New Book Chronicle

Article excerpt

Landscapes as diverse as the uplands of Cyprus and the Sandlings of Suffolk form this chronicle's focus. Equally varied are the approaches to these landscapes, from large-scale air photographic coverage in Bohemia to nineteenth century compositions from the Grand Tour.


WILLIAM CAVANAGH, CHRISTOPHER MEE & PETER JAMES with NEIL BRODIE & TRISTAN CARTER. The Laconia Rural Sites Project (British School at Athens Supplementary Volume 36). xv+350 pages, 231 figures, 54 tables. 2005. London: The British School at Athens; 0-904887-47-2 hardback 49 [pounds sterling].

MARIA IACOVOU (ed.). Archaeological Field Survey in Cyprus: past history, future potentials. Proceedings of a conference held by the Archaeological Research Unit of the University of Cyprus, 1-2 December 2000 (British School at Athens Studies 11). 208 pages, 90 b&w & colour illustrations, 10 tables. 2004. London: British School at Athens; 0-904887-46-4 hardback 49 [pounds sterling] + p&p.

JOANITA VROOM. Byzantine to Modern Pottery in the Aegean: an introduction and field guide. 224 pages, 309 b&w & colour illustrations, 7 tables. 2005. Utrecht: Parnassus; 90-6131-441-0 paperback 59.50 [euro].

CLAIRE L. LYONS, JOHN K. PAPADOPOULOS, LINDSEY S. STEWART & ANDREW SZEGEDY-MASZAK. Antiquity & Photography: early views of ancient Mediterranean sites, xiv+226 pages, 122 illustrations. 2005. London: Thames & Hudson; 0-500-54316-X hardback 35 [pounds sterling].

MARTIN GOJDA (ed.). Ancient landscape, settlement dynamics and non-destructive archaeology. 484 pages, 241 b&w illustrations, 32 colour plates, 32 tables. 2004. n.p.: Academia; 80-200-1215-X hardback.

ROBERT LIDDIARD. Castles in context: power, symbolism and landscape, 1066-1500. xiv + 178 pages, 70 b&w & colour illustrations. 2005. Bollington: Windgather; 0-9545575-2-2 paperback 19.99 [pounds sterling].

N. J. HIGHAM. A frontier landscape: the North West in the Middle Ages. xii+274 pages, 77 illustrations, 12 colour plates, 6 tables. 2004. Bollington: Windgather; 0-9545575-6-5 paperback 19.99 [pounds sterling].

TOM WILLIAMSON. Sandlands: the Suffolk Coast and Heaths. xii+164 pages, 72 b&w & colour illustrations. 2005. Bollington: Windgather; 1-905119-02-X paperback 16.99 [pounds sterling].

ANDREW FLEMING. St Kilda and the wider world: tales of an Iconic Island. xiv+226 pages, 89 b&w & colour illustrations. 2005. Bollington: Windgather; 1-905119-00-3 paperback 19.99 [pounds sterling].

The first Laconia Survey, immediately to the east of Sparta, was conducted between 1983 and 1988 and published by Cavanagh et al. in 1996 and 2002; it identified 420 sites over an area of 70[km.sup.2]. The Laconia Rural Sites Project of 1993-1994 now presents the results from the next step in the research, namely to research more fully small rural sites, focusing on function. Twenty sites, ranging from the Early Helladic to the Ottoman periods, were selected, using criteria such as single period occupation, small size, similarity, and high visibility, in order to answer such questions as how was this landscape occupied, by whom, intermittently or continuously? k has to be said that Cavanagh et al.'s expose of the findings from surface collection and systematic soil sampling, grey-scale plots of geophysical surveys and rather milky photographs of many an olive terrace do not exactly set the pulse racing. But the volume is exemplary in its sober evaluatory stance. Though following processualist methodology (what else makes you field walk an olive terrace in the midday sun?), the authors are careful to point out its limitations. To read the excellent methodology and conclusions chapters in tandem is enlightening. Cavanagh et al. are to be congratulated for their clarity, honesty (e.g. 'is this in fact a site?', p. 166; or including inconclusive results for finds recorded by dicker count and by surface collection; or deciding, wisely, notre excavate) and, still, for getting so much out of an eroded, dry landscape, where sites 'do not extend below the topsoil' (p. …