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NEW: The Chambered Tombs of the Isle of Man A study by Audrey Henshall 1969-1978 edited by Frances Lynch and Peter Davey. iv+176 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white (25 colour plates). 371 2017. ISBN 9781784914684. £30.00 (No VAT). Book contents pageBuy Now

This is the first book ever devoted to the chambered tombs of the Isle of Man and, though there are no more than nine surviving monuments, they are of considerable interest and importance because of the central location of the island in the north Irish Sea where cultural influences and traditions of tomb building are mixed – and no doubt populations too.

These monuments, still impressive reminders of the past in our contemporary landscape, belong to the early 4th millennium BC when farming, one of the most significant movers of change in society, first came to the Isle of Man. These vast stone chambers speak of the power of ancestors, the continuity of family groups and the importance of the land and territory which sustained them.

Work on this book was begun in the 1960s by Audrey Henshall, the foremost authority on these monuments in Britain. It has been edited and brought up to date for publication by Frances Lynch and Peter Davey and contains a comprehensive study of previous work on the tombs, new plans and commentary on each site, and also a review of the associated finds from excavation. Appendices provide the final reports on previously unpublished excavations at King Orry’s Grave and Ballaharra.
FORTHCOMING: Axe-heads and Identity An investigation into the roles of imported axe-heads in identity formation in Neolithic Britain by Katharine Walker. xiv+318 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white (86 colour plates). 386 2017. ISBN 9781784917449. £40.00 (No VAT). Book contents pageBuy Now

The significant body of stone and flint axe-heads imported into Britain from the Continent has been poorly understood, overlooked and undervalued in Neolithic studies, particularly over the past half century. It is proposed, in this study, that the cause is a bias of British Neolithic scholarship against the invasion hypothesis and diffusionist model, and it is sought therefore to re-assess the significance accorded to these objects. The aim is to redress the imbalance by re-focusing on the material, establishing a secure evidence base, and exploring the probable conditions in which these often distinctive items made their way to Britain. The narrative presented here rests upon the argument that imported axe-heads came into what is today called Britain as objects of considerable significance. Specifically, they were items of high symbolic value that played a crucial role in fostering particular ways of thinking about, and addressing, social identity in the Neolithic period. These issues are the context for the study, whose main objectives are the close and detailed cataloguing of relevant material, and a documentation of the investigative work needed to establish the credentials of each artefact.

About the Author
Katharine Walker is a prehistorian who specialises in the Neolithic of northwest Europe. She is Visiting Research Fellow at Bournemouth University, Ecademy Project Officer at the New Forest Centre in Lyndhurst, and a freelance lithics and stone axe specialist. She studied at the Universities of Bristol, Cardiff, and Southampton where she completed a PhD in 2015. Her current research interests focus on materials and material culture, and she has also published on the first metalwork and the origins of social power in The Oxford Handbook of Neolithic Europe (2015). She is an active Committee Member of the Implement Petrology Group, as well as Editor of their newsletter Stonechat.
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.
FORTHCOMING: The Healing Springs of Argyll by Alex Alexander and Allan Stroud. Illustrated throughout in colour and black & white. Published by Potingair Press.ISBN 9780956824042. £35.00 (No VAT). Buy Now

Healing springs have played a significant role in the folklore of many cultures in most geographical regions. In Scotland, these natural features are referred to as ‘holy wells’ and some have been venerated since pagan times. In introducing the ‘holy wells’ of Argyll and Bute in western Scotland, this book examines, with the aid of GIS techniques, the archaeological landscape surrounding these ‘monuments’ spanning from the Neolithic to the present day; it also provides information about their geological and hydrological setting. The book sets out to address a single question: what made those ‘holy wells’ holy; although the answer is complex, multi-tiered and often unsatisfactory, it is clear that once a ‘healing’ attribute, whether physical or spiritual, is attached to a particular natural spring, communal will, from the elite to the ordinary people, have been reluctant to remove it.

The second part of the book is in the form of a guidebook. While the first part aims to bring the landscape to the reader, the second part aims to achieve the opposite. Via a number of clearly laid-out itineraries, each with a particular ‘holy well’ as its focus, the book highlights the wells’ positions with respect to known domestic, ritual or burial monuments. The visitor is thereby made aware of the geological, historical and archaeological landscape that surrounds each natural spring. The healing springs of Argyll have been recorded to an archaeological standard, and are presented in an accessible manner.

About the authors:
Alex Alexander and Allan Stroud are freelance landscape archaeologists, living and practicing in Scotland, with interests in its prehistoric and early Christian periods, respectively.
NEW: Current Approaches to Collective Burials in the Late European Prehistory Proceedings of the XVII UISPP World Congress (1–7 September 2014, Burgos, Spain) Volume 14/Session A25b edited by Tiago Tomé, Marta Díaz-Zorita Bonilla, Ana Maria Silva, Claudia Cunha and Rui Boaventura. xii+128 pages; illustrated throughout in black & white. Available both in print and Open Access. 374 2017. ISBN 9781784917210. £25.00 (No VAT). Book contents pageBuy Now

The present volume originated in session A25b (‘Current Approaches to Collective Burials in the Late European Prehistory’) of the XVII World Congress of the International Union of the Prehistoric and Protohistoric Sciences (UISPP), held in Burgos in September 2014.

Collective burials are quite a common feature in Prehistoric Europe, with the gathering of multiple individuals in a shared burial place occurring in different types of burial structures (natural caves, megalithic structures, artificial caves, corbelled-roof tombs, pits, etc.). Such features are generally associated with communities along the agropastoralist transition and fully agricultural societies of the Neolithic and Chalcolithic.

For a long time, human skeletal remains exhumed from collective burials were dismissed as valuable sources of information, their studies being limited mostly to morphological assessments and subsequent classification in predefined ‘races’. They currently represent a starting point for diversified, often interdisciplinary, research projects, allowing for a more accurate reconstruction of funerary practices, as well as of palaeobiological and environmental aspects, which are fundamental for the understanding of populations in the Late Prehistory of Europe and of the processes leading to the emergence of agricultural societies in this part of the world.

The articles in this volume provide examples of different approaches currently being developed on Prehistoric collective burials of southern Europe, mostly focusing on case studies, but also including contributions of a more methodological scope.

