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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.

Seventeenth-century Water Gardens and the Birth of Modern Scientific thought in Oxford Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 240
ISBN: 9781914427169
Pub Date: 15 Nov 2022
Imprint: Windgather Press
Based on a decade of archaeological investigation and historical research, this book tells the story of the Copes of Hanwell Castle in north Oxfordshire and the creation of a garden with links to the development of scientific thinking in Oxford in the late seventeenth century. New research using Robert Plot’s Natural History of Oxfordshire as a starting point has uncovered details of a remarkable family and their rise and tragic downfall, their social circle, that included some great names in the development of early scientific thinking, and their garden that in effect became a place dedicated to the wonders of technology.   The complex tale weaves together the activities of a royalist agent, Richard Allestree, a prodigious musician, Thomas Baltzar, John Claridge, a Hanwell Shepherd with a penchant for weather forecasting, and Sir Anthony Cope who in an atmosphere of secrecy and distrust began to gather together a community that eventually was named by Plot as The New Atlantis, a reference to a book published earlier in the century by Sir Francis Bacon in which he suggests a model for a Utopian science-focused society.   The book also chronicles the programme of archaeological excavation that has uncovered several unusual garden features and, most significantly of all, describes in detail the unique collection of seventeenth-century terracotta garden urns, an assemblage that is unparalleled in post-medieval archaeology. This collection was destroyed in a single episode of vandalism around 1675 and has been preserved in deeply buried deposits of mud and silt. Their analysis and reconstruction is opening new insights into the decorative schemes of seventeenth-century gardens. There is coverage of other gardens of the period and their surviving features as well as an examination of early science and how gardens impacted on its development in many ways.
The Dean and Canons' Houses of St George's Chapel, Windsor Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 176
ISBN: 9781789258653
Pub Date: 15 Nov 2022
Imprint: Oxbow Books
The College of St George at Windsor Castle was founded by Edward III in 1348 to support the newly created Order of the Garter, and to this day fulfils the same primary purpose. The domestic buildings provided for the Warden, Canons and Priest-Vicars – now the Deanery and Canons Cloister – are an astonishing survival: despite enlargement and alteration over the centuries, a significant amount of the mid-fourteenth-century fabric survives, though often hidden from view. A recent programme of refurbishment and conservation revealed much hitherto unknown evidence for the way the buildings were constructed, their fittings and decoration and their subsequent evolution. The author maintained a continuous ‘watching brief’ throughout the refurbishment works, the results of which are published here for the first time.   The archaeological evidence is supplemented by the excellent survival of documentation, both for the initial construction of the buildings and their subsequent development: we know the precise date of each stage of construction, the cost and even the names of the workmen involved. The post-medieval history of the buildings is also highly significant, and for this period we have the benefit of knowing more about the deans and canons who influenced the ways their dwellings developed, and of a continued wealth of documentary evidence.
The Emperor Nero's Pottery and Tilery at Little London, Pamber, by Silchester, Hampshire Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 216
ISBN: 9780907764502
Pub Date: 28 Oct 2022
Imprint: Roman Society Publications
Series: Britannia Monographs
Previously suspected on the basis of a tile stamped with the name and titles of the emperor Nero found alongside other brick and tile in the ploughsoil, excavation of two tile kilns at Little London near Silchester, Hampshire confirmed production during the reign of Nero. In addition to the manufacture of standard bricks and roofing materials, the kilns produced the more specialist materials required for building bath-houses. Work on the fabrics and distinctive, roller-stamped flue-tiles shows that products reached a wide variety of destinations between Cirencester, some 100 km to the north-west, and Chichester, on the south coast, though Silchester appears to have been the main market and is the only location where Nero-stamped tile has so far been found. A suggestion is made linking the stamped tile to the visit to Britain by the emperor’s trusted freedman, Polyclitus in the aftermath of the Boudican revolt. An unexpected discovery was the ancillary production from at least three pottery kilns of a wide range of pre-Flavian domestic wares, so far only identified in Silchester and its environs. Alongside the publication of the kilns there are illustrated catalogues of the complete range of brick and tile types produced as well as of the pottery. Other reports include analysis of the fuels used and a suite of radiocarbon dates which support the pottery evidence for production ceasing in the early Flavian period. Analysis of the numerous animal foot-impressions on the bricks presents one aspect of the environment of the kilns.
