Bookshelf: A selection of recent publications from the Institute of Archaeology

UCL Institute of Archaeology – Left Coast Press publications

Since 2006, Institute of Archaeology books have been published by Left Coast Press, Walnut Creek, California (distributed via their European distributor, Eurospan). Left Coast Press also distributes earlier Institute of Archaeology publications. Left Coast Press publishes two series of books for the Institute: the General Series (series editor Ruth Whitehouse) and the Critical Cultural Heritage sub-series (series editor Beverley Butler). Since the publication of Archaeology International 17, three new books have been published.

General Series

Ethnic Ambiguity and the African Past: Materiality,
                  History, and the Shaping of Cultural Identities.

François G Richard & Kevin C. MacDonald (eds) 2015 Ethnic Ambiguity and the African Past: Materiality, History, and the Shaping of Cultural Identities.

This book considers ethnicity in ancient Africa as both social fact and political artefact. Eleven authors engage with contemporary anthropological, historical and archaeological perspectives to examine how ideas of self-understanding, belonging, and difference in Africa were made and unmade. Various chapters cover broad geographic and temporal ground, following an arc across Senegal, Mali, Nigeria, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and East Africa, and from prehistory to the colonial period.

Plain Pottery Traditions of the
                  Eastern Mediterranean and Near East: Production, Use,
                  and Social Significance.

Claudia Glatz (ed) 2015 Plain Pottery Traditions of the Eastern Mediterranean and Near East: Production, Use, and Social Significance.

The evolution and proliferation of plain and predominantly wheel-made pottery presents a characteristic feature of the societies of the Near East and Eastern Mediterranean since the fourth millennium B.C. This book suggests that the simplicity and standardisation of these traditions indicate that they are the products of craft specialists and the result of high-volume production. As such, they play an important part in understanding social negotiation, group identity and cross-regional similarities within social systems in early complex societies.

Critical Cultural Heritage sub-series

Stones Standing: Archaeology,
                                    Colonialism, and Ecotourism in Northern Laos.

Anna Källén 2015 Stones Standing: Archaeology, Colonialism, and Ecotourism in Northern Laos.

This book examines the relationships between archaeology, colonialism and ecotourism at the famous standing stones of Hintang, Laos. It investigates the conditions under which archaeological knowledge has been produced, appropriated, contested and consumed by colonialism from the 1930s until today and discusses what these processes reveal about the power dynamics of heritage and ecotourism. This research is based on ethnographic fieldwork, archival research, interviews with community members, biography, material culture studies and text analysis.

Many other books have been published by Institute staff between 2014 and 2015; some of these are featured below.

Flavian and later buildings at
                                    Snodland Roman Villa: excavations at Cantium Way,
                                    Snodland, Kent.

Giles Dawkes 2015 Flavian and later buildings at Snodland Roman Villa: excavations at Cantium Way, Snodland, Kent. SpoilHeap monograph 9. Dorchester: SpoilHeap Publications.

Following the discovery of a hoard of 3600 Roman coins, a large-scale excavation was undertaken to the west of the main Snodland villa, at the interface between outer buildings and agricultural land. A series of field systems and pits, as well as a distinctive concentric building with masonry foundations, timber buildings, and a small cemetery were uncovered. The large assemblages of material culture and ecofacts are presented including significant Neronian building material from an unlocated bath house.

Using Archaeological Archives:
                                    a case study of finds from Roman Essex.

Anna Doherty 2015 Using Archaeological Archives: a case study of finds from Roman Essex. Portslade: SpoilHeap Publications.

This is the second publication to result from the English Heritage funded project, ‘Town and Country in Roman Essex’, and it explores in detail the issues associated with conducting major regional research projects, making use of data (pottery, coins, registered finds, vessel glass and animal bone) from published or archive sources. The case study covers the process of collecting and using data and recommendations to improve the quality and quantity of data available to future researchers.

Museums,
                    Heritage and International Development.

Paul Basu & Wayne Modest (eds) 2015 Museums, Heritage and International Development. Abingdon: Routledge.

While the past has been instrumentalized to serve different economic, social and political objectives in the present, heritage is also foundational to people’s aspirations for the future. This is the first sustained critical exploration of the seemingly oppositional temporalities and values represented by the ‘past-making’ and ‘future-making’ interventions of heritage and international development. Drawing on a diverse range of case studies, which reflect shifting geopolitical dynamics, contributors explore the problematics and possibilities of this nexus.

