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FORTHCOMING: The Classification of Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age Copper and Bronze Axe-heads from Southern Britain by Stuart Needham. 74 pages; illustrated throughout in black & white with 3 plates in colour. Available both in print and Open Access. 43 2017. ISBN 9781784917401. £22.00 (No VAT). Buy Now

This work presents a comprehensive classification of the morphology of early metal age axe-heads, chisels and stakes from southern Britain. It is illustrated by a type series of 120 representative examples.

Despite their relative simplicity, flat and early flanged axes from Britain and Ireland show considerable diversity in form. The main variation lies in outline shapes and the classification scheme arrived at therefore depends on careful evaluation of condition, followed by rigorous analysis of shape using metrical ratios. This ensures objectivity in both the formulation of the scheme and future object attributions, for which guidelines are given. Comparative material in northern Britain and Ireland is systematically referred to and a few crucial Continental parallels noted. Hoards and other associated finds, essential in underpinning the chronology, are cited throughout.

The style sequence outlined spans nine centuries of evolution, a regional trajectory which was nevertheless inextricably tied to axe developments in northern Britain, Ireland and, to a lesser extent, the near Continent. While technological advance is apparent at the broad scale, this was not the sole driver of the style changes taking place.

The study will be indispensable for those researching early metalwork, those concerned with European Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age cultures and those interested in patterns of style-cum-technological development.

About the Author
Stuart Needham specialised in metalwork in his early career and has since diversified to cover many aspects of the Chalcolithic and Bronze Age of north-west Europe, involving themes such as deposition practices, metal circulation systems, periodisation, life- and refuse-cycles of material culture, exchange systems, maritime interactions and alluvial archaeology. Further publications have emanated from excavations at Runnymede Bridge and Ringlemere. A curator at the British Museum for thirty years before becoming an independent researcher, he co-founded the Bronze Age Forum in 1999 and delivered the Rhind lectures for the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland in 2011. He is currently Research Director of the People of the Heath project investigating Early Bronze Age barrows in the Rother Valley of East Hampshire and West Sussex.
Physical Barriers, Cultural Connections: A Reconsideration of the Metal Flow at the Beginning of the Metal Age in the Alps by Laura Perucchetti. iv+180 pages; illustrated throughout with 35 plates in colour. 339 2017. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784916145. £35.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784916152. £19.00 (Inc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

Physical Barriers, Cultural Connections: A Reconsideration of the Metal Flow at the Beginning of the Metal Age in the Alps considers the early copper and copper-alloy metallurgy of the entire Circum- Alpine region. It introduces a new approach to the interpretation of chemical composition data sets, which has been applied to a comprehensive regional database for the first time. An extensive use of GIS has been applied to investigate the role of topography in the distribution of metal and to undertake spatial and geostastical analysis that may highlight patterns of distribution of some specific key compositional element.

The Circum-Alpine Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age show some distinctively different patterns of metal use, which can be interpreted through changes in mining and social choices. But there are also some signs of continuity, in particular those which respect the use of major landscape features such as watersheds and river systems. Interestingly, the Alpine range does not act as a north-south barrier, as major differences in composition tend to appear on an east-west axis. Conversely, the river system seems to have a key role in the movement of metal. Geostastical analyses demonstrate the presence of a remelting process, applicable also in the case of ingots; evidence that opens new and interesting questions about the role of ingots and hoards in the distribution of metal at the beginning of the Metal Age. New tools and new analysis may also be useful to identify zones where there was a primary metal production and zones where metal was mostly received and heavily manipulated.

About the Author: Laura Perucchetti is a researcher at the Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art at the University of Oxford. She is part of a team that is working on metal flows across Eurasia, where she is the database and GIS expert.

She completed her undergraduate studies in Archaeology at the University of Milan, and her BA thesis was on the creation of a database encompassing all archaeological finds of the Bronze Age from the Italian province of Veneto. She obtained a Master’s Degree in Earth Science at the University of Milan, based on her analysis of Copper and Early Bronze Age metal artefacts found in hoards and on sites of Northern Italy.