This book is also available to download in PDF format in our Open Access section.
NEW: Remembered Places, Forgotten Pasts The Don Drainage Basin in Prehistory by Tim Cockrell. xii+222 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white (10 colour plates). 366 2017. ISBN 9781784917012. £32.00 (No VAT). Book contents pageBuy Now

South Yorkshire and the North Midlands have long been ignored or marginalized in narratives of British Prehistory. In Remembered Places, Forgotten Pasts, largely unpublished data is used for the first time in a work of synthesis to reconstruct the prehistory of the earliest communities across the River Don drainage basin. The author uses a relational approach to account for the complex and sophisticated interaction between people and materiality. Monuments and material culture are considered together, in relation to the diverse landscapes across which they were deposited in the distant past. The memory of significant places along lines of movement are central to the approach taken, combined with the changing character of the land which supported people. Virtually absent in recent narratives, the forgotten prehistoric pasts of the region are now able to be approached on a systematic basis. The author concludes that a region that was the centre of dynamic interaction between mobile groups in its earliest phase gave way to a pastoral lifestyle facilitated by extensive wetlands. These wetlands were connected by waterways and gorges. Thus connected, the wetlands were located to either side of its drier, centrally defining feature, the Magnesian Limestone ridge.
Time and Stone: The Emergence and Development of Megaliths and Megalithic Societies in Europe by Bettina Schulz Paulsson. xiv+376 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white (71 plates in colour). 361 2017. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784916855. £45.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784916862. £19.00 (Inc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

This analysis is concerned with the dating of megaliths in Europe and is based on 2410 available radiocarbon results from pre-megalithic and megalithic sites, the megaliths' contemporaneous contexts and the application of a Bayesian statistical framework. It is, so far, the largest existing attempt to establish a supra-regional synthesis on the emergence and development of megaliths in Europe. Its aim is to assist in the clarification of an over 200-year-old, ongoing research debate.

About the Author
Dr. Bettina Schulz Paulsson obtained her MA in Prehistoric Archaeology/American Anthropology in 2005 at the Humboldt /Freie Universität in Berlin/Germany and her PhD in 2013 at the graduate school “Human development in Landscapes”/ Christian-Albrechts Universität Kiel. Recently, she has been appointed to the Department of History, at the University of Gothenborg/Sweden as a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Research Fellow, funded under the EC’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Initiative. Her main research is on the Neolithic, with a particular focus on scientific dating, megaliths, rock art studies, cognitive archaeology and symbolic systems.
Territoires et ressources des sociétés néolithiques du Bassin parisien le cas du Néolithique moyen (4500 – 3800 av. n. è.) by Claira Lietar. x+166 pages; illustrated throughout in black & white with 46 plates in colour. French text with English abstract. 352 2017. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784916527. £28.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784916534. £19.00 (Inc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

The aim of this book is to study forms of territorial patterning and resource management in the middle Neolithic I and II, between 4500 and 3800 BC in the Paris basin. Using a database of middle Neolithic occupation, integrated in a geographic information system, a multiscalar spatial analysis was undertaken. First, a macro-regional and diachronic approach to territorial patterning was conducted through hierarchical ordering of all the occupation evidence. A micro-regional approach was then applied to two study zones, the Vaudreuil bend (at the Seine-Eure confluence) and the Aisne valley. Predictive modelling of preferred environmental contexts of sites, together with mapping of the reliability and confidence of the archaeological evidence, enabled site distribution to be considered in a critical manner. It seems that even in sectors which are relatively well documented through archaeological fieldwork, our vision of settlement is still biased. The models of occupation that have been produced show diversity in forms of territorial patterning, derived from regional development processes, between the middle of the 5th and the beginning of the 4th millennium. The diversification and densification of enclosures in some territories, around 4000 BC, reflect complexity in the organisation of communities. Yet other territories seem less highly structured and more sparsely occupied. The explanatory factors for these regional phenomena are linked to flint procurement systems, with their varying degrees of complexity, to control of communication routes, to demographic pressure and to competition between communities. Furthermore, there may be some logic behind the forms of site location in the highly-structured territories, based on the management of arable land.

French description: Territoires et ressources des sociétés néolithiques du Bassin parisien a pour objectif d’étudier les modalités de structuration des territoires et de gestion des ressources au Néolithique moyen I et II, entre 4500 et 3800 av. J-.C., dans le Bassin parisien. À partir d’une base de données des occupations du Néolithique moyen, intégrée dans un système d’information géographique, une analyse spatiale multiscalaire a été menée. Dans un premier temps, une approche macrorégionale et diachronique de la structuration des territoires, est basée sur la hiérarchisation de l’ensemble des occupations. Dans un deuxième temps, une approche micro-régionale est menée au sein de deux fenêtres d’analyse, dans la boucle du Vaudreuil (à la confluence de la Seine et de l’Eure) et dans la vallée de l’Aisne. La modélisation prédictive des contextes environnementaux préférentiels des sites, et l’élaboration des cartes de fiabilité et de confiance dans la documentation archéologique, permettent de développer une réflexion critique sur la distribution des sites. Il apparaît que même dans des secteurs relativement bien évalués archéologiquement, la vision que l’on a du peuplement reste biaisée. L’élaboration des modèles d’occupation, montrent une diversité des formes de structuration des territoires, issues de processus de développement régionaux, entre le milieu du Ve et le début du IVe millénaire.
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.).

