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Archaeology

In September 2022 Oxbow's bookshop and distribution business merged with Pen & Sword Books, a family run independent publisher of history books. As Casemate UK, this new distribution business will continue to bring you the best books in the field of archaeology and related disciplines from our partner publishers. The Oxbow Books publishing imprint remains as a separate entity, still sold and distributed exclusively by us. Browse the archaeology subjects below, or visit our Ancient History and Medieval History books landing pages in the menus above.

New Perspectives on Ancient Nubia Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9781463243425
Pub Date: 31 Jan 2024
Imprint: Gorgias Press
Series: Gorgias Studies in the Ancient Near East
Ancient Nubia played key political, social, and economic roles in the ancient world, yet knowledge of Nubian societies remains regrettably narrow, with Nubia often disregarded as derivative of Egypt. This volume provides a timely corrective to this outlook, centering Nubian history and archaeology and presenting research from postcolonial and anti-racist perspectives. In addition to demonstrating Nubiology’s potential impact on Egyptological, classical, and biblical scholarship, this volume offers a new window into African achievements and dominance in the ancient world.
Site by site Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9789492940285
Pub Date: 31 Jan 2024
Imprint: Blikvelduitgevers Publishers
This book is a general introduction to archaeological site management and museology in Egypt. It was written with the aim to let archaeologists and site managers preserve the archaeological heritage in their care for future generations and present it in a meaningful way to the public. The book is a useful tool for anyone working in the field of heritage management. It is also a direct reflection of the site management and museological training projects that were organized between 2017 and 2020 by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Cairo and the Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo (NVIC) for the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities (MoA) and several heritage professionals from Egypt and the Netherlands.
The Oseberg Ship Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9788785180773
Pub Date: 31 Jan 2024
Imprint: Viking Ship Museum
Series: Ships & Boats of the North
This volume presents a new reconstruction of the Norwegian Viking-Age ship from Oseberg, dated to 820 AD. In 1987 a full‐scale reconstruction of the ship, was built based on drawings made of the exhibited ship. The reconstruction, Dronningen, capsized and sank during the first test‐sailing, giving rise to many questions, concerning the ships original performance. The purpose of the present work has been to reconstruct the ship’s form and construction anew. In 2012, a new full‐scale reconstruction, Saga Oseberg, was built based on the new reconstruction. The subsequent test‐sailing revealed that the Oseberg Ship was originally technically advanced and seaworthy, and the former skepticism regarding the ship’s sailing abilities can now be disproved.
Fields, Sherds and Scholars. Recording and Interpreting Survey Ceramics Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 160
ISBN: 9789464262100
Pub Date: 15 Jan 2024
Imprint: Sidestone Press
Series: Publications of the Netherlands Institute at Athens
This book is a significant contribution to the field of survey pottery studies, which is not frequently theorised, and could also serve as a guide and provide inspiration to archaeologists designing their own survey projects and methodologies. Landscape archaeology has heavily relied on pedestrian survey as a field method for more than half a century. In most field projects, archaeological ceramics constitute the lion’s share among the finds and the amount of collected sherds is overwhelming. Survey ceramics provide the basis for understanding human activity in a landscape, and sherds serve as convenient chronological markers for the archaeological sites discovered in field projects. However, how this pottery is collected and studied determines the possibilities for using the sherds as a source material. Not only the collection practices, but also the process and practicalities of ceramic analysis are rarely made explicit, even though the archaeological interpretations of human activity in the landscape strongly rely on it. Most contributions in this volume provide an insight in collection, processing and interpretation practices in a specific survey project, and we hope this transparency is inspiring and contributes to a better understanding of surface ceramics as a basis for historical interpretations. Three themes run as a red thread through the contributions in this book: first of all transparency in ceramic collecting, processing and interpretation, secondly, improving diagnosticity, and thirdly, expanding the interpretive potential of survey ceramics. The chapters are geographically oriented towards Greece and Italy, two countries in which archaeological surface survey is widely practised. Chronologically, the contributions range from the Bronze Age to the Medieval period.
