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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.

The Archaeology of Wild Birds in Britain and Ireland Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9781789259568
Pub Date: 15 May 2023
Imprint: Oxbow Books
Renowned archaeologist, Dale Serjeantson, tells the story of human engagement with birds from the end of the last Ice Age to around AD 1650. In this book, she integrates the study of archaeological bird remains with ethnography and the history of birds and avian biology. It identifies changing patterns of wetland, water bird and game species through time, and in addition to their food value, examines our changing interactions with them. This includes considering evidence for use of bird body parts in religious rituals; taboos, totemism and superstitions surrounding eating certain species; their capture and role in falconry and as companion animals; and their importance in the economy from the Viking period onwards. Essential reading for archaeologists, zooarchaeologists, and historians, it is an eye-opening, accessible introduction to the archaeology of wild birds in Britain and Ireland for anyone interested in our natural history.
Variant scholarship Cover Variant scholarship Cover
Format: 
Pages: 240
ISBN: 9789464270464
Pub Date: 19 Apr 2023
Imprint: Sidestone Press
Pages: 240
ISBN: 9789464270457
Pub Date: 19 Apr 2023
Imprint: Sidestone Press
Since the eighteenth century, many if not most ancient and medieval manuscripts or other text-bearing or associated objects have been procured through imperial expropriation or through the antiquities market with little or no evidence of findspot or place of original deposition and with no assurance of legal provenance or authenticity. The consequences of these questionable acquisition practices for scholarship and for our understanding of the past are the focus of much enquiry. Recent high-profile acquisitions (and subsequent returns) of text-bearing objects by prominent private collectors and museums and the appearance on the market of demonstrably modern forgeries have resulted in increased scrutiny of the intellectual and commercial impacts of academic engagement. Scholarly research can abet the antiquities market directly or indirectly through identification, authentication and legitimation of illegally traded text-bearing objects. These harmful complications of well-established academic practice raise important questions about how and even if the academy should engage with ancient texts and text-bearing objects of uncertain provenance. Through a wide-ranging set of case studies, variant scholarship focuses on the methodological, theoretical, and ethical dilemmas facing scholars when working with ancient texts in modern contexts. This book is intended for those interested in the historical practices of research into ancient manuscripts, ethical quandaries in studying unprovenanced textual materials, and the unintended consequences of scholarly interactions with problematic text-bearing objects.
Textiles in Motion Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 224
ISBN: 9781789257984
Pub Date: 15 Apr 2023
Imprint: Oxbow Books
Series: Ancient Textiles
Dress is at the core of dance. It adorns dancers, defines various roles and forms symbolic expressions that, for example, either bind people together or opposes them. It is a communicative tool that gives crucial information for understanding the dance as well as the culture and the sociological effects of a group of people. As such, dress transcends how it is seen visually to address what is being communicated. Nonetheless, studies in ancient dance have rarely taken clothing into consideration.   This volume provides new perspectives and insights on ancient dances and their ancient textiles. Comprehension of ancient dance benefits from investigations undertaken through the lens of dress, and research on ancient dress is understood through its relation to body movement and performative rituals, thus reinforcing the progressive integration of an anthropological and sociological dimension into historical analysis of ancient textiles. For the first time, the two-way transfer of knowledge between dance studies and costume studies is connected via an innovative approach. Among the issues that are specifically addressed are the movement design of dress for dance, its sensory experience, gender and identity, re-enactment and reception.   The chronological range of the book is focused on the ancient world (3rd-millennium BC to 5th-century AD), with a broad geographical definition in order to promote a comparative, interdisciplinary approach and cross-cultural dialogue.
The Drowning of a Cornish Prehistoric Landscape Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9781789259230
Pub Date: 15 Apr 2023
Imprint: Oxbow Books
Series: Prehistoric Society Research Papers
Between 2018 and 2019, Cornwall Archaeological Unit undertook two projects at Mount’s Bay, Penwith. The first involved the excavation of a Bronze Age barrow and the second, environmental augur core sampling in Marazion Marsh. Both sites lie within an area of coastal hinterland, which has been subject to incursions by rising sea levels. Since the Mesolithic, an area of approximately 1 kilometre in extent between the current shoreline and St Michael’s Mount has been lost to gradually rising sea levels. With current climate change, this process is likely to occur at an increasing rate. Given their proximity, the opportunity was taken to draw the results from the two projects together along with all available existing environmental data from the area.   For the first time, the results from all previous palaeoenvironmental projects in the Mount’s Bay area have been brought together. Evidence for coastal change and sea level rise is discussed and a model for the drowning landscape presented. In addition to modelling the loss of land and describing the environment over time, social responses including the wider context of the Bronze Age barrow and later Bronze Age metalwork deposition in the Mount’s Bay environs are considered. The effects of the gradual loss of land are discussed in terms of how change is perceived, its effects on community resilience, and the construction of social memory and narratives of place. The volume presents the potential for nationally significant environmental data to survive, which demonstrates the long-term effects of climate change and rising sea levels, and peoples’ responses to these over time.