Materials, Productions, Exchange Network and their Impact on the Societies of Neolithic Europe Proceedings of the XVII UISPP World Congress (1–7 September 2014, Burgos, Spain) Volume 13/Session A25a edited by Marie Besse and Jean Guilaine. vi+82 pages; illustrated throughout in black & white. Available both in print and Open Access. 305 2017. ISBN 9781784915247. £24.00 (No VAT). Book contents pageBuy Now

Scholars who will study the historiography of the European Neolithic, more particularly with regards to the second half of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century, will observe a progressive change in the core understanding of this period. For several decades the concept of ‘culture’ has been privileged and the adopted approach aimed to highlight the most significant markers likely to emphasise the character of a given culture and to stress its specificities, the foundations of its identity. In short, earlier research aimed primarily to highlight the differences between cultures by stressing the most distinctive features of each of them. The tendency was to differentiate, single out, and identify cultural boundaries. However, over the last few years this perspective has been universally challenged. Although regional originality and particularisms are still a focus of study, the research community is now interested in widely diffused markers, in medium-scale or large-scale circulation, and in interactions that make it possible to go beyond the traditional notion of ‘archaeological culture’. The networks related to raw materials or finished products are currently leading us to re-think the history of Neolithic populations on a more general and more global scale. The aim is no longer to stress differences, but on the contrary to identify what links cultures together, what reaches beyond regionalism in order to try to uncover the underlying transcultural phenomena. From culturalism, we have moved on to its deconstruction. This is indeed a complete change in perspective. This new approach certainly owes a great deal to all kinds of methods, petrographic, metal, chemical and other analyses, combined with effective tools such as the GIS systems that provide a more accurate picture of the sources, exchanges or relays used by these groups. It is also true that behind the facts observed there are social organisations involving prospectors, extractors, craftsmen, distributors, sponsors, users, and recyclers. We therefore found it appropriate to organise a session on the theme ‘Materials, productions, exchange networks and their impact on the societies of Neolithic Europe’.

How is it possible to identify the circulation of materials or of finished objects in Neolithic Europe, as well as the social networks involved? Several approaches exist for the researcher, and the present volume provides some examples.

This book is also available to download in PDF format in our Open Access section.

Disponibilidad y explotación de materias primas líticas en la costa de Norpatagonia (Argentina) Un enfoque regional by Jimena Alberti. xxii+196 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white. Spanish text. Available both in print and Open Access. South American Archaeology Series 27. ISBN 9781784914806. £40.00 (No VAT). Book contents pageBuy Now

The present book aims to study the use of lithic raw materials on the coast of the San Matías gulf (Río Negro, Argentina) during the middle and late Holocene. The understanding of this aspect of human group technology is of fundamental importance as the main archaeological materials recovered at the surface sites of the study area are lithic artefacts made from different types of rock. Thus, understanding how these were selected, reduced and finally discarded will contribute to the understanding of the way of life of the hunter-gatherer groups that inhabited the area during this period.

Spanish Description:
El presente libro tiene como objetivo estudiar el uso de las materias primas líticas en la costa del golfo San Matías (Río Negro, Argentina) durante el Holoceno medio y tardío. El entendimiento de este aspecto de la tecnología de los grupos humanos es de fundamental importancia ya que los principales materiales arqueológicos recuperados en los sitios de superficie del área de estudio son los artefactos líticos fabricados a partir de diferentes tipos de rocas. Así, entender la forma en que éstas fueron seleccionadas, reducidas y finalmente descartadas aportará a la comprensión del modo de vida de los grupos cazadores-recolectores que habitaron el área en el período mencionado.

This book is also available to download in PDF format in our Open Access section.
Art and Architecture in Neolithic Orkney Process, Temporality and Context by Antonia Thomas. xvi+258 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white. 272 University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute Research Series 1. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784914332. £45.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784914349. £19.00 (Inc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

The Neolithic sites of Orkney include an impressive number of stone-built tombs, ceremonial monuments and – uniquely for northern Europe – contemporary dwellings. Many of these buildings survive in a remarkable state of preservation, allowing an understanding of the relationship between architectural space and the process of construction that is rarely achievable. Until recently, however, relatively little has been known about the decoration of these sites.

This book addresses that gap to offer a groundbreaking analysis of Neolithic art and architecture in Orkney. Focussing upon the incredible collection of hundreds of decorated stones being revealed by the current excavations at the Ness of Brodgar, it details the results of the author’s original fieldwork both there and at the contemporary sites of Maeshowe and Skara Brae, all within the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site.

It provides the first major discussion of Orkney’s Neolithic carvings, and uses these as a springboard to challenge many of the traditional assumptions relating to Neolithic art and architecture. By foregrounding the architectural context of mark-making, this book explores how both buildings and carvings emerge though the embodied social practice of working stone, and how this relates to the wider context of life in Neolithic Orkney.

Reviews:

‘Art and Architecture in Neolithic Orkney is a handsome volume; it is well illustrated and clearly set out. It is designed to be read from cover to cover but in fact there is a lot of detail here and it also makes for an excellent ‘dipping’ book. The main thrust, as you might guess, is to provide an overview of the amazing suite of decorated stones found within the structures of Neolithic Orkney through detailed studies of these three key sites. Within each site, particular case studies are set out. It is a comprehensive piece of work, taking us first through a history of the archaeological study of art, and then providing a brief guide to the Neolithic art of Britain and Ireland.
…There is a lot to take in. There is a lot to think about. It is a book that will linger and enrich any exploration of the remains of Neolithic Orkney. The ‘art’ itself is just wonderful, it was clearly an integral part of the lives of our Neolithic ancestors.’
–Caroline Wickham‐Jones (The Orcadian, November 10th, 2016)

'The book offers a compelling account of a little-known aspect of the Orcadian Neolithic, and will make a significant contribution to understanding the artistic endeavour of communities that settled this island archipelago some 5,000-6,000 years ago, fusing architecture with art.' –George Nash (Current Archaeology, Issue 326, May 2017)
Siruthavoor: An Iron Age-Early Historical burial site, Tamil Nadu, South India by Smriti Haricharan. x+92 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white. 269 2016. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784914356. £22.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784914363. £19.00 (Inc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

Archaeological artifacts such as stone tools, ceramics, coins, metal implements, and ornaments like beads, are generally used to evaluate and understand the history of humans. These artifacts are especially important for the study of periods that lack concrete literary evidence. Intangible aspects such as spiritual beliefs and ceremonies, as well as tangible but perishable objects, are lost in the passage of time but artifacts are more likely to survive the vicissitudes of time. Pollen analysis, plant ecology and not least prehistoric archaeology have contributed to the recognition of the transitional zone between uncontaminated nature and what eventually became known as a cultural landscape. Cultural landscapes are looked upon not only as products of human intervention, but also and in particular as the result of human desire to leave an imprint of control and power, often associated with territoriality and religious or political ambitions. Megalithic burials, which are found in vast numbers in southern and central India, are a well-known global phenomenon and their builders have left behind a landscape altered by their funereal remains.

