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Percy Manning: The Man Who Collected Oxfordshire edited by Michael Heaney. xviii+314pp; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white. 311 2017 Archaeological Lives . Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784915285. £30.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784915292. £19.00 (Inc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

Percy Manning (1870-1917) was an Oxford antiquary who amassed enormous collections about the history of Oxford and Oxfordshire, which now constitute a valuable resource in Oxford University’s libraries and museums.

Manning was interested in all periods of history and prehistory, collecting Stone Age tools, Roman coins, medieval tiles, and relics of ways of life that were disappearing in his own day, such as decorated police truncheons and local pottery. He methodically documented and explored the archaeology of the county. He collected literally thousands of prints depicting Oxford and places throughout Oxfordshire as records of changes in the built environment, and moved beyond material objects to uncover and document superstitions, folklore and customs, especially where he thought they were disappearing. He sought out May songs and morris dancers, reviving the Headington Quarry Morris Dancers in 1899. There is scarcely a community in the county which is not reflected somewhere in his collections.

This volume provides the first detailed biography of Manning, together with studies examining specific parts of his collections in greater detail. Other chapters demonstrate how the collections can be used as springboards for in-depth study and for fresh approaches to the history of Oxfordshire. Particular emphasis is placed on Manning’s ground-breaking research into the folklore of the county in conjunction with its material culture.

About the Editor:
Michael Heaney, the editor of and main contributor to the volume, is a respected researcher into folk music and folklore who has published widely on the subject. He combines this with extensive knowledge of the collections in the Bodleian Library where he spent his professional career. He is a past Editor of Folk Music Journal (and continues on its board) and acts as adviser to and a Trustee of the country’s leading research library in the field, the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. His colleagues bring their professional expertise from the Ashmolean and Pitt Rivers Museums, the University’s Music Faculty and Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art, and beyond.
A Faith in Archaeological Science: Reflections on a Life by Don Brothwell. vi+226 pages; illustrated in black and white throughout with 7 colour plates. 220 2016 Archaeological Lives . Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784913014. £30.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784913021. £19.00 (Inc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

This is the first memoir by an internationally known archaeological scientist, and one who has been particularly research active for over fifty years in the broad field of bioarchaeology. Written with humour and a critical concern to understand the nature of his life and that of our species. It provides a very readable and original account of a life embracing field and laboratory work from Orkney to Egypt and Mongolia to Peru. The diverse research extends from human fossils, to cemetery studies and bog bodies, to dogs, hair chemistry, bone pathology, soils and vitrification. He has similarly been concerned about the nature of culture, the impact of stress on individuals, and theoretical issues in archaeological science. He argues that we are advanced primates, and can’t be divorced from a scientific and ethological perspective. Indeed, he sees culture as derived from a complex interwoven range of thought, from the usefully adaptive to the highly maladaptive creative thinking which can grade into destructive social pathology. Our limited ability to perceive accurately has resulted in the creation of a plethora of dubious beliefs, from religions to political elitism and fanaticism. Placed in the world of today, with the perspective of our long past, the author feels that it is difficult not to feel coldly sober and doubtful about the future of our species. But we are not extinct yet! Beginning life as a traumatised baby and school failure, Don retired as emeritus professor of archaeological science in the University of York.
Charles-Étienne Brasseur de Bourbourg, premier grand mayaniste de France by Jean-Marie Lebon. xii+377 pages; illustrated throughout in black & white with 6 colour plates. French text. 145 Archaeological Lives . Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784910983. £30.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784910990. £19.00 (Inc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

Two hundred years ago, on September 8, 1814, in the northern French city of Bourbourg, a boy was born into a family of local entrepreneurs connected to the local political or judicial elite. The young Charles-Etienne Brasseur was lucky to spend days and days in the impressive library of Alexandre Nicolas Muchembled, the son of his godmother. The reading of exciting travel books there mapped out the course of his truly adventurous life to come. Although a rebellious schoolboy, he acquired a huge knowledge in many fields by his omnivorous reading of books and journals. He was also a very curious young man, delving into the private libraries of the local grand families, resulting in him contributing many historical articles to newspapers and learned societies. At the age of 24, while still in high school, he published his first novel.