Ancient Olive Presses and Oil Production Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 176
ISBN: 9781915808004
Pub Date: 25 Oct 2022
Imprint: British Institute for Libyan and Northen African Studies
This masterly study presents the first comprehensive overview of olive oil production in Cyrenaica, North-East Libya, during the mid to late Roman period. The evidence collected by the author overturns previous assumptions about the small-scale of this industry and convincingly demonstrates its economic importance in both urban and rural settings. The typology and characteristics of Cyrenaican pressing elements and gazetteer of sites confirm this work as an essential reference volume for studies of ancient production and open up questions about the Cyrenaica’s role in producing olive oil for local, regional and Mediterranean markets.
Defining Spaces in Iron Age Northumberland Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 160
ISBN: 9781789258561
Pub Date: 15 Oct 2022
Imprint: Oxbow Books
The Iron Age settlements excavated by Headland Archaeology (UK) Ltd at Morley Hill and Lower Callerton lie within the rich later prehistoric landscape of the Northumberland coastal plain. This monograph presents the results of the excavation, specialist analyses and provides a key dataset upon which to discuss regionally and nationally important later prehistoric research themes. The excavations at Morley Hill and Lower Callerton offer two large-scale new datasets to compare within the corpus of enclosed Iron Age settlement sites across the region, allowing for an increased understanding of settlement patterns, architectural forms and farming practices. These include settlement development, longevity and tempo; the relationship between lowland and upland sites; settlement organisation and identity; roundhouse architecture and the impact of contact with the Roman world.   At Morley Hill, work revealed two later Iron Age settlements defined by rectilinear enclosures surrounding groups of roundhouses with evidence for earlier phases of activity. The settlements at Morley Hill are comparable to many such distinctive settlements identified across the region and explored in recent years largely through developer-funded excavations. Lower Callerton represents a less explored form of extensive settlement with the excavation revealing evidence of earlier prehistoric activity overlain by a large Iron Age enclosure with over 53 structures, multiple sub-enclosures and boundaries. Comprehensive Bayesian modelling at Lower Callerton has provided a robust chronological framework indicating complex and continual settlement development from the middle Iron Age. The implications of this in terms of wider settlement development, tempo and longevity are explored. While the volume focuses on the Iron Age, the identification and influence of earlier prehistoric activity is also explored. The discussion is again enhanced by the programme of radiocarbon dating and isotopic analysis of cereal grains from Neolithic pits at Lower Callerton.
From House Societies to States Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 312
ISBN: 9781789258622
Pub Date: 15 Oct 2022
Imprint: Oxbow Books
Series: Multidisciplinary Approaches to Ancient Societies (MAtAS)
The organisation and characteristics of early and ancient states have become the focus of a renewed interest from archaeologists, ancient historians and anthropologists in recent years. On the one hand, neo-evolutionary schemas of political transformation find it difficult to define some of their most basic concepts, such as ‘chiefdom’, ‘complex chiefdom’ and ‘state’, not to mention the transition between them. On the other hand, teleological interpretations based on linear dynamics, from less to increasingly more complex political structures, in successive steps, impose biased and too rigid views on the available evidence. In fact, recent research stresses the existence of other forms of socio-political organisation, less vertically integrated and more heterarchical, that proved highly successful and resilient in the long term in tying together social groups. What is more, such forms quite often represented the basic blocks on which states were built and that managed to survive once states collapsed. Finally, nomadic, maritime and mountain populations provide fascinating examples of societies that experienced alternative forms of political organisation, sometimes on a seasonal basis. In other cases, their consideration as ‘marginal’ populations that cultivated specialised skills ensured them a certain degree of autonomy when living either within or at the borders of states.   This book explores such small-scale socio-political organisations, their potential and the historical trajectories they stimulated. A selection of historical case studies from different regions of the world may help rethink current concepts and views about the emergence and organisation of political complexity and the mechanisms that prevented, occasionally, the emergence of solid polities. They may also cast some light over trajectories of historical transformation, still poorly understood as are the limits of effective state power. This book explores the importance of comparative research and long-term historical perspectives to avoid simplistic interpretations, based on the characteristics of modern Western states abusively used retrospectively.
