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See below for a selection of the latest books from Archaeology by period / region category. Presented with a red border are the Archaeology by period / region books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great Archaeology by period / region books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!
Britain has long been obsessed with its own history and identity, as an island nation besieged by invaders from beyond the seas: the Romans, Vikings and Normans. The long saga of prehistory is often forgotten. But our understanding of our past is changing. In the last decade, astounding archaeological discoveries have shed new light on those who have gone before us, radically altering the way we think about our history. This book presents ten of the most exciting - and surprising - of these discoveries. Mike Pitts leads us on a journey through time from the more recent and familiar to the most remote and bizarre, just as archaeologists delving into the earth find themselves moving backwards through the years until they reach the very oldest remnants of the past. At each of these sites we hear from the people who found and recovered these ancient remains, and follow their efforts to understand them. Some are major digs, carried out to record sites before they are covered over by new developments. Others are chance finds, leading to revelations out of proportion to the scale of the original projects. All are extraordinary tales of luck and cutting-edge archaeological science that have produced profound, and often unexpected, insights into people's lives on these islands between a thousand and a million years ago.
This much-anticipated publication of two major Lydian excavation sectors at Sardis is the first in-depth presentation of the architecture and associated pottery and other artifacts found in the houses of inhabitants of this legendary city. It traces continuous occupation outside the city walls from the Late Bronze Age to the middle of the sixth century BC, when the Persians under Cyrus the Great captured the capital city of King Croesus. This book represents a remarkable synthesis of a vast quantity of everyday materials into a vivid picture of daily life in early Sardis in the period when the Lydians were conquering most of western Turkey. The authors describe many small structures and a wealth of artifacts that collectively document the lives of ordinary Lydians, in what appear to be both domestic and craft contexts. Because the Lydians maintained cultural and economic contacts throughout the eastern Mediterranean and the Near East, scholars working in Greece, Anatolia, and the Near East will find this first presentation of Lydian pottery and other objects, as well as vernacular architecture, of great interest and value. The two-volume book discusses the chronology, history, and evidence of everyday life, and catalogues nearly 800 objects, illustrated by more than 300 color plates of photos and detailed drawings.
This volume is a comprehensive analysis of the three primary elements of the ground-breaking historic industrial complex created to the west of Birmingham in the 18th century and associated with Matthew Boulton, James Watt, and William Murdoch. The complex at Soho lies at the heart of the story of the Industrial Revolution, and the work carried out there by the three men is of national and international significance. The complex consisted of the Soho Manufactory (1761-1863) and Soho Mint (1788-1850s) both situated in the historic parish of Handsworth, now in the City of Birmingham, and the Soho Foundry (1795-1895) in the historic parish of Smethwick, now within Sandwell Metropolitan Borough. Here Boulton, Watt, and Murdoch and their successors achieved many industrial 'firsts': the first working Watt steam engine employed at the Manufactory, the first steam-powered mint in the world, and the first gas-lit factory (the Soho Foundry) to name but a few. However, existing literature focuses largely on the biography of the people, primarily Boulton and Watt, or the products they manufactured, not the three industrial sites themselves. The place - the Soho complex - has attracted very little analysis and the published material on the subject is slight, and in some cases, inaccurate or misleading. This volume is the first to offer a complete landscape, archaeological and historical analysis of the Soho complex (Manufactory, Mint and Foundry) and as such, will provide something which is currently missing from both academic and popular understanding of Boulton, Watt and Murdoch's role in industrial history: a definitive account of the development of the place where they created profound technological change. This site played a key role in the Industrial Revolution: it is the site where their ideas, technology and the infrastructure required to service them were developed, so the volume provides vital information for understanding the wider impact of their achievements. The volume contains a large number of historical illustrations, accompanied by reconstruction plans and drawings created by the author, which together provide a detailed working understanding of how the complex functioned for the very first time.
From AD 500-1000, the Indian Ocean emerged as a global commercial centre, and by around 750-800 a sophisticated trade network had been established involving the movement of goods from Japan and China in the east, to southern Africa and Spain in the west. However, the Indian Ocean's commercial system has been relatively understudied, with many of the key assumptions regarding its development based on narrative textual sources and selective archaeological evidence. This study sets out the case for the unique significance of quantified ceramic finds as an indicator of long-term changes in the scale and volume of maritime exchange in a period for which few other sources of systematic economic history survive. The publication presents archaeological data from thirteen sites distributed across the western Indian Ocean, including Siraf (Iran), Anuradhapura (Sri Lanka) and Manda (Kenya). The ceramic assemblages are considered in terms of their general compositional characteristics and the distinctions between local, regional and long-distance exchange. The volume concludes with a discussion of how this data can be used to address the broader issues of long-term economic change and the relationship between state power in the Middle East and the commercial networks of the Indian Ocean operating via the Persian Gulf.