This study aims at using and understanding man-land relationships in order to better comprehend the megalithic burials of Tamil Nadu. Funereal remains are one of the most important lingering means of understanding society, customs and religion of pre and proto historic periods. Many questions remain unanswered for the Iron Age of south India, and the megalithic burials are an important piece of this puzzle. This site specific study helps us better understand some aspects such as spatial distribution, chronology and post depositional changes of the burials at Siruthavoor.
Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies Volume 46 2016 Papers from the forty-seventh meeting of the Seminar for Arabian Studies held at the British Museum, London, 24 to 26 July 2015 edited by Janet Starkey and Orhan Elmaz. xiv+302 pages; illustrated throughout with 42 colour plates. PSAS46 2016. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784913632. £69.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784913649. £57.60 (Inc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

The Seminar for Arabian Studies is the only international academic forum that meets annually for the presentation of research in the humanities on the Arabian Peninsula. It focuses on the fields of archaeology, architecture, art, epigraphy, ethnography, history, language, linguistics, literature, and numismatics from the earliest times to the present day.

A wide range of original and stimulating papers presented at the Seminar is published in the Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies and reflects the dynamism and scope of the interdisciplinary event. The Proceedings present the cutting edge of new research on Arabia and include reports of new discoveries in the Peninsula. They are published each spring in time for the subsequent Seminar, which is held in July.

The main foci of the Seminar in 2015, in descending order of the number of papers presented in each session were North Arabia, South Arabia and Aksum, Archaeological Survey and Field Methods, Bronze and Iron Ages in Eastern Arabia, Islamic Archaeology, and Neolithic Archaeology. In addition, there were sessions on Recent Cultural History in Arabia, and Heritage Management in Arabia, as well as a special session on the Nabataean world titled ‘Beyond the “rose-red” city: the hinterland of Petra and Nabatean rural sites’, which featured a total of six papers. This volume also includes notes in memoriam on Professor Andrzej Zaborski (1942–2014), Professor Ordinarius at the Jagellonian University of Cracow, who specialized in Afro-Asiatic linguistics, Semitic and Cushitic in particular.
Anthropomorphic Representations in the Cucuteni-Tripolye Culture by Dan Monah. viii+444 pages; illustrated throughout in black & white with 6 colour plates. 246 2016. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784912321. £55.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784912338. £19.00 (Inc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

Dan Monah (11 February 1943 – 21 September 2013) was a specialist in the Neo-Eneolithic of Romania and, in particular, of the Precucuteni-Cucuteni-Tripolye cultural complex, last affiliated with the Iași Institute of Archaeology of the Romanian Academy. His core body of work, consisting of seven books and more than one hundred articles published, primarily deals with coroplastic analysis as a mean of insight into the religion and art of the Neo-Eneolithic communities. With a unique approach to the study of what he formally named ‘the religious life of Cucuteni-Tripolye communities’, Dan Monah was a staunch critic of the dominant cultural-historic paradigm and its natural interpretative consequences: the supremacy of typological description, the Cartesian ranking of religious systems from simple to complex, and the avoidance of ‘unclassable’ occurrences.

The present volume embodies his vision applied to the analysis of the Cucuteni-Tripolye anthropomorphic representations, resting on two structural pillars: an in-depth knowledge of a large body of history of religion literature, and an almost exhaustive inventory of the Cucuteni- Tripolye anthropomorphic representations, the result of over three decades of personal, patient and meticulous examination of the archaeological data. For those in his wake, Dan Monah’s open and unprejudiced approach to the prehistoric imagery enclosed in this book constitutes a solid cornerstone on which further work can be built. Its pages should be turned, if not on account of the wealth of information inside, but for the author’s pleasant and refreshing style at least.
Mégalithismes vivants et passés: approches croisées Living and Past Megalithisms: interwoven approaches edited by Christian Jeunesse, Pierre Le Roux and Bruno Boulestin. x+294 pages; illustrated throughout with 63 colour plates. Papers in French and English. 231 2016. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784913458. £50.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784913465. £19.00 (Inc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

Megalithic monuments from Neolithic Europe have long been considered as rough copies of the monumental architectures built by the first civilizations of the Near East and Eastern Mediterranean. When radiocarbon dating jeopardized this diffusionist pattern, though, specialists could not but wonder why and how these Neolithic societies, usually considered as small ‘village communities’, had erected such monuments. In order to answer these questions and seek explanations in the social, political or religious contexts of recent or present megalith-building societies, the ethnological frame of references has been referred to on a regular basis.

This volume comprises the papers presented by prehistorians and ethnologists at the two multi-disciplinary round tables held in Strasburg in May 2014 and May 2015. Their purpose was, with the help of both case studies and more synthetic works, to discuss how the patterns drawn from the observation of ‘living’ megalithic societies have been used to try and shed light on the functioning of European Neolithic societies, the epistemological problems raised by this transposition and the relevance of ethnology-based archeological explanations. The book is composed of three sections: the first one deals with some methodological reflections, the second and third ones with the ‘living’ or recent megalithisms of respectively the Indonesian Archipelago and Ethiopia.

About the Editors:
Christian Jeunesse is professor of prehistoric archaeology at the Université de Strasbourg and member of the unit “Archimède” (UMR 7044, CNRS) and of the Institut Universitaire de France. He is the author of numerous works about the European Neolithic. His main topics are the history of the danubian Neolithic, the funeral rites and the social organization of neolithic and chalcolithic societies

Bruno Boulestin is an anthropologist at the University of Bordeaux, France, member of the “Anthropologie des populations passées et présentes” (A3P) team of the unit “De la Préhistoire à l’Actuel, Culture, Environnement, Anthropologie” (PACEA, UMR 5199 of the CNRS). He is working on the diachronic study of practices around death in ancient societies from both archaeological, bioarchaeological and socio-anthropological data and is specialized in the study of bone modifications and corpse treatments.
‘A Mersshy Contree Called Holdernesse’: Excavations on the Route of a National Grid Pipeline in Holderness, East Yorkshire Rural Life in the Claylands to the East of the Yorkshire Wolds, from the Mesolithic to the Iron Age and Roman Periods, and beyond edited by Gavin Glover, Paul Flintoft, Richard Moore. xii+286 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white. Available both in print and Open Access. 225 2016. ISBN 9781784913137. £40.00 (No VAT). Book contents pageBuy Now

Twenty sites were excavated on the route of a National Grid pipeline across Holderness, East Yorkshire. These included an early Mesolithic flint-working area, near Sproatley. In situ deposits of this age are rare, and the site is a significant addition to understanding of the post-glacial development of the wider region. Later phases of this site included possible Bronze Age round barrows and an Iron Age square barrow. Elsewhere on the pipeline route, diagnostic Mesolithic, Neolithic and Bronze Age flints, as well as Bronze Age pottery, provide evidence of activity in these periods.