The Faroese Boat Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 350
ISBN: 9788785180766
Pub Date: 15 Jan 2024
Imprint: Viking Ship Museum
Series: Ships & Boats of the North
The Faroese boat has been developed and adapted to the special sailing conditions around the Faroe Islands with strong currents and sudden gusts. The boat was primarily developed as a rowing boat but could also be powered by sail. It was built in different sizes, but the boatbuilders always had to rely on materials imported from abroad or in addition use driftwood for various boat components. This volume presents the building and use of the Faroese boat. It shows the boat’s great importance to the Faroese society, for fishing and transporting people and goods. The building process, craftsmanship and seamanship are examined in great detail, and the maritime history of the Faroese Islands from the Viking Age and until the 1970’s are presented.    
Before Temples Cover Before Temples Cover
Format: 
Pages: 280
ISBN: 9789464280616
Pub Date: 20 Dec 2023
Imprint: Sidestone Press
Pages: 280
ISBN: 9789464280609
Pub Date: 20 Dec 2023
Imprint: Sidestone Press
Before the introduction of Roman temples in the Low Countries, there used to be ‘open air cult places’ in the Iron Age. That is at least the assumption based on descriptions given by classical writers and several structures typified as sanctuaries that were excavated in France. Several of these French sanctuaries portray long usage, modifications, disarticulated human remains, and depositions of animal bones and Iron Age weaponry. However, the regularly encountered rectangular structures in Belgium and the Netherlands that are often interpreted as cult places do not have any of these indicators. Even though the shape is similar, the evidence these structures deliver testifies to short term utilisation, pottery depositions and a vaguely defined relation to cremation graves. Can these structures and accompanying depositions be perceived as the result of actions to invoke gods or deities as is claimed for the French sanctuaries? The finds and features seem more suitable when the rectangular structures are interpreted as part of ancestral worship. Although, what does that actually entail? How did Iron Age people actually conceptualise or practise interaction with ancestral spirits? In this thesis the use of rectangular structures during the Iron Age is explored and the meaning of related depositions interpreted. The structures fulfilled a special sociocultural position in Iron Age society, emphasised by the deliberately chosen liminal location in an increasingly structured landscape.

East by West

The New Navigation of Ferdinand Magellan
Format: Paperback
Pages: 224
ISBN: 9781922669407
Pub Date: 15 Dec 2023
Imprint: Australian Scholarly Publishing
Like Columbus, Ferdinand Magellan thought that Europeans could reach the Far East by sailing West. He aspired to dominion, displaying military prowess, navigational skill, powers of persuasion and unwavering determination. Bettering Columbus, his venture led to the circumnavigation of the world by European seamen, the most audacious in maritime history. He proved his theory possible, dying in the process. 500 years have now passed since Magellan’s voyage. Allen Mawer closely examines the historical sources, charts and eyewitness records and considers afresh what we can know of Magellan and the details of his voyage.

In Search of the Last Continent

Australia and Early Antarctic Exploration
Format: Paperback
Pages: 248
ISBN: 9781922669940
Pub Date: 15 Dec 2023
Imprint: Australian Scholarly Publishing
For 70 years powerful countries despatched expeditions to explore the south polar regions. By 1843 they had seen enough to realise that this most remote and impenetrable place offered considerable danger and no strategic or economic benefit. The great nations turned away. In the 1880s Melbourne’s men of science formed a committee to revive interest in Antarctic exploration. They canvassed the colonies and the world in attempts to raise an expedition. Ultimately unsuccessful, they did though inspire the first publicly recorded landing on the Antarctic continent by Henrik Bull and the crew of his whaling expedition. This created a sensation and led to the first overwintering on the Antarctic continent by crewman C.E. Borchgrevink’s expedition. The book outlines early Antarctic exploration and concentrates on Melbourne’s Antarctic Exploration Committee and the voyages of Bull and Borchgrevink.Andrew McConville is a reference and research librarian at the State Library of Victoria. Andrew has a particular interest in the history of 19th century Antarctic exploration.