Rome and the North-Western Mediterranean Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9781789257175
Pub Date: 15 Oct 2022
Imprint: Oxbow Books
To date, Rome’s intervention to the West from the mid-2nd century BC has not really been looked at with any sense of overview. Instead, there has been an unconnected series of micro-regional studies looking at particular areas, from the River Ebro in Spain round to Italy on the land front, and from the Balearic Islands to Corsica, Sardinia and even Sicily as regards the seaborne aspect. In contrast, this volume pushes the historical and archaeological debates about Rome’s expansion beyond these traditional geographical boundaries and the discipline-based previous research.   The entire north-western Mediterranean is treated as a micro-region and is addressed using various interdisciplinary approaches. The result is to provide an innovative and comprehensive overview of the north-western Mediterranean in a period of historical crossroads, aided particularly by focusing on the connectivity and integration within this region as two interrelated issues. While Republican Rome enforced itself as an expansive power towards the West, all sorts of polities, military operations and individuals also played a significant role in creating interconnectivity and integration of the north-western Mediterranean into a new hybrid reality. In order to uncover such processes of hybridisation, contributors to this volume were encouraged to focus on the historical, archaeological and numismatic material from several areas within the region, and to incorporate aspects of interdisciplinary methodologies in order to address the region’s military, political, social and economic interconnections with Italy, Rome and each other within the overall period.
Scientific Dating in Archaeology Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9781789255621
Pub Date: 15 Oct 2022
Imprint: Oxbow Books
Series: Studying Scientific Archaeology
A variety of techniques have been developed to provide scientific chronologies of archaeological sites and material culture. These chronologies underpin the narratives that are generated for prehistoric and other periods. The application of Bayesian statistical analysis to scientific chronologies has been hailed as ‘a revolution in understanding’, and has brought renewed emphasis onto how we generate scientific chronological data, how these data are applied into wider narratives, and the epistemological importance of these data. This volume will provide a timely review of the methods, applications and challenges of applying different scientific dating techniques to archaeological sites and material culture. It will then provide an introduction to Bayesian modelling, and highlight a series of considerations in the application of scientific dating techniques.
The Kyrenia Ship Final Excavation Report, Volume I Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 424
ISBN: 9781785707520
Pub Date: 15 Oct 2022
Imprint: Oxbow Books
Series: The Kyrenia Ship Final Excavation Report
The Kyrenia Ship, a Greek merchantman built around 315 BC, which sank off the north coast of Cyprus was excavated between 1968 and 1972 under the direction of Michael L. Katzev of the University of Pennsylvania and Oberlin College. The importance of this ship lies in the exceptionally well-preserved hull that provided new insights into ancient shipbuilding, as well as the cargo it carried. The hold was stacked with transport amphoras of various types made on Rhodes, with a few examples from Samos, Kos, Knidos and Cyprus (?), supplemented by a consignment of millstones, iron billets and almonds.   The cabin pottery from Rhodes also suggests this was the vessel’s home port, a conclusion supported by most of the scientific ceramic analyses. Its trade route included Rhodes, Cyprus and the Levant with perhaps Egypt as a final destination.   This volume provides a detailed history of the excavation followed by definitive studies of the amphora cargo and the pottery associated with shipboard life. Some of the amphora stamps suggest that the ship sank between 294 and 291 BC, dates corroborated by the cabin wares. The repetition of four drinking cups (kantharoi), oil containers (gutti), wine measures (olpai), as well as bowls and saucers, suggests that the ship was sailed by a crew of four. Seven bronze coins were recovered, five minted in the name of Alexander the Great and one well-known type of Ptolemy I produced only on Cyprus.