Iron Age remains were found at all of the excavation sites, fourteen of which had ring gullies, interpreted as evidence for roundhouse structures. The frequency with which these settlements occurred is an indication of the density of population in the later Iron Age and the large assemblage of hand-made pottery provides a rich resource for future study. Activity at several of these sites persisted at least into the second or early third centuries AD, while the largest excavation site, at Burton Constable, was re-occupied in the later third century. However, the pottery from the ring gullies was all hand-made, suggesting that roundhouses had ceased to be used by the later first century AD, when the earliest wheel-thrown wares appear. This has implications for understanding of the Iron Age to Roman transition in the region.

Late first- or early second-century artefacts from a site at Scorborough Hill, near Weeton, are of particular interest, their nature strongly suggesting an association with the Roman military.

This book is also available to download in Open Access.

Argonauts of the Stone Age Early maritime activity from the first migrations from Africa to the end of the Neolithic by Andrzej Pydyn. viii+255 pages; illustrated throughout in black & white with 11 colour plates. 219 2016. ISBN 9781784911430. £36.00 (No VAT). Book contents pageBuy Now

This is an important book. Too often in the past archaeologists have ignored or underestimated sea travel in early prehistory but the evidence has been growing and now it is presented to us in full in this thought provoking study. No longer can those interested in the human achievement neglect to take into account the astonishing achievements of our palaeolithic, mesolithic and neolithic ancestors.

This book gives a full account of stone age seafaring presenting the archaeological evidence in the context of the changing world environment and uses ethnographic sources to broaden the readers understanding of the worlds earliest sea craft. It is essential reading for all concerned to understand the human condition. – Professor Sir Barry Cunliffe, Oxford

The book is a comprehensive study of early navigation and its place in the development of human culture from the earliest times to the late Stone Age. This subject is very timely in light of increasing archaeological and palaeoanthropological evidence that the maritime environment had been mastered in prehistory. As the author rightly points out at the beginning of his book, the maritime environment can no longer be marginalised when portraying both hunter-gatherer and early agrarian prehistoric communities.

The book is a valuable and inspiring work on a subject which had hitherto not enjoyed such in-depth treatment. It greatly enhances our perception of the beginnings of human culture and enriches it with comprehensive, convincing arguments that the maritime environment had been mastered by early humans. I congratulate the author on the effect he has achieved and on unearthing so many chronologically, geographically and thematically diverse sources. – Prof. Paweł Valde-Nowak, Jagiellonian University, Krakow

The title of the book intrigues the reader and promises a fascinating read about issues approached from an innovatively broad perspective. Both the global territorial scope and the chronological range covering almost two million years of human cultural development are worthy of note. What we have here is an aspect of human activity which is often neglected and marginalised in scientific research, which is that directly related to the sea. The fact that up to 90% of Pleistocene coasts, which were after all heavily populated in the Stone Age, have been flooded in modern times is not conducive to large-scale research, as underlined by the author in the Introduction.

The beginnings of human activity on the high seas are the subject of research in numerous scientific disciplines, all of which are discussed here. In writing this book the author has drawn on an exceptionally wide range of literature, mostly in English, owing to which the author’s own views, as well as those of other researchers whom he cites, are credible and convincing. – Dr hab. Krzysztof Cyrek, professor of Nicolaus Copernicus University, Toruń

Reviews

‘…Pydyn makes a compelling case that pre-Homo sapiens may have utilized water transport technology. Even the use of natural floats was perhaps “culturally enriched,” meaning that our ancestors consciously affected the direction of drifting or floating. He also argues that studies of early maritime activity have demonstrated the research potential of the continental shelf, because many Paleolithic and Neolithic sites are likely underwater… Argonauts of the Stone Age is a well-illustrated and engaging addition to the recent volumes on early seafaring and maritime activities.’ – Katelyn Dibenedetto, University of Nevada (Journal Of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology And Heritage Studies, Vol 5, Nos 3-4, 2017)

Mining and Materiality Neolithic Chalk Artefacts and their Depositional Contexts in Southern Britain by Anne M. Teather. viii+114 pages; illustrated throughout in black and white. 218 2016. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784912659. £26.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784912666. £19.00 (Inc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

In this book Anne Teather develops a new approach to understanding the Neolithic flint mines of southern Britain. These mines include some of the earliest - and also some of the largest - monumental constructions that transformed the landscape of Britain during the period of social change that accompanied the transition from foraging to farming 6000 years ago. Yet the sophisticated architecture of these mines and the unique deposits that they contained have received relatively little attention from archaeologists. This book draws together the results of an extensive analysis of archival records and material to illustrate how these mines and the activities that took place in them can be seen as integral to Neolithic life.

Previous studies of the flint mines have focused on the functional demands of flint extraction and the ways in which the raw flint material was distributed and processed into tools such as axes. Yet there is compelling evidence that the voids – shafts and galleries created through the process of flint extraction – were not merely the abandoned features of flint exploitation but instead should be seen as dynamic and monumental architectural spaces where creative and meaningful social actions took place. This interpretation is evidenced through the recognition of repeated motifs of chalk art inscribed on the walls of the mines and in the deliberate placement and deposition of artefacts. These artefacts include both naturalistic and abstract forms made of chalk, items that have not previously been recognised as a cohesive class of material.