After working for two years in commercial archaeology she successfully completed a DPhil at the University of Oxford with a thesis in which she used a combination of GIS an chemical data on metal artefacts to understand the movement of metal across the Alps. This book is derived from that work.

In her career, Laura has won several student awards, participated in international conferences and published an article in the European Journal of Archaeology. She is actively contributing to the lab work of the RLAHA in teaching, organizing seminars and arranging lab space.
Romano-Celtic Mask Puzzle Padlocks A study in their Design, Technology and Security by Jerry Slocum and Dic Sonneveld. Hardback; 144 pages; highly illustrated in full colour throughout. 325 2017. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784915643. £45.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784915650. £19.00 (Inc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

This book presents a little-known and ingenious artefact of the Roman world: a small puzzle padlock whose font plate bears a face or ‘mask’ of ‘Celtic’ style. The padlocks were designed to secure small bags or pouches and their distribution extended across Europe with the majority found in the Danubian region and in the vicinity of Aquileia.

The authors examine the cultural context, the origins and uses of the padlocks, and provide detailed solutions to the puzzle mechanisms. The publication provides a fully-illustrated catalog of the known 156 examples, categorises their types according to construction and style, and explores the technicalities of the subject by the process of constructing replica mask puzzle padlocks.

About the authors:
Jerry Slocum, a retired Aerospace executive, is an historian, collector and author specialising in the field of mechanical puzzles. His personal collection of over 40,000 mechanical puzzles is believed to be the world’s largest. It includes hundreds of puzzle padlocks including 34 Roman mask puzzle padlocks. He is the author of 16 earlier books on puzzles and their history including Puzzles Old and New in 1986, The 15 Puzzle, The Cube (about Rubik’s Cube), and The Tangram Book. In 2006, Slocum donated his entire puzzle collection and library of over 5,000 puzzle books to the Lilly Library at Indiana University, marking the first time a major collection of mechanical puzzles was made available to the public in an academic setting. He also founded The International Puzzle Collectors’ Party in 1978 that organises annual gatherings in Asia, Europe and the USA of as many as 450 serious puzzle collectors from all over the world.

Until his retirement in 2011, Dic Sonneveld was an Information and Computer Technology (ICT) professional at Leiden University. Jerry knew him as designer of a type of mechanical puzzles, using partly self-written software. In 1997 Jerry asked him to contribute to the research for the history of the Chinese Puzzle, better known as Tangram (which was an international puzzle rage in the early 19th century). From that time on he assisted Jerry with literature research, library research and Internet research, which resulted in The 15 Puzzle book (about the worldwide puzzle craze in 1880) and several others. All these experiences and knowledge now have culminated in the research for this book about Roman-Celtic mask puzzle padlocks. It all started in January 2013, as always, with a simple inquiry from Jerry; he wanted to know more about these “ancient trick locks”.

Catalogue of Artefacts from Malta in the British Museum by Josef Mario Briffa SJ and Claudia Sagona. viii+326 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white. 332 2017. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784915889. £50.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784915896. £19.00 (Inc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

The archaeology of the Maltese archipelago is remarkable. Lying at the heart of the central Mediterranean, ancient lives were, at times, moulded by isolation and harsh elements and the landscape is shaped by millennia of intensive land use. Ancient finds from the islands are rare, and those held in the British Museum form an important collection. Represented is a wide cultural range, spanning the Early and Late Neolithic, the Bronze Age, Roman and more recent historic periods. From the early 1880s, Malta attracted a fascinating array of historians, collectors and travellers and, on one level, the British Museum’s holdings represent their activities, but on another, the collections reflect the complex path antiquarianism has played out in Malta as it moved steadily toward fledgling archaeological investigations. Significantly, artefacts excavated by notable Maltese archaeologist, Sir Themistocles Zammit, at the key Neolithic site of Tarxien, and those uncovered by Margaret Murray at Borġ in-Nadur form a crucial part of the collection.