In the Darkest of Days Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 208
ISBN: 9781789258592
Pub Date: 15 Dec 2023
Imprint: Oxbow Books
This book collects recent works on the subjects of sacrificial offerings, ritualised violence and the relative values thereof in the contexts of Scandinavian prehistory from the Neolithic to the Viking era. It provides a detailed re-appraisal of key aspects of prehistoric bog bodies using the latest forensic and material culture analytical techniques to examine questions of sacrifice, execution and ritual behaviour. The volume re-opens investigations into notions of value relating to diverse evidence and suggested evidence for human sacrifice and related ritualised violence. It covers a broad spectrum of issues relating to novel interpretations of the existing archaeological materials, but with a focus on the study of value and value dynamics in these diverse ritual contexts, engaging in questions of identity, cosmology, economics and social relations. Cases span from the Scandinavian Late Neolithic and Nordic Bronze Age, through to the well-known wetland deposits and bog bodies of the Iron Age, to Viking era executions, ‘deviant’ burials and contemporaneous double/multiple graves, exploring the implications for the transformation of sacrificial practices across Scandinavian prehistory. Each contributor untangles the myriad forms of value at play in different incarnations of human offerings, and provide insights into how those values were expressed, for example in the selection and treatment of victims in relation to their status, personhood, identity and life-history. The volume builds on a workshop hosted at the National Museum of Denmark in 2018 which inaugurated the beginning of the research project ‘Human Sacrifice and Value: The limits of sacred violence’ and was supported by the Museum of Cultural History at the University of Oslo. It brings together research and perspectives that go beyond the who, what and where of most archaeological and anthropological investigations of sacrificial violence to address both the underlying and explicit forms of value associated with such events.
Urban Design Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 84
ISBN: 9789464262339
Pub Date: 15 Dec 2023
Imprint: Sidestone Press
Series: ROOTS Booklet Series
As central places of human interaction, cities influence the reality of our lives like no other phenomenon. They are in a highly complex, reciprocal relationship with changing environmental, social, political, economic and religious constellations. Accordingly, the demands placed on cities and the ideas associated with them are often subject to highly dynamic change. Especially against the backdrop of increasingly rapid urbanisation, shaping this change is one of today’s central challenges and it deserves a prominent position in public discourse. The booklet “Urban Design” aims to show the complexity of this discourse. It invites reflection on the possibilities of designing cities and their impact on the present and the future. To this end, it brings together contributions from very different disciplines, each of which provides their own perspectives on the phenomenon of the city. A basic idea here is that contemporary cities cannot be designed without a deeper understanding of their historical dimension. On a practical level, this entails the (selective) visualisation of the archaeological cultural heritage, with its implications for identity politics. But its is also concerned with the dependence of historical city images on contemporary discourses, for example, religious ideas and their political utilisation or literary imaginations of the urban. Moreover, the booklet also wants to inquire about the direct effects of material urban design on the residents. For instance, design characteristics influence orientation and movement in urban space and thus determine the movement options of handicapped and elderly people. The urban environment also has a direct impact on human health. The extent to which current discourses on environmental problems and climate change are changing the requirements for urban design is exemplified by contributions on the topics of transport and climate-neutral construction. It is to be expected that innovative ideas in these areas, in particular, will change the appearance of the cities of the future in the long term.
Digital Archaeology Cover Digital Archaeology Cover
Format: 
Pages: 136
ISBN: 9789464262285
Pub Date: 23 Nov 2023
Imprint: Sidestone Press
Series: Analecta Praehistorica Leidensia
Pages: 136
ISBN: 9789464262278
Pub Date: 23 Nov 2023
Imprint: Sidestone Press
Series: Analecta Praehistorica Leidensia
Archaeology has gone digital for some time now! Topics such as GIS databases, 3D models, drone photography, meta- and para-data, semantic mapping, text mining, simulation, and social network analysis have become commonplace in archaeological discourse and practice. Digital and technological advancements seemingly offer limitless promises for data recording, analysis and dissemination. Yet, after several decades of innovation, we must ask ourselves which of these promises are actually fulfilled, and which persistent impasses are present. Today, some reflexive questions are more important than ever. In particular, when, how and why do our innovative archaeology tools fail? Do we approach our archaeological projects with a digital wand and (implicitly or explicitly) expect a magical solution? And when there is indeed a digital solution, at what expense does it come?In this volume, scholars and practitioners in the field discuss the state of the art, as well as the promises and impasses that digital approaches to archaeology entail. The authors discuss the current state of teaching digital archaeology, the societal impact of digital innovations, current issues in archaeological data management, promises and limitations of isotopic research and remote sensing techniques, and why subfields such as agent-based modelling and serious gaming struggle to keep momentum.