The book draws together for the first time a comprehensive typology, chronology and classification system for prehistoric chalk artefacts. The concept of artefact is broadened to include natural materials whose selection and placement in specific archaeological contexts is pivotal in understanding depositional complexity and the symbolic meaning conveyed by elements of the natural world.
Analysis of the Economic Foundations Supporting the Social Supremacy of the Beaker Groups Proceedings of the XVII UISPP World Congress (1–7 September, Burgos, Spain): Volume 6 / Session B36 edited by Elisa Guerra Doce and Corina Liesau von Lettow-Vorbeck. vi+156 pages; illustrated throughout in black and white. Available both in print and Open Access. 215 2016. ISBN 9781784913076. £30.00 (No VAT). Book contents pageBuy Now

The Bell Beaker phenomenon is one of the most fascinating horizons in European Later Prehistory, due to its vast geographical distribution, the intrinsic value of some of the artefacts comprising the Beaker package, or its supposed links to certain kinds of ritual ceremonies as shown by the frequent deposition of Beaker items in burial contexts. At present, the idea that the Beaker package is best interpreted as a symbol of power common to socially-prominent individuals by the mid-to-late third millennium BC is widely acknowledged by scholars in this field. From this point of view, the Beaker phenomenon is seen as the archaeological evidence representing an ideology which was shared by a number of prehistoric societies geographically scattered throughout much of Western and Central Europe, or, more specifically, was only shared by elite individuals within these territories.

The strategies employed by these individuals to attain such privileged statuses, however, are poorly known. Therefore, in the framework of the XVII World UISPP Congress, held in September 2014 in Burgos (Spain), a session entitled ‘Analysis of the economic foundations supporting the social supremacy of the Beaker groups’ (B36) was organised by this volume’s two editors. The session focused mostly on examining this issue at a European level, and less on the study of the Beaker package itself, as a way of looking at the economic foundations that helped these individuals attain their higher social statuses.

The proximity of Beaker sites to natural routes of communication highlights the importance of exchange networks through which people, objects and ideas may have circulated through Europe during this time. The Amesbury Archer in southern England is one of the best examples of interaction within Beaker territories. Having said this, considering that Beaker pots themselves were not exchanged over long distances, attention must be paid to other mechanisms of diffusion. The present volume comprises the papers presented at this session suggesting that Beaker groups may have controlled certain products and technologies.

This book is also available to download in PDF format in our Open Access section.

Le Néolithique ancien en Italie du sud Evolution des industries lithiques entre VIIe et VIe millénaire by Carmine Collina. xvi+510; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white. French text. 206 2016. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784911867. £75.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784911836. £19.00 (Inc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

The principal aim of this study is to put forward a technological and typological analysis of the industries of the Early Neolithic concerned in the process of neolithisation in several regions of Southern Italy. The rooting concepts are centred on the principles of the lithic technology outlined by J. Tixier, H. Roche, and M.-L. Inizan, D. Binder, C. Perlès, N. Pigeot et J. Pelegrin. The lithic series examined belong to the different horizons concerned in the process of Neolithitisation of Southern Italy in several areas of the envisaged region. In a view to reconstruct the economy of débitage and the economy of raw materials and the possible formation of technical traditions, this research is based on the following points: the economic and petrographic analysis of the raw materials; the analysis of the technological aspects and of the technical facts; the typometrical analysis of the different products of the chaînes opératoires; the typological analysis through the creation of an inventory allowing to integrate the study of the technological criteria with that of specific characters of the lithic tools. The main targets of this research are to highlight the methods and the techniques of débitage and to identify the chaînes opératoires set up by the early groups of farmers in the South of Italy and in Sicily. Is it possible to recognize a techno-economic variability in the débitage systems of the Early Neolithic of Southern Italy? Is it possible to give a cultural value to the variability of technical facts? What is the rate of continuity and discontinuity among groups of hunters-gatherers and the first farming societies? These questions shed light on the whole of technical and cultural transformations between the seventh and sixth millennium B.C. in the South of Italy, a region that played a key role in the process of diffusion of Neolithic towards the West Mediterranean.
Cannibalism in the Linear Pottery Culture: The Human Remains from Herxheim by Bruno Boulestin and Anne-Sophie Coupey. viii+143 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white. 183 2015. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784912130. £35.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784912147. £19.00 (Inc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

The Herxheim enclosure, located in the German region of Palatinate, is one of the major discoveries of the last two decades regarding the Linear Pottery Culture, and probably one of the most significant in advancing understanding of how this culture ended. The spectacular deposits, mostly composed of human remains, recovered on the occasion of the two excavation campaigns carried out on the site, grabbed people’s attention and at the same time raised several questions regarding their interpretation, which had so far mostly hesitated between peculiar funerary practices, war and cannibalism.

The authors provide here the first extensive study of the human remains found at Herxheim, focusing mainly on those recovered during the 2005–2010 excavation campaign. They first examine the field data in order to reconstruct at best the modalities of deposition of these remains. Next, from the quantitative analyses and those of the bone modifications, they describe the treatments of the dead, showing that they actually were the victims of cannibalistic practices. The nature of this cannibalism is then discussed on the basis of biological, palaeodemographic and isotopic studies, and concludes that an exocannibalism existed linked to armed violence. Finally, the human remains are placed in both their local and chronocultural contexts, and a general interpretation is proposed of the events that unfolded in Herxheim and of the reasons for the social crisis at the end of the Linear Pottery culture in which they took place.

About the Authors:
Bruno Boulestin is an anthropologist at the University of Bordeaux, France, member of the “Anthropologie des populations passées et presents” (A3P) team of the unit “De la Préhistoire à l’Actuel, Culture, Environnement, Anthropologie” (PACEA, UMR 5199 of the CNRS). He is working on the diachronic study of practices around death in ancient societies from both archaeological, bioarchaeological and socio-anthropological data and is specialized in the study of bone modifications and corpse treatments.

Anne-Sophie Coupey is an archaeologist at the University of Rennes 1, France, Centre de Recherche en Archéologie, Archéosciences et Histoire (CReAAH, UMR 6566 of the CNRS). She is specialized in the archaeology of death and has worked mainly on funerary practices in Southeastern Asia.