The Submerged Site of La Marmotta (Rome, Italy) Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 168
ISBN: 9781789258714
Pub Date: 15 Apr 2023
Imprint: Oxbow Books
The shift from a hunting and gathering economy to a productive economy, based on the domestication of plants and animals, is one of the most important changes in human history. This change, which manifested itself in different forms and at different times in different areas of the Old and New Worlds, is still a subject of debate and discussion today. How and why does such a profound change occur in the relationship with the environment and the land? Could the arrival of foreign settlers with a mature and structured Neolithic cultural heritage be the cause of this change in the Mediterranean?The archaeological excavations conducted at the settlement of La Marmotta (Anguillara Sabazia, Rome, Italy), today submerged under the waters of Lake Bracciano, represents one of the most relevant Neolithic villages of the entire Mediterranean. The exceptional nature of this site is given by the conservation of the organic remains. Not only are the piles and architectural remains of the houses well preserved at La Marmotta, but so are small finds and fragile artefacts such as spoons, textile crafts, baskets, ropes, sickles and bows. In addition, there are a huge variety of remains of both animal and vegetal nature, such as seeds, spikelets, bundles of wheat and other plants, possible cheese and milk derivatives and other mixtures of foodstuff. This set of materials has an enormous potential for changing and deepening our understanding of the first farming societies, of their technological complexity, their know-hows, their lifestyle and food habits. Thanks to La Marmotta it is truly possible to rewrite the evolution of techniques for processing plants and wood during prehistoric times. Until now, published information on the site is very limited and partial. The main aim of this book is to make visible the extreme richness of the La Marmotta archaeological record and provide insights into Neolithic woodworking, basketry, textile production and other crafting and subsistence activities.
Archaeology Without Digging Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 144
ISBN: 9781789259261
Pub Date: 15 Mar 2023
Imprint: Oxbow Books
Over the last 30 years, the Connecticut Office of State Archaeology and the Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service have entered into a partnership employing ground-penetrating radar (GPR) to the study of the state’s archaeology and history. As a result, many historical cemeteries and places of note in Connecticut have been investigated. The authors have selected 10 geophysical surveys, which have used GPR as a non-intrusive, non-destructive exploratory tool, that have elicited positive results in the search for unmarked burials, confirmation of marked burials and to authenticate areas of known historical events.This book narrates the stories of GPR studies at 10 historical sites in Connecticut, spanning the 17th to the 20th centuries. Each chapter investigates and highlights a ‘history mystery’ and differing aspects of our research, including the ‘lost’ grave of an African-American Revolutionary War veteran, the verification of French Revolutionary War military personnel in a mass grave, the detection of a below-ground hidden 19th-century family burial tomb, the discovery of hurriedly dug, unmarked burials associated with the 1918 influenza pandemic and the detection of the unknown location of a 1941 military plane crash site, among others.Professionally, the authors have over 40 years’ experience in GPR, soil science and archaeology. They bring their collective expertise to the reader in a scientific approach with a personal, story-telling touch. Each chapter delves into the history of the sites and the nature of the geophysical search (i.e., how the equipment was used) and the interpretation of the data in regard to solving a historical problem.