Archaeology
                                                      and Economic Development.

Paul Burtenshaw & Peter Gould (eds) 2015 Archaeology and Economic Development. Public Archaeology 13(1-3).

This volume assembles practising archaeologists, economists, and NGO officials in an extensive exploration of the theoretical, practical and ethical issues raised by archaeologists’ use of cultural heritage to support economic development. Chapters consider the problem of articulating the value of tangible and intangible heritage, outline regional perspectives on archaeology and development, and present a host of case studies from around the globe that describe archaeologists’ development projects.

A
                                                      Good Scribe and an Exceedingly Wise Man. Studies in
                                                      Honour of W.J. Tait.

A Dodson, J Johnston & W Monkhouse (eds) 2014 A Good Scribe and an Exceedingly Wise Man. Studies in Honour of W.J. Tait. London: Golden House Publications.

Festschrift for W.J. Tait, Emeritus Professor of Egyptology at UCL: a volume of essays by the friends, colleagues and students of Professor Tait, written in his honour. These cover a wide range of topics, from Middle Kingdom tomb-furnishings, through texts in a range of ancient languages to modern biography and the history of Egyptology, in particular the Late, Hellenistic, and Roman Period studies that have been at the core of Professor Tait’s distinguished Egyptological career.

Glass of the Roman World.

Justine Bayley, Ian Freestone & Caroline Jackson (eds) 2014 Glass of the Roman World. Oxford: Oxbow Books.

These 18 papers by renowned international scholars include studies of glass from Europe and the Near East illustrating the arrival of new cultural systems, mechanisms of trade, and an expanded economic base in the early 1st millennium AD, which allowed the further development of the existing glass industry. Production and consumption increased until glass was assimilated into all levels of society, used for display, luxury items, utilitarian containers, windows and tools.

Why
                                                      Leather? The Material and Cultural Dimensions of
                                                      Leather.

Susanna Harris & André J. Veldmeijer (eds) 2014 Why Leather? The Material and Cultural Dimensions of Leather. Leiden, Sidestone Press.

The common occurrence of animal skin products through time, whether vegetable tanned leather, parchment, vellum, fat-cured skins or rawhide, attests to their enduring versatility, utility and desirability. Typically grouped together as ‘leather’, these materials can be soft and supple like a textile, firm and rigid like a basket, or hard and watertight like a pot or gourd. This volume brings together specialists from contemporary craft, industry and archaeology to challenge a simple utilitarian or functional approach to leather.

Rethinking Colonial Pasts through Archaeology.

Neal Ferris, Rodney Harrison & Michael Wilcox (eds) 2014 Rethinking Colonial Pasts through Archaeology. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.

This volume explores the archaeologies of daily living left by the indigenous and other displaced peoples impacted by European colonial expansion over the last 600 years. Case studies from North America, Australia, Africa, the Caribbean, and Ireland are presented. These revise conventional historical narratives of those interactions, their presumed impacts, and their ongoing relevance for the material, social, economic, and political lives and identities of contemporary indigenous and other peoples.

Archaeology in Hertfordshire:
                                                      Recent Research (a festschrift for Tony Rook).

Kris Lockyear (ed) 2015 Archaeology in Hertfordshire: Recent Research (a festschrift for Tony Rook). University of Hertfordshire Press.

This volume contains fifteen papers on diverse aspects of the archaeology of Hertfordshire including the prehistoric landscape around Baldock, the Iron Age and Roman site at Broom Hall Farm, Watton-at-Stone, the important early Saxon site at Station Road, Watton-at-Stone, the contribution of place name studies to the administrative structure of early medieval Hertfordshire, and the archaeology of pollards. The majority of papers derive from a conference held in July 2012.

Craft and science:
                                                      International perspectives on archaeological
                                                      ceramics.

Marcos Martinón-Torres (ed) 2014 Craft and science: International perspectives on archaeological ceramics. UCL Qatar Series in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage. Doha, Qatar: Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation.

This volume offers a wide snapshot of current research on archaeological ceramics spanning from Neolithic painted wares to 18th-century porcelain, from the Americas to China. It includes case studies on pottery, bricks and tiles, coarse and fine wares, plain, or decorated with slips, incrustations, glazes and lustre. Most of the studies include instrumental analyses and consider not only modern science but also the ancient craft in a variety of sociocultural and environmental contexts. Available in open access here: http://www.qscience.com/ page/books/uclq-cas.

