ossamenta: (Book store = shiny!)
[personal profile] ossamenta
The spring Oxbow catalogue came yesterday. So many wonderful books…. If only I had more money for buying them, more space to store them and more time to read them. But there are some really cool stuff that I feel the need to if not acquire, then to read them in the uni library.

- Horsburgh & Matisoo-Smith - DNA for archaeologists This book introduces archaeologists to the basics of DNA research so they can understand the powers and pitfalls of using DNA data in archaeological analysis and interpretation. By concentrating on the principles and applications of DNA specific to archaeology, the authors demonstrate the correct collection of DNA samples and allow archaeologists to interpret the laboratory results with greater confidence. The volume is replete with case examples of DNA work in a variety of archaeological contexts.
This sounds so cool. The problem with being in a multidisciplinary field is that there are inevitably fields where you have no idea on the basic premise and where the pitfalls are (barring what you can get from a quick read on wikipedia). My only fear is that by the time it got to publication date (2012) some of the stuff they discuss may already be out of date.

- Hopkins - Ancient textiles, modern science This book is the publication of a series of lectures and experiments that were undertaken at the First and Second European Textile Forum in 2009 and 2010. Each had a new approach, exploring a question of textile manufacture in a scientific way, revealing answers and outcomes that were unavailable before. The First European Textile Forum hosted an experiment that found the relationship between archaeological hand-spinning finds and the yarn they produce. This scientific approach reflects in contributions describing the reconstruction of tablet-woven artefacts, with explorations of the method of tablet-weaving and a reassessment of archaeological finds and depictions. The Second European Textile Forum explored the practical aspects of undertaking reconstructions such as Stone Age fabrics, Roman dyeing or the clothing of Gunnister Man, including the deconstruction of the original artefact, allowing for the unexpected and the implication of new findings. Techniques for treating raw materials, creating fabrics and finishing artefacts are explored.
I’m very intrigued by this description, and I think I need to go to the Oxbow office/inofficial shop to have a look at it. For £26 I need to be certain a book is of use to me.

- Bartosiewicz & Gal - Shuffling nags, lame ducks: the archaeology of animal disease This book provides an invaluable guide to the investigation of trauma and disease in archaeozoological assemblages. It provides a clear methodological approach, and describes and explains the wide range of traumatic lesions, infections, diseases, inherited disorders and other pathological changes and anomalies that can be identified. In so doing, it explores the impact that “man-made” decisions have had on animals, including special aspects of culture that may be reflected in the treatment of diseased or injured animals that often incorporate powerful symbolic or religious roles, and seeks to enhance our understanding of the relationship between man and beast in the past.
The previous book on palaeopathology in animals was Brothwell’s and Baker’s Animal diseases in archaeology which came out in 1980. It’s high time for a new one! I think this book will be a must-buy for zooarchaeologists, and if you preorder now, it’s only £30 as opposed to £38 later on. Unfortunately Oxbow doesn’t say when it’s due, so I guess it’s a matter of waiting patiently for the postman.

- Smith - Insects in the city - an archaeoentomological perspective on London’s past Through a case study of the results from London, this book provides an introduction to, and survey of the discipline of archaeoentomology. Alongside a chronological analysis of the evidence from insect remains which has been uncovered in London, David Smith outlines the techniques and technical issues involved, and showcases the variety of ways in which insect remains can be used to interpret the archaeological record. A picture is built up of landscape and landscape change as well as urban development and changes in living conditions.
I’ve skimmed this one and thought it was very good. I actually planned to do a review post, but life got in the way. I hope I can do one later in the year.

- Seetah & Gravina - Bones for tools - Tools for bones: the interplay between objects and objectives Exposing and exploring contexts spanning much of prehistory, and drawing data from a wide range of environmental settings, the book covers both sides of the complex inter-relationship between animals, the technologies used to procure them and those arising from them. In taking a more inclusive approach to the material, technological and social dynamics of early human subsistence we have returned to the earliest of those archaeological associations: that between stone tools and animal bones. In revealing the inter-dependence of their relationship, this volume takes what we hope will be a first step towards a revitalized understanding of the scope of past interactions between humans and the world around them.
This could be a interesting book, although the description is so very academic and general I’m not sure how much of it will be of use to me. If they only do prehistory, they will inevitably focus on the periods where I get very little material from - most of the sites we dig that yields lots of animal bone are Iron Age or later.

- Schulting & Fibiger - Sticks, stones and broken bones: Neolithic violence in a European perspective Focusing on evidence of violent injuries in human skeletons, this study draws together together archaeologists from across Europe to present the latest findings in their regional contexts. The case studies examine such evidence for violence in the context of total populations to give an idea of scale. As well as examining regional variation, the contributions offer perspectives on the relationship between violent death and mortuary practice, on variations in violent injuries across age and sex, on chronological developments and on the nature of and incidence of recovery from, injuries.
Something for the human osteologists.