Heritage, Landscape and Spatial Justice Cover Heritage, Landscape and Spatial Justice Cover
Format: 
Pages: 200
ISBN: 9789464280401
Pub Date: 10 Oct 2022
Imprint: Sidestone Press
Pages: 200
ISBN: 9789464280395
Pub Date: 10 Oct 2022
Imprint: Sidestone Press
The Caribbean region faces particular environmental challenges as a result of colonial land use, pressures from tourism and globalisation, as well as climate change. No less affected are its heritage resources, which include natural and cultural elements crucial to economic survival and local identity. This research explores the relationship between land, law and heritage in order to better understand the regulatory failures that undermine heritage protection in the English-speaking Caribbean. Using a spatial justice lens to examine the legal framework of eight islands in the Lesser Antilles, the analysis posits that domestic heritage laws are ineffective, because they ignore the relevance of local places or landscapes to the formation of heritage. Relying instead on ideas of land as abstract property rights, heritage is presented as a mere visual embellishment that can deteriorate into an unsightly and costly burden for the landowner or State, rather than the outcome of dynamic and locally unique interactions between people and place. While domestic laws continue to classify heritage as objects, sites and buildings with fixed aesthetic value, international law has adopted a more progressive stance, placing community relationships with landscape at the heart of heritage protection strategies. Empowering communities to contest unsustainable treatment of the landscape can potentially lead to the recognition of the value of landscape integrity to sustainable heritage, and influence change at the national level. Integrating landscape considerations into the legal framework can make law more responsive to the nuances and limits of the local cultural and natural environment. These dynamic landscape processes are also relevant to debates concerning climate change, ecosystem degradation, access to public spaces and environmental human rights. As such, this work should be of interest to legal practitioners in heritage and environmental law, planners, geographers and other academia exploring socio-legal approaches to sustainable development.
The First Stones Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781789257397
Pub Date: 10 Oct 2022
Imprint: Oxbow Books
The First Stones brings together the results of recent research on the Neolithic long cairns lying in the shadow of the Black Mountains in south-east Wales, focusing upon Penywyrlod and Gwernvale, the two best known tombs within the group, previously excavated in the 1970s.   Important results lie in both new site detail and reassessment of the wider context. Small-scale excavation, geophysical survey and geological assessment at Penywyrlod – the largest of the Welsh long cairns – gave further information about the distinctive external and internal architecture of the monument. In turn, this opened the opportunity to reassess the pre-monument sequence at Gwernvale, with re-examination of both Mesolithic and Neolithic occupations, including a timber structure and midden, lithic and pottery assemblages, and cereal remains. The frame for wider reassessment is given by fresh chronological modelling both of the monuments themselves, suggesting a sequence from Penywyrlod and Pipton to Ty Isaf and Gwernvale, probably spanning the 38th to the 36th or 35th centuries cal BC, and of early Neolithic activity in south Wales and the Marches, probably beginning in the 39th century cal BC. A detailed study of the major assemblages of human remains from the Black Mountains tombs includes evidence for diet, trauma and lifestyles of the populations represented. Recent isotope analysis of human remains from the tombs is also reviewed, implying social mobility and migration within local populations during the early Neolithic.   The First Stones makes a significant contribution to the study of tomb building, treatment of the dead, place making, the relationship of monuments to landscape, local and regional identities, connections and affiliations across southern Britain and the adjacent continent, and Neolithisation in western Britain. Viewed within the context of tombs within the Cotswold-Severn tradition as a whole, it leads to an appreciation of the local and regional distinctiveness of architecture and mortuary practice exhibited by the tombs in this area of south-east Wales, emerging as part of the intake of a significant inland area in the early centuries of the Neolithic.