Scoping the Future of Archaeological
                  Science. Papers in Honour of Richard Klein.

Robin Torrence, Thilo Rehren & Marcos Martinón- Torres (eds) 2015 Scoping the Future of Archaeological Science. Papers in Honour of Richard Klein. Journal of Archaeological Science, Vol 56 (Special Issue).

These papers assess achievements in archaeological science during the last 40 years. They scope the future within evolutionary and social theory in archaeology and across the fields of dating, DNA, environmental reconstruction, diet, subsistence, artefact technology and function, and provenancing. Science is shown to be integral to archaeology as a whole, but challenges are identified in the continuing search for new methods, the maintenance of rigour, significance, sustainability and social responsibility.

The Gresham
Ship Project: A 16th-century Merchantman wrecked
in the Princes Channel, Thames Estuary.

Gustav Milne & Dean Sully (eds) 2014 The Gresham Ship Project: A 16th-century Merchantman wrecked in the Princes Channel, Thames Estuary. Volume II: contents and context. BAR British Series 606. British Archaeological Reports.

A report on finds from an armed Elizabethan merchantman built in 1574, from which a cargo of iron bars as well as tin and lead ingots were recovered from the Thames in 2003-4. In addition to studies of the conservation and analysis of those artefacts there are discussions of the Tudor port of London and its shipping. The remains of the hull are now displayed in the National Dive Centre at Stoney Cove, Leicester.

Romans, Rubbish,
and Refuse: The archaeobotanical assemblage of
Regione VI, Insula I, Pompeii.

Charlene Alexandria Murphy 2015 Romans, Rubbish, and Refuse: The archaeobotanical assemblage of Regione VI, Insula I, Pompeii. Archaeopress Roman Archaeology 8.

Pompeii provides a well-situated and firmly documented historical context from which to examine issues of food distribution and consumption in a complex urban society, and to highlight the role that archaeobotanical analysis can contribute to studies of social and economic differentiation. This volume provides a diachronic analysis of wider patterns of food consumption across contemporaneous households, from a variety of domestic and commercial contexts, over the nearly three hundred year occupation of Insula VI.I

Excavations
at Cill Donnain: a Bronze Age settlement and
Iron Age wheelhouse in South Uist.

Mike Parker-Pearson & Marek Zvelebil 2014 Excavations at Cill Donnain: a Bronze Age settlement and Iron Age wheelhouse in South Uist. SEARCH monograph 8. Oxford: Oxbow.

This volume focuses on an Iron Age roundhouse in South Uist in the Outer Hebrides which was excavated in 1989- 1991 by the late Marek Zvelebil. The extensive archaeological evidence from this stone-built ‘wheelhouse’ reveals that this site and contemporary neighbouring settlements were interdependent socially and economically. It was built on top of a Bronze Age settlement in an unusually well-preserved and rich prehistoric landscape that provides a 4,000-year history of settlement from the Beaker period to the post-medieval period.

Settlement, Society and
Cognition in Human Evolution: Landscapes in Mind.

Fiona Coward, Rob Hosfi eld, Matt Pope and Francis Wenban-Smith (eds) 2015 Settlement, Society and Cognition in Human Evolution: Landscapes in Mind. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

This volume provides a landscape narrative of early hominin evolution, linking conventional material and geographic aspects of the early archaeological record with wider and more elusive social, cognitive and symbolic landscapes. It seeks to move beyond a limiting notion of early hominin culture and behaviour as dictated solely by the environment, to present the early hominin world as the outcome of a dynamic dialogue between the physical environment and its perception and habitation by active agents.

Skyscapes:
The Role and Importance of the Sky in Archaeology.

Fabio Silva & Nicholas Campion (eds) 2015 Skyscapes: The Role and Importance of the Sky in Archaeology. Oxford: Oxbow Books.

This innovative new volume expands the role and importance of the landscape and the wider environment to past societies into consideration of the significance of the celestial environment: the skyscape. It explores the current role of archaeoastronomical knowledge in archaeological discourse and how to integrate the two. It shows how it is not only possible but even desirable to look at the skyscape to shed further light on human societies.