About the Authors:
Josef Mario Briffa SJ is Lecturer at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, and a Roman Catholic priest. He has recently completed his PhD at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London on The Figural World of the Southern Levant during the Late Iron Age. He also holds a Licentiate in Sacred Scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. His research has included the history of Maltese archaeology, with a focus on the work of Fr Emmanuel Magri SJ (1851-1907), pioneer in Maltese archaeology and folklore studies. He has excavated in Malta and Israel, and is currently a staff member of The Lautenschläger Azekah Expedition.

Claudia Sagona is Honorary Principal Fellow in the Centre for Classics and Archaeology at The University of Melbourne. Her research has taken her from the islands of the Maltese Archipelago, to the highlands of north-eastern Anatolia and the Caucasus. She has written a number of books concerning Malta’s ancient past, including a comprehensive volume for Cambridge University Press, The Archaeology of Malta: From the Neolithic through the Roman Period (2015), another on the Phoenician-Punic evidence, The Archaeology of Punic Malta (2002), and has delved into the Mithraic mystery cult, Looking for Mithra in Malta (2009). In 2007, she was made an honorary member of the National Order of Merit of Malta (M.O.M.).

Cloth Seals: An Illustrated Guide to the Identification of Lead Seals Attached to Cloth by Stuart F. Elton. iv+410 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white. 319 2017. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784915483. £60.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784915490. £19.00 (Inc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

We are very lucky to have small, contemporary records of history scattered throughout our soil in the form of lead seals. With a couple of notable exceptions, they have largely been ignored by archaeologists and historians, but the recent explosion in the numbers found and recorded has helped to bring their importance and potential to the attention of those interested in our heritage.

This book is intended to be a repository of the salient information currently available on the identification of cloth seals, and a source of new material that extends our understanding of these important indicators of post medieval and early modern industry and trade. It is, primarily, a guide to help with the identification of cloth seals, both those found within and those originating from the United Kingdom.

Most of the extra examples, referenced beneath the images, can be quickly located and viewed through access to the internet.

About the author:
After thirty years as a Government scientist, early retirement allowed the author to indulge his hobby of metal detecting. This soon evolved into a passion for recording and researching the lead seals he and his fellow detectorists discovered. After setting up his own web site, which now contains thousands of such seals, he progressed to helping local museums and then the Museum of London with the re-cataloguing of their cloth seals. Over ten years of this experience and world-wide correspondence with other enthusiasts and experts has led to the production of this book.
Old Kingdom Copper Tools and Model Tools by Martin Odler. xvi+292 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white. 275 2016 Archaeopress Egyptology 14. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784914424. £45.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784914431. £19.00 (Inc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

The Old Kingdom of Egypt (Dynasties 4–6, c. 2600–2180 BC) is famous as a period of the builders of the largest Egyptian pyramids. It is generally accepted that the evidence on the use of copper alloy tools from this era is meagre. Martin Odler gathers the textual, iconographic and palaeographic evidence and examines Old Kingdom artefacts in order to revise this view on the use of copper alloy tools and model tools. Furthermore, he provides updated definitions of tool classes and tool kits, together with the context of their use. Besides rare specimens of full-size tools, the largest corpora of the material have been preserved in the form of model tools in the burial equipment of the Old Kingdom elite and were most probably symbols of their power to commission and fund craftwork. Moreover, the size and elaboration of the model tools were probably connected to the social status of the buried persons. The long-standing division in the Egyptological literature between full-size tools and model tools is questioned. The ancient sources also enable to show that the preservation of material culture from the Old Kingdom was largely dependent on a conscious selection made within the past culture, with completely different settlement and funerary contexts and a conspicuous absence of weapons. The volume is completed by co-authored case studies on archaeometallurgy of selected Old Kingdom artefacts in the collection of the Egyptian Museum of Leipzig University, on morphometry of Old Kingdom adze blades and on the finds of stone and ceramic vessels associated with the findings of so-called Old Kingdom model tools.

Martin Odler provides an accessible introduction and overview of his research in his article for the Archaeopress Blog. Click here to read the blog post.