Shaping Cultural Landscapes Cover Shaping Cultural Landscapes Cover
Format: 
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9789464260960
Pub Date: 29 Sep 2022
Imprint: Sidestone Press
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9789464260953
Pub Date: 29 Sep 2022
Imprint: Sidestone Press
Any activity requires the expenditure of energy, and the larger the scale of the undertakings, the more careful and strategic planning in advance is required. In focusing on labouring by humans and other animals, the papers in this volume investigate through a wide range of contexts how past people achieved their multiple daily tasks while remaining resilient in anticipation of adverse events and periods. Each paper investigates the resource requirements of combined activities, from conducting agriculture or trade, over many different crafts, constructing houses and monumental buildings, and how the available resources were employed successfully. Multilayered data sets are employed to illuminate the many interconnected networks of humans and resources that impacted on people’s day-to-day activities, but also to discuss the economic, cultural and socio-political relationships over time in different regions. Each of us aimed to discuss novel perspectives in which the landscape in its widest sense is connected to interdisciplinary architectural and/or crafting perspectives. Rural landscapes and their populace formed the backbone of pre-industrial societies. Analyses of the rural ‘hinterland’, the foci of cities and other central places (often with monumental architecture) and the communication between these are essential for the papers of this volume. These different agents and phenomena and their connections are crucial to our understanding how political units functioned at several socially interconnected levels. Bottom-up approaches can dissolve “monolithic” understandings of societies, the elite-labour/farmer and the centre/rural dichotomies, because the many social groups co-depended on each other, albeit perhaps in unequal measure depending on the given context.
Ikat from Timor and its outer Islands Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9789464280135
Pub Date: 28 Sep 2022
Imprint: Sidestone Press
This is the first study to focus on ikat of the Timor region from a technical perspective, including microscopy and design analysis of asymmetry, an understudied subject. Paradoxically this technical perspective highlights the human factor. Focused on the last century of the colonial period, we see the weaver’s decisions in close-up, as if we are sitting next to her. This yields rich insights, not just in materiality, but also in the weavers’ creativity.   Asymmetry is widely distributed in the region, yet has largely been ignored. This is curious, because asymmetry is highly interesting: it goes against ikat’s technical diktat (which prescribes the production of two identical panels in parallel), hence requires extra work. Seven distinct ways to achieve asym­metry are differentiated, including visual tricks and illusions, flagrant displays of virtuosity and intellectual superiority. On Sumba, women of the nobility made thrilling and amusing efforts to hide their virtuosity, dyeing into their men’s cloths tiny visual devices, secret keys, which revealed that their work was not just good, but luar biasa, out of the ordinary. Ironically, because these late 19th- and early 20th-century dyers were such great masters at hiding their virtuosity, it remained overlooked by generations of researchers.   Taking up Marie Jeanne Adams's 1969 call, so far unheeded, to deepen the study of Indonesian ikat textiles by means of microscopy, the author shot thousands of micro-photographs, allowing a study of yarn development over time, as well as the differentiation of 21 distinct weave types, a number far exceeding expectation, and their distribution across 41 ikat weaving regions in the Indonesian archipelago.   In the final chapter the author analyses what may have spurred the weavers of the region to create their most intricate, most time consuming, feats of artistry, and develops a view of these women as far more inventive and intelligent than they have been credited with before - and more assertive, using ikat’s prestige to spin their men into a web of taboos and prescriptions.
Secret Stories on the Silk Road Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 178
ISBN: 9788869773396
Pub Date: 28 Sep 2022
Imprint: Mimesis International
This volume offers a fascinating journey into the world of symbols, architecture and myths, both familiar and less well-known. The road it takes is sometimes the caravan trail, others a Roman road from the classical world, and includes junctions and overlapping influences between East and West.   The first stop takes us from the steppe of the Goths through to the city of Ravenna, focusing on King Theodoric. A man of the steppe, Theodoric was illiterate but wrote in stone through his indecipherable, famous monument, the mausoleum of Ravenna. It is an architecture of myth that needs to be read in all of its architectonic connections – within its spatial dynamism and geometric symbolism, which reveals echoes of the Middle East. The second step begins in Greece and arrives in Italy. The third encompasses an enormous arch, passing from the Roman imperial eagle to the Chinese imperial dragon. Extensively illustrated, this volume explores symbolic, architectural, and mythological connections across the globe.