The Marriage Bed of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 168
ISBN: 9781789257922
Pub Date: 15 Mar 2023
Imprint: Oxbow Books
The Henry VII and Elizabeth of York marriage bed, rediscovered in 2010, is an exceptional piece of late medieval English royal furniture: no other equivalent example of secular domestic furniture is known to have survived, and, indeed, precious little woodwork from this period remains outside of ecclesiastical settings. As a tour-de-force of medieval royal woodwork, the bed offers an unprecedented insight into elite domestic furniture from this period. Since its rediscovery, the bed has been subjected to a wide array of investigation by furniture specialists, medieval historians, design historians and scientists. Emerging from a decade-long multidisciplinary research project, this book is the first sustained account of the bed: it shows how numerous disciplines covering the arts and conservation sciences can be brought together to assess and interpret such rare historic survivals. Broken down into thematic chapters, the book explores the bed’s form and structure, context, iconography, wood, paint, physical history, provenance – including its curious reproduction by George Shaw in Victorian England – and relationship with known surviving Tudor furniture, as well as Georgian and Victorian Gothic Revival beds. Although thought to be a 19th-century fake, this book presents historical, archival and scientific evidence to show, beyond doubt, the bed’s late medieval age. Whilst grounded upon research presented at a 2019 conference funded by the Institute of Conservation and held at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the book incorporates additional historical and scientific discoveries made since the conference. Written by a range of scientists, historians and specialist researchers, this volume is a multi-disciplinary work of immeasurable value to readers from numerous disciplines.
Contemporary Philosophy for Maritime Archaeology Cover Contemporary Philosophy for Maritime Archaeology Cover
Format: 
Pages: 344
ISBN: 9789464270402
Pub Date: 14 Mar 2023
Imprint: Sidestone Press
Pages: 344
ISBN: 9789464270396
Pub Date: 14 Mar 2023
Imprint: Sidestone Press
While terrestrial archaeology has engaged with contemporary philosophy, maritime archaeology has remained in comparative disciplinary – or subdisciplinary – isolation. However, the issues that humans face in the Anthropocene – from global warming to global pandemics – call for transdisciplinary cooperation, and for thinking together beyond the confines of the human-centered philosophical tradition. Growing areas such as the “blue humanities” and “oceanic thinking” draw directly on our maritime past, even as they ponder the future. Theoretically engaged maritime archaeologists could contribute significantly to these areas of thought, as this volume demonstrates. The essays collected here serve as jumping off point, which opens new ways for maritime archaeologists to engage with the most important problems of our time and to benefit from the new insights offered by object-oriented and flat ontologies. The book gathers the analytical thinking of archaeologists, philosophers, marine biologists, and media theorists, and pushes those observations deep into the maritime realm. The contributions then branch out, like tentacles or corals, reaching into the lessons of oil spills, cephalopod hideouts, shipwreck literature, ruined monuments, and beached plastics. The volume concludes with a series of critical responses to these papers, which pushes the dialogue into new areas of inquiry. Taken as a whole, the volume emphasizes that the study of the past is more relevant than ever because serious consideration of our watery world and all its inhabitants is increasingly necessary for our collective survival. This volume takes the first steps toward this reckoning and, as such, it promises to be an important new contribution to lecture and conference halls around the world where oceans and the Anthropocene are under study.

Bold and Lucky

Australia’s Colonial Navy 1824–1831
Format: Paperback
Pages: 156
ISBN: 9781922669612
Pub Date: 02 Mar 2023
Imprint: Australian Scholarly Publishing
A prequel to his ‘World’s end’: British military outposts in the ‘ring fence’ around Australia 1824–1849, this book by prize-winning historian and keen sailor Alan Powell celebrates the small ships of Australia’s colonial navy. Brigs, cutters, schooners and sloops were pressed into service in a rag-tag assembly of ‘seagoing maids of all work’, cramped and overloaded with provisions, building materials, livestock and even convicts. The crews of these ‘doughty little craft’ sailed with courage and often blind faith in their ultimate survival as they toiled through some of the world’s most treacherous seas to deliver life-preserving supplies to the military outposts that ringed Australia in the early nineteenth century.
Revealing Christian Heritage Cover Revealing Christian Heritage Cover
Format: 
Pages: 110
ISBN: 9789464261585
Pub Date: 15 Feb 2023
Imprint: Sidestone Press
Pages: 110
ISBN: 9789464261578
Pub Date: 15 Feb 2023
Imprint: Sidestone Press
This volume collects different case studies of rediscovery of Christian antiquities between 1860-1930 in Europe and the Mediterranean basin, in order to stimulate reflections about the impact of these rediscoveries on our culture in a period of great political transition. By turning the light on lesser-known stories on a wider European and Mediterranean horizon (Greece, Holy Land, Eritrea, Malta, Norway), this book gives a strong contribution to the history of Christian archaeology. All articles deal with many topics of the field (museology, cultural heritage protection law, history of religious orders, field archaeology, military explorations), and therefore offer a strong interdisciplinary cut. This book is first product of the international online workshop series “Revealing Christian Heritage. Talks on the rediscovery of Christian archaeology between 1860-1930”.
