Life on the Edge: The Neolithic and Bronze Age of Iain Crawford’s Udal, North Uist edited by Beverley Ballin Smith. Hardback; xxxii+270 pages; highly illustrated in full colour throughout. 408 2018. Available both in print and Open Access. Printed ISBN 9781784917708. £25.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784917715.
The discovery of archaeological structures in North Uist in 1974 after storm damage led to the identification by Iain Crawford of a kerb cairn complex, with a cist and human remains. Six years later he went back, and over the next three years excavated another cist with human remains in its kerbed cairn, many bowl pits dug into the blown sand, and down to two late Neolithic structures and a ritual complex. He intensively studied the environmental conditions affecting the site and was among the first archaeologists in Scotland to understand the climate changes taking place at the transition between late Neolithic and the early Bronze Age. The deposition of blown sand and the start of the machair in the Western Isles, including the rise in sea-level and inundations into inhabited and farmed landscapes, are all part of the complex story of natural events and human activities.
Radiocarbon dating and modern scientific analyses provide the detail of the story of periods of starvation suffered by the people that were buried on the site, of the movement away of the community, of their attempts of bringing the ‘new’ land back into cultivation, of a temporary tent-like structure, and of marking their territory by the construction of enduring monuments to the dead.
About the Editor
BEVERLEY BALLIN SMITH took up the mantle left by Iain Crawford and has brought this first monograph on his Udal project area to publication. She has extensive experience of working on, and publishing, other large multi-period sites. She is an archaeologist who lived and worked on Orkney for many years and has first-hand experience of the archaeology of Shetland, the UK, Faroes, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, and is now based in Scotland. Beverley is the Publications Manager at GUARD Archaeology Ltd and editor of ARO (Archaeology Reports Online), with the aim of disseminating information to relevant audiences. She undertakes specialist analysis of prehistoric pottery and coarse stone tools. She has been a member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists for nearly all her professional life; she served on the former IfA Council, was Vice Chair for Outreach, a member of the Validation Committee and was a CIfA Board director. She is a member of the Society of Antiquaries of London and also a member of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, where she has been Vice President. She is currently President of Archaeology Scotland and a Research Associate at National Museums Scotland.
'...Ballin Smith and her colleagues have produced a worthy volume that answers many questions concerning the complex transition period between the Neolithic and Bronze Age within an area of the British Isles that would have been seen by late prehistoric pastoralists as the edge of the known world.' – George Nash (Current Archaeology #346, January 2019)
SOMA 2015: Time, Space and PeopleProceedings of the 19th Symposium on Mediterranean Archaeology edited by Murat Arslan. iv+190 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white (69 colour plates). 49 2018. Available both in print and Open Access. Printed ISBN 9781784918514. £44.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784918521.
The 19th annual meeting of the Symposium on Mediterranean Archaeology (SOMA) was held in Kemer/Antalya (Turkey) from the 12th to the 14th of November, 2015. As has been the case in the past, this symposium continues to provide an important opportunity for scholars and researchers to come together and discuss their academic studies in a friendly and supportive atmosphere. The proceedings of SOMA 2015 contain eighteen interdisciplinary articles on themes from underwater archaeology to history, archaeometry and art history, and chronologically, the subjects of these articles range from the Bronze Age to the 20th century.
About the Editor
Murat Arslan is the editor of SOMA 2015. He is professor of Ancient History at Akdeniz University in Antalya (Turkey). He is interested in Ancient Greek and Ancient History, especially the Classical and Hellenistic periods, and historiography. In addition to his monographs (Galatians, Mithradates VI Eupator, Classical and Hellenistic History of Byzantion), his translations and commentaries on periplus (Arrianus, Ps. Scylax), and Memnon of Heracleia Pontica, he is the current editor in chief of several international journals (Cedrus, MJH, Phaselis, Libri).
Ceramic manufacturing techniques and cultural traditions in Nubia from the 8th to the 3rd millennium BCExamples from Sai Island by Giulia D’Ercole. xviii+186 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white (33 colour plates). 41 2017 Cambridge Monographs in African Archaeology 96. Available both in print and Open Access. Printed ISBN 9781784916718. £40.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784916725.
In Sudan the first ceramic containers appeared at the beginning of the 9th millennium BC, with the earliest dates c. 8700 BC from Sorourab 2, in Central Sudan, and c. 8600 BC from the district of Amara West, in Northern Sudan.
This book presents a comprehensive critical analysis of diverse ceramic assemblages from Sai Island, in the Middle Nile Valley of Northern Sudan, on the border between ancient Upper and Lower Nubia. The assemblages included in this study cover about five millennia, spanning the period c. 8000 to c. 2500 BC. They go from the initial appearance of ceramic technology within hunting-fishing-gathering communities living in permanent or semi-permanent settlements (locally named ‘Khartoum Variant’ or ‘Mesolithic’ horizon: c. 7600–4800 BC), through the ceramic productions of the first ‘Neolithic’ pastoral societies (Abkan horizon: c. 5550−3700 BC), to those of the Pre-Kerma Nubian culture (c. 3600−2500 BC).
A thorough stylistic macroscopic observation of the finds is integrated with a solid technological approach by means of archaeometric petrographic (OM), mineralogical (XRPD) and chemical (XRF) analyses. Data are discussed and compared across a broad geographical area, including Lower and Upper Nubia, Central Sudan and the Egyptian Western Desert. They provide an original synthesis and interpretation of the ceramic traditions in Nubia and Sudan and propose a critical review of the debate on the invention of pottery and the functional and cultural reasons for the emergence of the ceramic technology.
Networks of trade in raw materials and technological innovations in Prehistory and Protohistory: an archaeometry approachProceedings of the XVII UISPP World Congress (1–7 September 2014, Burgos, Spain) Volume 12/Session B34 edited by Davide Delfino, Paolo Piccardo, and João Carlos Baptista. viii+104 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white. 264 2016. Available both in print and Open Access. Printed ISBN 9781784914233. £25.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784914240.
The papers collected in this book correspond to the lectures held during session B34 of UISPP conference in Burgos (June 2014) where the presentation of multidisciplinary works were encouraged. The main goal of bringing together specialists from various disciplines (humanities and natural sciences) was to debate, from different perspectives, the networks in raw materials and technological innovation in Prehistory and Protohistory, involving investigation topics typical of archaeometry: archeometallurgy, petrography, and mineralogy.
CAA2014. 21st Century ArchaeologyConcepts, methods and tools. Proceedings of the 42nd Annual Conference on Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology edited by F. Giligny, F. Djindjian, L. Costa, P. Moscati and S. Robert. vi+649 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white. 146 2015. Available both in print and Open Access. Printed ISBN 9781784911003. £75.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784911010.
This volume brings together a selection of papers proposed for the Proceedings of the 42nd Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology conference (CAA), hosted at Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University from 22nd to 25th April 2014. The program was divided into different themes and this structure has been maintained in the arrangement of articles in the various chapters of this book. Chapter headings include: Historiography; Field and Laboratory Data Recording; Ontologies and Standards; Internet and Archaeology; Archaeological Information Systems; GIS and Spatial Analysis; Mathematics and Statistics in Archaeology; 3D Archaeology and Virtual Archaeology; Multi-Agent Systems and Complex System Modelling.