This biography is the first to reveal insights into the many facets of the life of Brasseur; the extent of his secret activities for the Vatican; his advanced ideas regarding the dual phonetic and ideographic nature of Mayan writing, as early as 1843-44, and explicitly confirmed by him in May 1852, which he later dramatically rejected in 1870, thus failing to become the Champollion of Mesoamerica; his continuous attempts to preserve documents while crossing territories ravaged by civil wars; the immense value of the manuscripts he saved, like the Tzeltal vocabulary of Copanabastla or the Motul dictionary; his unique dedication in copying old manuscripts, with the help of his nephews, to be sent to other pioneers of Mayan studies in Europe and America; his short-lived pioneering work on the Huave (Wabis); details of his six expeditions to Mesoamerica, often in terrible conditions, as shown by his later severe ill health; his defence of the Indians against the academic community; details of the internal conflicts in the Quebec Catholic Church; and his ideas on certain geophysical events, such as the elevation of ocean beds and islands, which he wrongly dated to the time of the ancient Mayans, or the shifting of the Earth’s rotation axis.
Bryan Faussett: Antiquary Extraordinary by David Wright. xii+324 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white. 144 2015 Archaeological Lives . Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784910846. £28.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784910853. £19.00 (Inc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

A biography of Bryan Faussett, F.S.A., (1720-1776), pioneering Kent genealogist, archaeologist and antiquary who, at his death, had amassed the world’s greatest collection of Anglo-Saxon jewellery and antiquities. The material was famously rejected by the British Museum, saved for the nation by a Liverpudlian philanthropist, and now resides in the Liverpool World Museum. This episode led directly to the British Museum’s setting up departments devoted to British Antiquities.

This volume is the first to focus on Faussett, presenting comprehensive genealogical sections on the Faussetts and Godfreys; a history of the family seat near Canterbury; and an introduction to antiquarianism and how the history of the world was imperfectly viewed in the 18th century. A detailed biography of Bryan Faussett’s life covers his education, career and scholarly circle, with detailed descriptions of the sites he excavated. Surviving archaeological notebooks offer insights into his working practice, and family account-books reveal a great deal about his personal life and interests.

Bryan Faussett was a quintessentially Georgian cleric and antiquary whose extraordinary archaeological career and collections are modestly well known within the county, but deserve far greater national recognition. It is hoped that this biography may further that aim.

About the Author:
David Wright has known the county of Kent all his life. He studied classics, palaeography and Anglo-Saxon at University College, London, before being invited to become one of its teaching fellows, when he soon gained further loves of history, both ancient and mediaeval. Whilst practising as a professional genealogist for nearly four decades, he has taught, lectured and written about Kent’s historical sources, and also produced several indexes to the county’s very rich probate records.

Reviews:

"This book is based on thorough research using a variety of sources including Faussett’s personal correspondence and household records, and is fascinating for providing detailed context for this period of the history of archaeology." - Sam Lucy (British Archaeology - March / April Issue 2016)

"Readers with an interest in Kentish archaeology or the development of archaeological studies of Anglo-Saxon England will find much to interest them here, not least in the fascinating detail that Wright provides on the practicalities of digging in the eighteenth century. The chief value of this book, however, is Wright’s reconstruction of Faussett’s character and the world in which he lived." - Rosemary Sweet (British Association of Local History, 2015)

"This book covers a broad range of topics that may appeal to a variety of people. For those interested in family or local history there are chapters on the Faussett family, as well as their house and estates. For medieval historians there is an examination of how Faussett's finds illuminate our understanding of Anglo-Saxon death and burial. However, for me, this book comes to life in the chapters on Faussett's life as an antiquarian. Extensive use is made of Faussett's own notes providing detail of his working practices and ideas in his own words. These insights into the everyday issues on an eighteenth century dig, before modern archaeological procedures had been developed highlight the difficulties these enthusiastic pioneers faced.." - Kathryn Bedford (Journal of Kent History, March 2016)
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