While many of us attend the Annual Meeting in Malta this week, here are news about some books which have been sent to the European Journal of Archaeology but will, for one reason or another, not be reviewed in the journal.
Jerome Rousseau (2006) Rethinking Social Evolution. The Perspective from Middle-Range Societies. McGill-Queenâ€™s University Press. Hbk, 291pp., 13 figs., ISBN 978-0-7735-3110-9, Â£48.
From the blurb: â€œCompared with other primates, humans have complex and varied social systems that change through time. As a result of greater cognitive complexity and language, humans can communicate and negotiate varied forms of cooperation. JÃ©rÃ´me Rousseau makes cognitive complexity his starting point in an innovative study of how and why human societies evolve. The focus of Rousseauâ€™s enquiry is “middle-range” societies – a vast category between hunter-gatherers and states.â€
Elizabeth Coatsworth (2008) Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture. Vol. VIII Western Yorkshire. British Academy/Oxford UP. Hbk., 514 pp., 870 (!) plates (b/w). ISBN 978-0-19-726425-6, Â£65
This volumes is part of a large project based at Durham. Its comprehensive webpages contain many images and additional information: â€œThe Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture (CASSS) is a project to identify, record and publish in a consistent format, the earliest English sculpture dating from the 7th to the 11th centuries. Much of this material was unpublished before the work began, but it is of crucial importance as pointing to the earliest settlements and artistic achievements of the Anglo-Saxon/Pre-Norman English. It ranges from our earliest Christian field monuments (free-standing carved crosses), and innovative decorative elements and furnishings of churches, to humble grave-markers. The project has grown from the research of a group of scholars studying Anglo-Saxon sculpture in the Archaeology Department of Durham University (where the project is still housed) to the point where it now involves the work of more than thirty researchers, including epigraphers and geologists, who are spread throughout the country. The sculpture is published in regional catalogues of the individual monuments, fully illustrated by scaled photographs, and accompanied by general discussion of their relationships and significance with full bibliographic references. We welcome queries, or information concerning new discoveries of this material, and can provide copies of photographs in published volumes where the copyright is held in Durham.â€œ
Serena Sabatini (2007) House urns. A European Late Bronze Age Trans-cultural Phenomenon. University of Gothenburg, Dept of Archaeology. Pbk, ca 320pp, 92 figs, 46 plates (6 in colour), ISBN 978-91-85245-33-X. 150 SEK, available here.
A PhD thesis from Gothenburg with the usual mix of history of research, some theory, extensive discussion and a 70 page catalogue. The study is said to be â€œpotentially valuable for a sustainable multi-cultural society todayâ€.