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A History of Central European Archaeology: Theory, Methods, and Politics

Alexander Gramsch & Ulrike Sommer (eds) (2011)
A History of Central European Archaeology: Theory, Methods, and Politics. Budapest: Archaeolingua Foundation.

Deriving from a session organised by the German Theoretical Archaeology Group, this volume reveals how universalist thought can be used for nationalist purposes and highlights how politics have affected the communications of European archaeologists from the beginning down through the 20th century. The papers also cover a wide array of new topics and research questions developed in Central Europe in recent years.

Unpacking the Collection: Networks of Material and Social Agency in the Museum

Sarah Byrne, Anne Clarke, Rodney Harrison & Robin Torrence (eds) (2011)
Unpacking the Collection: Networks of Material and Social Agency in the Museum. New York: Springer.

Museum collections are often perceived as static entities hidden away in storerooms or trapped behind glass cases. By focusing on the dynamic histories of museum collections, this book reveals their pivotal role in shaping a wide range of social relations. Over time and across space, the interactions between these artefacts and the institutions and people who made, traded, collected, researched and exhibited them have generated complex networks of material and social agency. The contributors to this volume draw on a broad range of source materials to explore the cross-cultural interactions which have created museum collections.

Pinning Down the Past: Archaeology, Heritage and Education Today

Mike Corbishley (2011)
Pinning Down the Past: Archaeology, Heritage and Education Today. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press.

This book examines the place of education and outreach within the wider archaeological community. It traces the often difficult development of archaeology in education and features a number of case studies from the UK and abroad, including the UCL Institute of Archaeology’s Ancient Merv Project and its initiatives in wider participation in archaeology.

Archaeologies of Internment

Adrian Myers & Gabriel Moshenska (eds) (2011)
Archaeologies of Internment. New York: Springer/One World Archaeology.

This book is based on a session held at WAC 6 in Dublin. The papers discuss the archaeology, material culture and heritage of sites of internment or extra-legal imprisonment around the world from the nineteenth century to the present. The sites include prisoner of war camps in Finland, clandestine torture centres in Argentina, concentration camps in Poland, South Africa and Spain, and civilian internment camps in the USA and UK.

Becoming an Archaeologist: A Guide to Professional Pathways

Joe Flatman (2011)
Becoming an Archaeologist: A Guide to Professional Pathways. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press.

Joe Flatman’s engaging new handbook on career paths in archaeology was published in August 2011 and – in March 2012 – won the prestigious Current Archaeology Awards ‘Book of the Year 2012’ prize. It outlines, in straightforward fashion, the entire process of getting a job in archaeology, including the various options in the academic, commercial and government worlds, as well as the training required.

On Track: The Archaeology of High Speed 1 Section 1 in Kent

Helen Glass, Paul Booth, Tim Champion, Paul Garwood, Julian Munby & Andrew Reynolds (2011)
On Track: The Archaeology of High Speed 1 Section 1 in Kent. Oxford: Oxford Archaeology.

This multi-author volume presents an academic synthesis of the findings of a host of archaeological interventions along the route of the recently opened high-speed rail link between London and Folkestone. The book takes a chronological approach and sets the results into their wider context. Material of international significance was recovered, casting important new light on a region previously poorly understood from an archaeological perspective, but long known for its connections with the continent across all periods.

The Archaeology of Travel and Communication

Andrew Reynolds (ed.) (2011)
The Archaeology of Travel and Communication. London: Routledge/World Archaeology 43(3).

The extent of travel and communication in ancient societies is much debated, usually by studying provenance, consumption and deposition of material culture, but rarely directly approached with regard to identifying precisely where and how people moved and communicated in the landscape. This volume contains papers on all aspects of the theme, including reconstruction of overland routes, riverine and sea-borne transport.

Maya Christians and their Churches in Sixteenth-Century Belize

Elizabeth Graham (2011)
Maya Christians and their Churches in Sixteenth-Century Belize. Gainesville: University Press of Florida.

This volume considers the descendants of Classic Maya civilisation as they first encountered Christianity on the cusp of the Reformation. The lynchpin of the book is the presentation of evidence from the archaeological excavation of Maya churches at Tipu and Lamanai, the sites of both of which were tribute-paying towns during the Spanish colonial period in what is now Belize. Assessing the conversion process, the author weighs the significance of doctrine against the role of the empowerment of the individual. Also important in understanding conversion are the meanings attributed to ideas, objects and images by the Maya, Iberian Christians and archaeologists.