The Brough of Birsay was the power-centre of the Viking earldom of Orkney and is one of Historic Environment Scotland's key monuments and visitor attractions on the islands. This publication is the culmination of 60 years of investigations that took place on the site between 1954 and 2014. This new volume incorporates comprehensive accounts of work undertaken by Dr Ralegh Radford and Mr Stewart Cruden between 1954 and 1964, excavations by the Viking and Early Settlement Research Project under the direction of the author on site between 1974 and 1981, a rescue excavation in 1993, a geophysical survey in 2007 and archival research up to 2014. Specialist artefactual and palaeobiological studies of metallurgical material, ogham inscriptions and a gilt-bronze mount of Insular origin are included, together with re-analysis of the radiocarbon dates from all sites in Birsay Bay, and a re-assessment of the architecture and dating of the church and related buildings on the Brough itself. The final two chapters put the Brough, as both a Pictish power-centre and the hub of the Viking earldom, in the overall context of Birsay Bay and Viking and late Norse Orkney, and the wider world between the Pictish and late Norse/Medieval periods. As well as being the author's third and final volume reporting on work for the Birsay Bay Project, this volume completes a trilogy of studies of the Brough itself, alongside Mrs Cecil Curle's and Prof John Hunter's earlier monographs.
In this new authoritative textbook on the archaeology of South-East England intended for students, researchers, and those working in commercial archaeology, over 30 leading authors provide a comprehensive overview of the South-East as an informed narrative and interpretation of the prehistory and history of the region. Chronological chapters tell the story of the development of the South-East by period from the Palaeolithic to the Norman Conquest. Others focus on either specific areas within the region, or aspects of material culture and the economy. This is the first book to look at the region as a whole for a generation and since the advent of developer-funded archaeology, and it will have an important place in the archaeology of the South-East. It is offered in memory of Sussex Archaeologist Peter Drewett.
The Oxford Handbook on Early China brings 30 scholars together to cover early China from the Neolithic through Warring States periods (ca 5000-500BCE). The study is chronological and incorporates a multidisciplinary approach, covering topics from archaeology, anthropology, art history, architecture, music, and metallurgy, to literature, religion, paleography, cosmology, religion, prehistory, and history.
Focusing on the British Isles, the author explores a period of huge societal change - the Neolithic, or 'New Stone Age' - through the most iconic artifact of its time: the polished stone axe, using an ancient stone axe-head brought to him by a local quarry worker as a guide to the revolution that changed the world. These formidable creations were not only crucial tools that enabled the first farmers to clear the forests, but also objects of great symbolic importance, signifying status and power, wrapped up in expressions of religion and politics. Mixing anecdote, ethnography and archaeological analysis, the author vividly demonstrates how the archaeology on the ground reveals to us the evolving worldview of a species increasingly altering their own landscape; settling down together, investing in agricultural plots, and collectively erecting massive ceremonial monuments to cement new communal identities. As a direct result of the invention, and intensification, of agriculture, the planet entered the Anthropocene, or the current 'age of humanity': an era in which we are changing the world around us in significant, accelerating and often unpredictable ways. As the author poignantly concludes, our ancestors set us on the path to the modern world we live in; now seven billion humans must face the challenges that presents.
In studying the human past, the country of Iran (ancient Persia) has strong claim to host some of the most significant developments anywhere on the planet. After the last Ice Age, from 11,000 BC onwards, human communities across Iran began to settle down in villages and domesticate the wild animals and plants around them. They changed from hunter-foragers to farmers and animal herders, and they were amongst the first in the world to do so. In later times, Iran was central to the rise of urban, literate societies from 4000 BC, maximising the value of its rich resources in the form of copper, silver, timber, carnelian and other commodities, to underpin Iran's key role in a complex phenomenon across the ancient Near East often called the rise of civilisation. From 2000 BC Iran participated in a series of increasingly large and powerful empires, culminating in the Achaemenid Empire of the mid-first millennium BC that stretched from the eastern shores of Europe to the Central Asian deserts, from the Black Sea coast to the Nile valley. Ancient Iran provides a synthetic and analytical study of the archaeology of Iran. Each chapter comprises thematic studies of key issues, allowing scope for theoretically-informed exploration of social, economic and cultural problems situated within a firm chronological framework. The book is above all an archaeological study, but draws heavily on related disciplines where appropriate, including history, geography, sociology, and natural sciences. Heavily illustrated with line drawings, photographs, tables and charts, Ancient Iran provides a much needed study of this key region in world archaeology.