Reviews:

“In short: the authors have succeeded in presenting a reference and standard work, in which no one who is concerned with this period and this material should pass by; a work that will always be consulted with pleasure and joy.”Robert Kuhn, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (KunstbuchAnzeiger.de) (Translated from the German)
Ritual in Late Bronze Age Ireland Material Culture, Practices, Landscape Setting and Social Context by Katherine Leonard. xii+230 pages; illustrated throughout in black & white. 195 2015. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784912208. £38.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784912215. £19.00 (Inc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

This text develops a new perspective on Late Bronze Age (LBA) Ireland by identifying and analysing patterns of ritual practice in the archaeological record. The bookends of this study are the introduction of the bronze slashing sword to Ireland at around 1200 BC and the introduction and proliferation of iron technology beginning around 600 BC. Therefore, it is societal change related to new technology which defines the period discussed as the Irish Late Bronze Age (LBA) herein. Ritual practices find expression in a range of contexts which can be studied separately. However, they require an overarching, integrated ritual system to contextualise and attempt to understand their broader purpose. Similar rituals were consistently enacted in similar locations across the island of Ireland in the LBA. This indicates shared understanding of the way to enact certain rituals as well as shared understanding of what these practices would achieve.
Small Things – Wide Horizons Studies in honour of Birgitta Hårdh edited by Lars Larsson, Fredrik Ekengren, Bertil Helgesson and Bengt Söderberg. 308 pages; illustrated throughout in black & white. 172 2015. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784911317. £44.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784911324. £19.00 (Inc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

This publication honours Birgitta Hårdh on her 70th birthday. Birgitta Hårdh is one of the leading experts on European Viking Age, engaged in diverse research projects, and also a vital collaborator in various networks specializing in the period. Through time, Birgitta has extended her research to comprise other periods of the Iron Age.

A feature common to all Birgitta Hårdh’s research is that she has been able, through analysis of a body of finds, to broaden the perspective, not least geographically through her profound knowledge of phenomena in Northern Europe and indeed all of Europe. Therefore, this book has been given the title Small Things – Wide Horizons.

A total of fourty titles have been submitted to the volume. The presentations include a number of perspectives mainly of Iron Age. Themes as silver economy, coins, trinkets, burials, crafts, farms and fields, centrality and transformations give a view of the variation of contributions nationally and internationally.
A Study of the Deposition and Distribution of Copper Alloy Vessels in Roman Britain by Jason Lundock. vi+258 pages; illustrated throughout in black & white. 171 2015 Archaeopress Roman Archaeology 9. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784911805. £38.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784911812. £19.00 (Inc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

By examining patterns in depositional practice as well as the geographic and site distribution of copper alloy vessels in Roman Britain, this book offers an analysis of the varying and divergent practices of material culture in the British provinces under Roman rule. The work also seeks to offer a useful classification system for the study and discussion of copper alloy vessels by adapting familiar typology as well as introducing new vocabulary. Analysis is given to patterns in the deposition of vessel forms during the Roman period in Britain as well as addressing their spatial relation to other objects and their use of decoration. Insight is also offered into the functional application of these objects and how changing culture practice led to the shifting of use from smaller vessel forms in the early Roman period to larger vessel forms by Late Antiquity. Additionally, the discussion offered in this book serves as a case study in the application of small finds research to the larger theoretical debates concerning Rome and its provinces.
Metallurgy in Ancient Ecuador A Study of the Collection of Archaeological Metallurgy of the Ministry of Culture, Ecuador by Roberto Lleras Perez. 150pp; full colour throughout. 168 2015 Archaeopress Pre-Columbian Archaeology 5. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784911607. £28.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784911614. £19.00 (Inc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

