration Society has updated their compendium of Egyptologists after a gap of nearly 20 years. Andrew Robinson puts this long-awaited edition to the test. More so than any other ancient civilisation, that of Egypt has been explored, collected, and studied by an amazing variety of […]


Book review: Frontier Life in Ancient Peru: the archaeology of Cerro la Cruz

By Melissa A Vogel University Press of Florida, £64.50 ISBN 978-0813037967   This is the first English-language work on the Casma, a pre-Inca culture that has received little academic attention to-date – something that Melissa Vogel sets out to redress. Focusing on the northernmost part of the polity, Vogel discusses a pivotal period, AD 900-1300, […]


Book review: The Pharaoh: life at court and on campaign

Garry J Shaw Thames & Hudson, £24.95 ISBN 978-0500051740   Garry Shaw’s guide to ancient Egyptian kingship is beautifully illustrated with colour photographs of sculpture, artefacts – including stunning royal regalia – and details of temples and palaces. From the role’s semi-mythological origins with Menes, the ‘first unifier of Egypt’, to its eventual extinguishing amid Roman conquest, […]


Book review: Entangled: an archaeology of the relationships between humans and things

Ian Hodder Wiley-Blackwell, £19.99 ISBN 978-0470672129   Are artefacts a backdrop to society, props used to reconstruct lost ways of life, or is there a more complex interdependency between people and ‘things’? Ian Hodder believes so, examining how people interact with the objects they create, and how pursuit of the material has fired historic and […]


Book Review: Power Games: ritual and rivalry at the Ancient Greek Olympics

David Stuttard British Museum Press, £9.99 ISBN 978-0714122724 They had come to the hilltop to make sacrifice. Now, on this day of days when the world was balanced between light and darkness, the king-priests of Elis had climbed the wooded slopes above Olympia to make their offerings to Kronos, one of the most primeval and […]


Book Review: Wetland Archaeology and Beyond

Francesco Menotti Oxford University Press, £95.00 ISBN 978-0199571017 Wetland archaeology, Menotti writes, is a widely practised but relatively unknown subdiscipline – he produced this book at least in part, he says, because he was sick of constantly having to explain his profession at parties. It is to be hoped that this absorbing new volume will […]


Book Review: Women in Ancient Egypt

Barbara Watterson Amberley, £18.99 ISBN 978-1445604947 This authoritative, accessible book by a freelance lecturer in Egyptology provides a comprehensive and compelling introduction to the world of ancient Egyptian women, who seem to have enjoyed a much more equal role in society than their sisters in other parts of the ancient world. Watterson’s interdisciplinary survey encompasses […]


Book Review: The Ritual Killing and Burial of Animals

Ed. Aleksander Pluskowski Oxbow, £48.00 ISBN 978-1842174449 Animals have been interred with humans in prehistoric and historic societies worldwide. This collection of 16 papers provides a thorough overview of these practices in Europe, spanning a broad chronological period – including Neolithic, Roman, Anglo-Saxon, and Viking sites – as well as a wide geographical area, from […]

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