The following books have arrived on the Book Review Editorâ€™s desk but will, for one reason or another, not be reviewed in the European Journal of Archaeology.
Fairclough, Graham, Harrison, Rodney, Jameson, John H., Schofield, John (2007) The Heritage Reader. London and New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-37286-2. Pbk. 580 pp. 11 figs. Â£27.50.
This is yet another reader Routledge is publishing. Although the topic is important and the editors did a fine job in selecting a diverse mix of Anglophone papers, I remain sceptical about such projects because they appear to be motivated mainly by commercial ambitions. In a very competitive academic book market, publishers are increasingly driven to produce readers, handbooks, companions etc. because they assume that these have secure audiences (i.e. buyers) among students and libraries. This is probably true – and I may well be recommending this book to my own students as well. But when, as in this case, a tiny font and small margins are used in order to cram as much text as possible on each page (in order to save printing costs), and when a topic as visual as heritage is only worth 11 figures to Routledge (removing all the other images from the original papers) and some of the images that are being reproduced appear in appalling quality resembling poor photocopies, then Â£27.50 is a lot of money for a cheap book.
Umberto Albarella, Keith Dobney, Anton Ervynck and Peter Rowley-Conwy Eds. (2007) Pigs and Humans. 10,000 years of interaction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Hdb., 488 pp., 57 in-text photographs, 93 line drawings. ISBN 978-0-19-920704-6. Â£85
Oxford UP is proud to have published â€œThe first multi-faceted work on the pig in historyâ€. From the blurb: â€Pigs and Humans brings together some of the key scholars whose research is highlighting the role wild and domestic pigs have played in human societies around the world over the last 10,000 years. The 22 contributors cover a broad and diverse range of temporal, geographical, and topical themes, grounded within the disciplines of archaeology, zoology, anthropology, and biology, as well as art history and history. They explore such areas as evolution and taxonomy, domestication and husbandry, ethnography, and ritual and art, and present some of the latest theories and methodological techniques.â€ The table of contents and further information are available here.
Martin Schmidt and Wolf-Dieter Steinmetz Eds. (2008) Die SchÃ¶ninger Speere. Mensch und Jagd vor 400 000 Jahren / The SchÃ¶ningen Spears. Man the hunter 400,000 years ago. (German and English). Exhibition catalogue Braunschweig and Hannover. Kerpen-Loogh: Welt und Erde. Pbk, 95 pp., numerous illustrations. ISBN 978-3-938078-04-4. â‚¬24,90
This richly illustrated catalogue of the State Museum of Lower Saxony at Hanover accompanied an exhibition around the famous palaeolithic spears from SchÃ¶ningen. Only a little less sensational than these finds was the merchandise available from the museum shop (see image).