Metallurgical activity was present in Ecuador from at least 1500 BC; by around the beginning of the Common Era metallurgical manufacture and use had extended to most of the Costa and Sierra. Regional styles soon evolved giving rise to high levels of technical craftsmanship and to shaping particular iconographic and decorative patterns. Copper, gold, silver and platinum were mined, processed and converted into thousands of ornaments, offerings, tools and weapons extensively used both by elites and by the common people. By 1450, the Incas had invaded most of the Ecuadorian Sierra and eventually they integrated the diverse metallurgical traditions into their state-managed metallurgical industry. The European conquest in the sixteenth century deeply affected the native metallurgical activities, even though in some regions copper continued to be worked throughout the colonial period. The reconstruction of the general outlines of this fascinating historical process was made possible through the study of the collection of archaeological metal objects of the Ministry of Culture and Heritage of Ecuador, the compilation of previous archaeological references, laboratory analyses and C14 dating of museum objects. This work is the first one of its kind to be published on the ancient metallurgy of Ecuador.
Römisches Zaumzeug aus Pompeji, Herculaneum und Stabiae Metallzäume, Trensen und Kandaren by Christina Simon. vi+240 pages; illustrated throughout in black & white. German text with English summary. 121 2014 Archaeopress Roman Archaeology 1. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784910341. £36.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784910358. £19.00 (Inc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

Few regions possess so many and mainly complete Roman bridles as do the Vesuvian sites. Singular find conditions permit both comprehensive antiquarian-historian analyses of their production, functionality, and everyday use and new approaches to their typology and chronology. The 103 catalogued specimens belong to four types of bronze headstalls, namely metallic noseband, bitless metal bridle (“hackamore”), multipartite metallic bridle (“metallic halter”), and muzzle as well as two types of bits, namely snaffle bit with circular cheekpieces and curb bit. All of them occurred in more or less numerous variants of local or provincial origin. Special attention is paid to the reconstruction of application methods and combinations of types as well as the replica of a snaffle bit with circular cheekpieces. Bitless metal bridles followed Greek models, multipartite metallic bridles Celtiberian ones and, in combination with Thracian or Italian curb bits, formed typical military bridles. All Campanian finds came from civilian contexts such as luxury villae, villae rusticae, urban houses, and workshops. Thanks to find circumstances they can be attributed to draught animals, beasts of burden or mounts (horse, donkey, mule) which also showed up in stables and skeletal remains.
ΑΘΥΡΜΑΤΑ: Critical Essays on the Archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean in Honour of E. Susan Sherratt edited by Yannis Galanakis, Toby Wilkinson and John Bennet. iv+274 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white. 114 2014. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784910181. £43.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784910198. £19.00 (Inc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

Over her career Susan Sherratt has questioned our basic assumptions in many areas of the later prehistory of the Mediterranean and Europe, deploying a canny eye for detail, but never losing sight of the big picture. Her collected works include contributions on the relationship between Homeric epic and archaeology; the economy of ceramics, metals and other materials; the status of the ‘Sea Peoples’ and other ethnic terminologies; routes and different forms of interaction; and the history of museums/collecting (especially relating to Sir Arthur Evans).

The editors of this volume have brought together a cast of thirty-two scholars from nine different countries who have contributed these twenty-six papers to mark Sue’s 65th birthday – a collection that seeks to reflect both her broad range of interests and her ever-questioning approach to uncovering the realities of life in Europe and the Mediterranean in later prehistory.
Copper Shaft-Hole Axes and Early Metallurgy in South-Eastern Europe: An Integrated Approach by Julia Heeb. viii+167 pages; illustrated throughout in black and white with some colour. With CD. 97 2014. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781905739837. £32.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781905739905. £19.00 (Inc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

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Although the copper axes with central shaft-hole from south-eastern Europe have a long history of research, they have not been studied on a transnational basis since the 1960s. What has also been missing, is trying to use as many methods as possible to better understand their production, use and context. A database was compiled to find answers to questions regarding patterns of distribution, context, fragmentation and deformation. Aspects of production were considered through experimental archaeology, metallographic analysis and a re-discovered axe blank with missing shaft-hole. The typology was re-evaluated and modified to ensure comparability across modern national boundaries. The integration of these approaches yielded some interesting results. The great variability in shape clearly shows that a variety of production techniques were used, but it is difficult to relate these to specific geographic areas. In fact the typology as well as the practice of marking the axes indicate that traditional archaeological ‘cultures’ rarely correspond to axe types and marking practices. Instead there were different spheres of influence, some more localised and others much larger than specific ceramic traditions. These different levels of belonging show that it was a period of complex cultural patterns and interactions. The axes were part of these networks of daily life on many different levels from the utilitarian to the ritualised placement in burial contexts.
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