From Hunter-Gatherers to Early Christians Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 240
ISBN: 9781914427220
Pub Date: 31 Jan 2023
Imprint: Windgather Press
Jutting out some thirty miles into the Irish Sea, from the western edge of Snowdonia, the Llŷn Peninsula, in north-west Wales, is renowned for its stunning beaches and countryside, with much of its landscape designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The peninsula is also home to a remarkable and abundant collection of archaeological sites and monuments, some of national importance, which bear witness to the ancient societies who once inhabited this narrow finger of land on the western fringe of Britain.   This abundantly illustrated book examines this rich corpus of archaeological evidence, beginning with the faint but fascinating traces that Mesolithic hunter-gatherers have left in the landscape of the Llŷn Peninsula and ending in the early medieval period, with about 9,000 years of human habitation thus covered in its pages. In the course of the book, we will encounter a wealth of fascinating archaeological evidence, which includes impressive megalithic tombs and an axe ‘factory’ from the Neolithic; burial mounds and mysterious standing stones from the Early Bronze Age; rural settlements and magnificent hillforts occupied in the Iron Age and Romano–British period; and memorial stones erected by early Christian communities.   Much more besides will be found in the pages of this volume, which throws considerable light on the ancient peoples of the Llŷn Peninsula, and the rich archaeological heritage of this special part of the United Kingdom, which has much to offer those who are interested in the distant lives of our ancestors.
Sailing the Monsoon Winds in Miniature Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 180
ISBN: 9780861592302
Pub Date: 15 Jan 2023
Imprint: British Museum Press
Series: British Museum Research Publications
Models of non-European watercrafts are commonly found in museum collections in the UK and throughout the world. These objects are understudied, rarely used in museum displays and at risk of disposal. In addition, there are several gaps in current understanding of traditional watercraft from the Indian Ocean, the region spanning from East Africa through to western Australia. Using models of a range of boats from 13 museum collections throughout the UK, this book considers the value of these objects for both researchers and museums. The book explores how models can help us to understand traditional boats and boat-building practices, some of which no longer exist. Two case studies investigate a number of ideas about the physical attributes of these objects and how representative they are of full-size vessels. In addition, the wider cultural processes and contexts of the models are considered, including ideas about collecting, miniaturisation and the iconic symbolism of watercraft. The aim of this publication is to encourage the use of models of boats from the Indian Ocean and throughout the world in future studies of traditional watercraft. At the same time, the research presented here will help museums to re-evaluate the significance of model boats in their collections, and to use them in displays in the future to explore a range of narratives.
Ancient DNA and the European Neolithic Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 208
ISBN: 9781789259100
Pub Date: 15 Dec 2022
Imprint: Oxbow Books
Series: Neolithic Studies Group Seminar Papers
The current paradigm-changing ancient DNA revolution is offering unparalleled insights into central problems within archaeology relating to the movement of populations and individuals, patterns of descent, relationships and aspects of identity – at many scales and of many different kinds. The impact of recent ancient DNA results can be seen particularly clearly in studies of the European Neolithic, the subject of contributions presented in this volume. We now have new evidence for the movement and mixture of people at the start of the Neolithic, as farming spread from the east, and at its end, when the first metals as well as novel styles of pottery and burial practices arrived in the Chalcolithic. In addition, there has been a wealth of new data to inform complex questions of identities and relationships. The terms of archaeological debate for this period have been permanently altered, leaving us with many issues. This volume stems from the online day conference of the Neolithic Studies Group held in November 2021, which aimed to bring geneticists and archaeologists together in the same forum, and to enable critical but constructive inter-disciplinary debate about key themes arising from the application of advanced ancient DNA analysis to the study of the European Neolithic. The resulting papers gathered here are by both geneticists and archaeologists. Individually, they form a series of significant, up-to-date, period and regional syntheses of various manifestations of the Neolithic across the Near East and Europe, including particularly Britain and Ireland. Together, they offer wide-ranging reflections on the progress of ancient DNA studies, and on their future reach and character.