Bronze ‘Bathtub’ Coffins In the Context of 8th-6th Century BC Babylonian, Assyrian and Elamite Funerary Practices by Yasmina Wicks. vi+168 pages; illustrated throughout in black & white. 181 2015. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784911744. £35.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784911751. £19.00 (Inc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

This volume is dedicated to a small number of unique bronze ‘bathtub’ coffins found in 8th–6th century BC Babylonian, Assyrian and Elamite burial contexts. Usually treated as an incidental aspect of the burial process, these fascinating burial receptacles have until now garnered little in the way of academic interest. Here the author takes the opportunity to further explore the coffins, drawing together the widely dispersed information on their archaeological contexts, investigating the method and place of their manufacture, and establishing a possible date range for their production and use. To progress towards an understanding of the bronze ‘bathtub’ coffin burials within the broader context of regional funerary practices, they are then incorporated into an analysis of Neo-Babylonian, Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Elamite funerary ritual and belief. Finally the coffins are placed within the historical framework of these regions’ socio-political interaction in an attempt to establish whether they represent a shared funerary tradition. Underpinning this study is the principle that mortuary evidence is the product of intentional behaviour; that the bronze ‘bathtub’ coffins represent a deliberate choice by the burying group and each would have featured in an emotionally and symbolically charged burial act.
The Mysterious Wall Paintings of Teleilat Ghassul, Jordan In Context by Bernadette Drabsch. x+230 pages; illustrated throughout in black & white with two colour plates. 170 2015 Monographs of the Sydney University Teleilat Ghassul Project 3. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784911706. £34.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784911713. £19.00 (Inc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

This volume is primarily concerned with the re-analysis of the wall paintings from the Jordanian Chalcolithic period (ca. 4700-3700 BC) settlement site of Teleilat Ghassul, first excavated in 1929 by scholars from the Pontifical Biblical Institute Rome and latterly by Australians from the University of Sydney. The seven major paintings were re-analysed using a methodology based on contextualisation, digital reconstruction, experimental replication and subject analysis.

A comprehensive theoretical framework was constructed from published and unpublished materials from the site, consisting of geographical and environmental datasets, topographic, settlement-location and structural contexts. These included material/artefactual associations, technological issues and a comprehensive symbolic regional comparative analysis of the artworks themselves.

The interpretive structure, reconstructed and re-evaluated scenes, and replication studies, have revealed numerous insights into the artistic traditions and cultic practices of South Levantine Ghassulian Chalcolithic culture, with considerable relevance to the ongoing debate on such matters as prehistoric societal makeup and art historical scholarship.

This study has provided intriguing glimpses into the lives of a brilliantly artistic and deeply ritualised society, shedding new light on this little-known and still mysterious people.
Rivers in Prehistory edited by Andrea Vianello. vi+166 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white. 169 2015. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784911782. £38.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784911799. £19.00 (Inc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

From antiquity onwards people have opted to live near rivers and major watercourses. Both freshwater and navigable routes provide the obvious reasons for settling near a river, but there are also many drawbacks, such as flooding. This volume explores rivers as facilitators of movement through landscapes, and it investigates the reasons for living near a river, as well as the role of the river in the human landscape. Ultimately, it focuses on the delicate relationship between humans and their environment, looking at the origins to help understand the present.

The symbolic and philosophical perceptions and understanding of rivers, the cultural and social behaviour associated with their presence, and the effort and engineering required to subdue and control their flowing waters are all deeply embedded in human cultures. Through an extended essay and ten case studies, this book introduces the reader to how rivers have been perceived as gateways to wilderness and the environment for humans across the world, and how they have affected behaviour and ideas throughout human history. Students and researchers of humanenvironment dynamics, and/or the colonisation of new lands, will find in this volume a network of bridges to facilitate the exploration of different research paths towards historical narratives of human cultures, through which rivers, and their environments, run.
Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies Volume 45 2015 edited by Orhan Elmaz. xii+434 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white. PSAS45 2015. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784911454. £69.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784911461. £57.60 (Inc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

The Seminar for Arabian Studies is the only international academic forum which meets annually for the presentation of research in the humanities on the Arabian Peninsula. It focuses on the fields of archaeology, architecture, art, epigraphy, ethnography, history, language, linguistics, literature, and numismatics from the earliest times to the present day.

A wide range of original and stimulating papers presented at the Seminar are published in the Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies and reflect the dynamism and scope of the interdisciplinary event.

The main foci of the Seminar in 2014, in chronological order were the Palaeolithic and Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Ages, Early Historical and Classical periods, Heritage Management, Islamic Archaeology and History. In addition there were sessions on Ethnography, on Language, and with a session dedicated to the Archaeology and History of ancient Yemen. In addition, on the evening of Saturday, 26 July 2014, Professor Lloyd Weeks, Head of the School of Humanities, the University of University of New England, New South Wales, Australia, a long supporter of the Seminar and Foundation, presented the MBI Lecture entitled ‘The Quest for the Copper of Magan: how early metallurgy shaped Arabia and set the horizons of the Bronze Age world’ and as always provided an informative, interesting and lucid lecture. This volume also includes notes in memoriam on Nigel Groom (1924–2014), ‘Arabist, historian, spy-catcher, and writer on perfume’; and on Professor Tony Wilkinson (1948–2014), Professor of Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh (2005–2006) and Professor of Archaeology at Durham University (2006–2014) who specialised in landscape archaeology.

Connecting Networks: Characterising Contact by Measuring Lithic Exchange in the European Neolithic edited by Tim Kerig and Stephen Shennan. x+167 pages; illustrated throughout in black & white. 162 2015. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784911416. £34.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784911423. £19.00 (Inc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

This volume brings together a group of peer reviewed papers, most of them presented at a workshop held at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. The event took place on 15–17 October 2011 and was part of the European Research Council (ERC) funded project Cultural Evolution of Neolithic Europe (EUROEVOL 2010-2015).

The aim of the EUROEVOL project is to contribute to the new interdisciplinary field of cultural evolution that has developed over the last 30 years, and at the same time use these ideas and methods to address specific questions concerning the links between demographic, economic, social and cultural patterns and processes in the first farming societies of temperate Europe. The aim of the EUROEVOL project is to do that for the first time, and in doing so to provide the basis for a new account of the role of farming in transforming early European societies, c.6000-2000 cal BCE.
Du Mont Liban aux Sierras d’Espagne Sols, eau et sociétés en montagne: Autour du projet franco-libanais CEDRE “Nahr Ibrahim” edited by Romana Harfouche and Pierre Poupet. ii+284 pages; illustrated throughout in black & white. French text. 157 2015. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784911355. £44.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784911362. £19.00 (Inc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

Soil and water management is a major stake for the current Mediterranean countries. It was also an important challenge for past societies, especially since the Neolithic and the early well-established farming communities. the mastery of these vital resources accompanied the complexification of social organization. It also widely contributed, if not to impulse it, at least to structure it. This volume presents the results of the CEDRE multidisciplinary project NAHR IBRAHIM that was led on the Lebanese mountain centered around the Nahr Ibrahim valley (the famous Adonis valley in Antiquity), in the hinterland of the ancient city of Byblos. the mountain has been under-researched by archaeology and history due to the attractiveness of the prestigious coastal phoenician cities. The history of settlement patterns and the construction of agricultural mountainous landscapes since the Early Bronze Age is examined with comparisons from other regions surrounding the Mediterranean Basin.