Vasa II - Rigging and Sailing a Swedish Warship of 1628 Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 472
ISBN: 9789188909114
Pub Date: 20 Nov 2023
Imprint: Nordic Academic Press
When Vasa was raised in 1961 a lost world was revealed in astonishing detail. Among the most remarkable finds were the remains of the rigging. Normally shipwrecks offer only a few clues to the structure above the waterline, but on Vasa the lower masts, a myriad of blocks and deadeyes, hundreds of metres of rope and cable and – most astonishingly – nine sails from the ship and its boat survive. The unique finds provide an unparalleled opportunity to reconstruct the rigging in detail and to form an understanding of how ships were sailed in the seventeenth century. With a sail plan, rigging, and steering gear that are substantially different to the classical full-rigged ship of the nineteenth century, the evidence from Vasa paints a vivid picture of ship-handling in the Age of Sail. Vasa II Part 1 presents more than a thousand finds of wood, metal, and cloth from the most complete rig to survive from before 1800, which form the basis for a complete reconstruction of the rig and sailing performance of a large warship of the 1620s.
Monumental Times Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 160
ISBN: 9798888570388
Pub Date: 15 Nov 2023
Imprint: Oxbow Books
This book is concerned with the origins, uses and subsequent histories of monuments. It emphasises the time scales illustrated by these structures, and their implications for archaeological research. It is concerned with the archaeology of Western and Northern Europe, with an emphasis on structures in Britain and Ireland, and the period between the Mesolithic and the Viking Age.It begins with two famous groups of monuments and introduces the problem of multiple time scales. It also considers how they influence the display of those sites today – they belong to both the present and the past. Monuments played a role from the moment they were created, but approaches to their archaeology led in opposite directions. They might have been directed to a future that their builders could not control. These structures could be adapted, destroyed, or left to decay once their significance was lost. Another perspective was to claim them as relics of a forgotten past. In that case they had to be reinterpreted.The first part of this book considers the rarity of monumental structures among hunter-gatherers, and the choice of building materials for Neolithic houses and tombs. It emphasises the difference between structures whose erection ended the use of significant places, and those whose histories could extend into the future. It also discusses ‘megalithic astronomy’ and ancient notions of time. Part Two is concerned with the reuse of ancient monuments and asks whether they really were expressions of social memory. Did links with an ‘ancestral past’ have much factual basis? It contrasts developments during the Beaker phase with those of the early medieval period. The development of monumental architecture is compared with the composition of oral literature.
Revisiting Grooved Ware Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 240
ISBN: 9798888570326
Pub Date: 31 Oct 2023
Imprint: Oxbow Books
Series: Neolithic Studies Group Seminar Papers
Following its appearance, arguably in Orkney in the 32nd century cal BC, Grooved Ware soon became widespread across Britain and Ireland, seemingly replacing earlier pottery styles and being deposited in contexts as varied as simple pits, passage tombs, ceremonial timber circles and henge monuments. As a result, Grooved Ware lies at the heart of many ongoing debates concerning social and economic developments at the end of the 4th and during the first half of the 3rd millennia cal BC.Stemming from the 2022 Neolithic Studies Group autumn conference, and following on from Cleal and MacSween’s 1999 NSG volume on Grooved Ware, this book presents a series of papers from researchers specializing in Grooved Ware pottery and the British and Irish Neolithic, offering both regional and thematic perspectives on this important ceramic tradition. Chapters cover the development of Grooved Ware in Orkney as well as the timing and nature of its appearance, development, and subsequent demise in different regions of Britain and Ireland. In addition, thematic papers consider what Grooved Ware can contribute to understandings of inter-regional interactions during the earlier 3rd millennium cal BC, the possible meaning of Grooved Ware’s decorative motifs, and the thorny issue of the validity and significance of the various Grooved Ware sub-styles.The book will be of great value not only to archaeologists and students with a specific interest in Grooved Ware pottery but also to those with a more general interest in the development of the Neolithic of Britain and Ireland.