Slavery in Africa: Archaeology and Memory

Paul J. Lane & Kevin MacDonald (eds) (2011)
Slavery in Africa: Archaeology and Memory. Oxford: Oxford University Press for the British Academy.

This volume arises from the British Academy’s symposium for ‘Abolition 2007’, which was hosted at the UCL Institute of Archaeology by Kevin MacDonald and Paul Lane. Slavery in Africa’s eighteen chapters cover the full breadth of recent investigations into slavery and enslavement on the African continent including the slave class of historic African political formations across the Sahel. Historical archaeology plays an important role, with diverse studies of settlement landscapes and associated ruins.

Community Archaeology: Themes, Methods and Practices

Gabriel Moshenska & Sarah Dhanjal (eds) (2012)
Community Archaeology: Themes, Methods and Practices. Oxford: Oxbow.

Community-led and community-participatory archaeology have become increasingly important aspects of archaeological practice in the UK. This collection of papers is based on a conference held at the UCL Institute of Archaeology, in 2006, and draws together case studies and critical reflections on UK community archaeology.

Heritage: Critical Approaches

Rodney Harrison (2012)
Heritage: Critical Approaches. Abingdon and New York: Routledge.

Historic sites, memorials, national parks, museums … we live in an age in which heritage is ever-present. Taking an interdisciplinary approach to the many tangible and intangible ‘things’ now defined as heritage, this book attempts simultaneously to account for this global phenomenon and the industry which has grown up around it, as well as to develop a ‘toolkit of concepts’ with which it might be studied. In doing so, it provides a critical account of the emergence of heritage studies as an interdisciplinary field of academic study. This is presented as part of a broader examination of the function of heritage in late modern societies, with a particular focus on the changes which have resulted from the globalisation of heritage during the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

Archaeology and Digital Communication: Towards Strategies of Public Engagement

Chiara Bonacchi (ed.) (2012)
Archaeology and Digital Communication: Towards Strategies of Public Engagement. London: Archetype Publications.

This volume proposes digital strategies of public engagement of interest to archaeologists working in various contexts, particularly in collaboration with media professionals and institutions. It identifies some of the most promising uses of digital media in different domains of archaeological communication and the benefits they can generate for participants. Each use is presented through case studies highlighting how media experiences are designed and consumed. While providing specific operational recommendations, the various contributions attempt to chart potential new directions for research.

Archaeology in Society: Its Contemporary Relevance

Marcy Rockman & Joe Flatman (eds) (2012)
Archaeology in Society: Its Contemporary Relevance. New York: Springer.

Stemming from a session chaired by the authors at the Society for Historical Archaeology annual conference (2007), this collection of papers discusses the ‘contemporary relevance’ of archaeology in present-day society. Whereas there is no single answer to the question of how the field of archaeology should develop and what it can do for society, the contributors to this volume lay out the many ways in which archaeology is relevant to the present day – considering, for example, climate change, energy exploration, warfare, national identity, the importance of stories and how they are told, and how and why opportunities to engage with the past through museums, digs, television, classes and the print media take their current forms.

Textiles and Textile Production in Europe from Prehistory to AD 400

Margarita Gleba & Ulla Mannering (eds) (2012)
Textiles and Textile Production in Europe from Prehistory to AD 400. Oxford: Oxbow Books.

There is evidence that, ever since early prehistory, textiles have always had more than simply a utilitarian function. Textiles express who we are – our gender, age, family affiliation, occupation, religion and ethnicity, as well as our social, political, economic and legal status. This major new survey of textiles and textile production, across sixteen European countries, provides not only an up-to-date and detailed sourcebook, but also an easily accessible overview of the development of European textile technology and economy from prehistory to AD 400. Extensively illustrated, with over 200 colour illustrations, maps and chronologies, this will be an essential sourcebook for both textile researchers and the wider archaeological community.

Studies in Early Ango-Saxon Art and Archaeology: Papers in Honour of Martin G. Welch

Stuart Brookes, Sue Harrington & Andrew Reynolds (eds) (2011)
Studies in Early Ango-Saxon Art and Archaeology: Papers in Honour of Martin G. Welch. Oxford: BAR.

This volume of papers, comprising 19 papers on Anglo-Saxon burial, artefacts, and landscapes, was offered to Martin Welch on the occasion of his retirement from UCL in 2010. It is a celebration of his long career of teaching and research in early medieval archaeology, particularly Anglo-Saxon England and its neighbours in the fifth to seventh centuries.