- Brears - Cooking and dining in Medieval England A series of chapters looks at the cooking departments in large households: the counting house, dairy, brewhouse, pastry, boiling house and kitchen. Then there are chapters dealing with the various sorts of kitchen equipment: fires, fuel, pots and pans. Sections are devoted to recipes and types of food cooked. The recipes have been used and tested by Peter Brears in hundreds of demonstrations to the public and cooking for museum displays. Finally there are chapters on the service of dinner and the rituals that grew up around these.
While I’m not in charge of cooking at Medieval events, I think this one goes on the shopping list. Admittedly £20, so I could wait and hope it goes on sale later. But why take the chance. It might become sold out…

- Saunders - Salisbury Museum Medieval catalogue Part 4 The fourth catalogue from Salisbury Museum’s Medieval collection focuses on alabasters, stonework, church bells, copper alloy objects, iron work, leather shoes, porphyry, window glass and wood. It also includes new finds of objects that were the focus of previous catalogues, such as bone and antler objects, coins, badges, rins, seal matrices etc.
Well, if you’re interested in Medieval artefacts, this one seems like a good investment.

And from the SALE:
- Kirby - Dyes in history and archaeology, Vol. 21 24 papers covering many aspects of dyeing in the past. Topics range from dyeing technology in Roman and Coptic Egypt to black dye in Maori textiles, and include chemical analyses, historical discussion of dyeing industries and notes on conservation.
Another book I don’t think I will buy, as textile dyeing is not a hobby of mine. Others might find the articles useful. And considering it’s down from £40 to £10, I’d say go for it.

- Vestergard Pedersen & Nosch - Medieval broadcloth: Changing Trends in Fashions, Manufacturing and Consumption The eight papers presented here provide a useful introduction to medieval broadcloth, and an up-to-date synthesis of current research. The first chapter (John Munro) presents an introduction to the subject and takes the reader through the manufacturing and economic importance of the medieval broadcloth as a luxury item. Chapter two (Carsten Jahnke) describes trade in the Baltic Sea area, detailing production standards, shipping and prices. Chapters three, four and five (Heini Kirjavainen, Riina Rammo and Jerzy Maik) deal with archaeological textiles excavated in the Baltic, Finland and Poland. Chapters six and seven (Camilla Luise Dahl and Kathrine Vestergård Pedersen) concern the problems of combining the terminology from the written sources with archaeological textiles, mainly in regards to striped fabric. The last chapter reports on an ongoing reconstruction project; at the open air museum in Eindhoven, Holland, Anton Reurink has tried to recreate a medieval broadcloth based on written and historical sources.
This book is very much focused on historical data rather than pictorial or archaeological. I’m not sure it will be of much use for me as a re-enactor, but others may find it very interesting. Down from £25 to £8.

- Andersson Strand et al - NESAT X The 50 papers from the tenth NESAT (North European Symposium for Archaeological Textiles) conference presented here show the vibrance of the study of archaeological textiles today. Examples studied come from the Bronze Age, Neolithic, the Iron Age, Roman, Viking, the Middle Ages and post-Medieval, and from a wide range of countries including Norway, Czech Republic, Poland, Greece, Germany, Lithuania, Estonia and the Netherlands. Modern techniques of analysis and examination are also discussed.
I’ve been drooling over the NESAT book since it was published, but now I can actually afford to buy it. It’s a large hardcover, and down from £48 to £15!

- Almond - Medieval hunting Richard Almond surveys a wide range of source material including hunting manuals, other literary works, manuscripts and tapestries, to produce a less biased view of hunting and those that practised it. Rising above the idealised world of smartly clad gentlemen pursuing game for sport and in preparation for war, Almond finds that hunting was a universal activity, open to both sexes and all levels of society. Although the method of hunting and nature of the quarry was still dictated by class structure, this study provides a much more balanced view of medieval hunting and widely addresses issues of bias and misrepresentation. This seems quite an interesting book, and for only £6, it’s not likely to break the bank.

- Meiss - The Tres Riches Heures of Jean, Duc de Berry This beautifully illustrated book reproduces every miniature and a selection of the decorated text pages of one of the most famous and celebrated of medieval manuscripts in full colour and at actual size. An introduction sets the manuscript in context and a commentary draws out artistic parallels and details of iconography.
Large hardcover - down from £65 to £25.

- Edwards - German Romance III: Iwein or the Knight with the lion A Middle High German adaptation of Chretien de Troyes' Old French Arthurian romance, "Yvain", written c.1200 by a Swabian knight, Hartmann von Aue. German text with parallel English translation.
Well, if you want something authentic to read at re-enactment events, why not this one? Hardcover, down from £60 to £10.


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