French description:
En préambule à la publication d’un travail collectif international, franco-libanais, qui a été conduit pendant deux années (2010-2012), il faut replacer ce travail dans un monde en évolution constante et accélérée, où les sociétés sont de plus en plus exclusives. En entreprenant une recherche sur la construction des paysages ruraux et sur la maîtrise des sols et de l’eau, au cours de l’histoire, l’équipe internationale a voulu montrer la richesse des savoirs et des pratiques de sociétés agricoles qui, loin d’être immobiles et repliées sur elles-mêmes dans leurs montagnes, sont innovantes par bien des aspects, capables d’effectuer des progrès réfléchis.

Le projet dans son ensemble devait satisfaire à trois questions : quel projet global a été élaboré et avec quels partenaires ? quelles disciplines spécialisées choisies parmi les Sciences naturelles (Sciences de la Terre et de la Vie) ainsi que parmi les Sciences humaines (Sciences de l’Homme et des Sociétés) ont été sollicitées en fonction des objectifs fixés ? quel périmètre a été défini pour l’étude et selon quels critères ?

Au regard des recherches qui ont été conduites, des stratégies et des missions, nous devons expliciter les résultats obtenus et les évolutions remarquables par rapport à l’état des lieux précédent de la connaissance, mais aussi les perspectives scientifiques pour l’avenir, dans le contexte régional et national du Liban, mais aussi au niveau international. C’est pourquoi, dans le cadre de la publication des résultats de l’équipe franco-libanaise, nous avons fait appel à des équipes et à des chercheurs oeuvrant dans d’autres espaces montagnards, proches de la Méditerranée et comparables sur bien des points à la montagne libanaise, ainsi qu’à des chercheurs travaillant plus spécifiquement sur l’histoire des sols et de l’exploitation de l’eau.
The late prehistory of Malta: Essays on Borġ in-Nadur and other sites edited by Davide Tanasi and Nicholas C. Vella. vii+199 pages; illustrated throughout in black & white. 155 2015. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784911270. £35.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784911287. £19.00 (Inc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

Borġ in-Nadur, on the south-east coast of the island of Malta, is a major multi-period site, with archaeological remains that span several thousand years. In the course of the Late Neolithic, the steep-sided ridge was occupied by a large megalithic temple complex that was re-occupied in the succeeding Bronze Age. In the course of the second millennium BC, the ridge was heavily fortified by a massive wall to protect a settlement of huts. Excavations were carried out here in 1881 and again in 1959. This volume brings together a number of contributions that report on those excavations, providing an exhaustive account of the stratigraphy, the pottery, the lithic assemblages, the bones, and the molluscs. Additional studies look at other sites in Malta and in neighbouring Sicily in an effort to throw light on the late prehistory of the south-central Mediterranean at a period when connections with regions near and far were increasing. The volume forms a companion to another monograph which concentrated on the temple remains at Borġ in-Nadur (D. Tanasi and N. C. Vella (eds), Site, artefacts and landscape: prehistoric Borġ in-Nadur, Malta. Praehistorica Mediterranea 3. Monza: Polimetrica, 2011).

About the Editors:
Davide Tanasi (Ph.D.) is Professor of Archaeology at Arcadia University, The College of Global Studies - Arcadia Sicily Center. His research interests include Mediterranean prehistory, island archaeology, archaeometry of ancient ceramics, computer graphics in archaeology, and digital communication of cultural heritage. He has authored a hundred scientific papers in these fields and produced 3D documentaries about Sicilian archaeology and cultural heritage. His publications include La Sicilia e l’arcipelago maltese nell’eta del Bronzo Medio (Palermo, 2008) and Site, Artefacts and Landscape: Prehistoric Borġ in-Nadur, Malta with Nicholas C. Vella (Monza, 2011). He is editor of the international scientific journal Open Archaeology (De Gruyter) and since 2012, he has been directing the Field School in Archaeology of Arcadia University in Sicily.

Nicholas C. Vella is Senior Lecturer and Head of the Department of Classics and Archaeology at the University of Malta, and works on Mediterranean history and archaeology. He has co-edited another volume of essays on Malta’s late prehistory called Site, Artefacts and Landscape: Prehistoric Borġ in- Nadur, Malta with Davide Tanasi (Monza, 2011) and contributed, with him, to the Cambridge Prehistory of the Bronze and Iron Age Mediterranean edited by P. van Dommelen and B. Knapp (Cambridge, 2014). He edits the Malta Archaeological Review, and co-directs excavations at the Żejtun Roman Villa (Malta). He is also co-investigator of the FRAGSUS project, funded by the European Research Council, that is examining the environmental and cultural background of prehistoric Malta.
Isles of the Dead? The setting and function of the Bronze Age chambered cairns and cists of the Isles of Scilly by Katharine Sawyer. viii+175 pages; illustrated throughout in black & white with 2 colour plates. 149 2015. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784911133. £33.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784911140. £19.00 (Inc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

The number and density of megalithic chambered cairns in the Isles of Scilly, a tiny archipelago that forms the most south-westerly part of the British Isles, has been remarked upon since the 18th century. Isles of the Dead? examines these sites, generally known as entrance graves, and the associated cist graves. Their physical structure and contents, as well as their landscape setting, orientation and inter-visibility, are discussed. The origins and functions of the monuments and their significance to the communities that built and used them are also considered.

The findings indicate that the entrance graves were indeed used for burial and that a wide range of grave goods, including prestige items, were placed in them. The pottery, in particular, shows the development of a specific island identity. The first radiocarbon determinations from the graves suggest a period of use between c2000 and 1250 cal BC. This coincides with the inundation of large areas of low-lying land in the islands and suggests that the construction of entrance graves may have been regarded as a way of ‘holding the line’ against the depredations of the sea.