Over the past 150 years Hadrian's Wall
One of the best selling books of 2000 has already been featured in CA: A Landscape
years on a Chalkland Farm, (Tempus
£14.99) Martin Green's account of his excavations at his home at Down Farm. His most recent work was has changed, from being something known only to a few scholars, to a monument of widespread cultural interest, and in Hadrian's Wall, a Social and Cultural History, (Centre for NW.
Regional Studies, Leicester University,
LA1 4YF, £8.50) Alison Ewin explores these changes. In the late 19th century
Hadrian's Wall was dominated by two towering figures. John summarised in the last issue of CA, his earlier work formed a major article in was a wealthy
Clayton, and successful Newcastle
CA138. Here he pulls it all together in solicitor who bought up much of the central a sweeping account of the archaeology on his farm and on Cranborne portion of the wall to
Chase. Inevitably the major emphasis is on the Neolithic and Bronze Age. The Dorset cursus runs through the farm and it was at the heart of the preserve it and whose estate forms the heart of the public holdings today. In contrast to the introvert great ritual area of Cranborne Chase, but his account goes from the Mesolithic down to the present day.
What is remarkable is that Martin
Green is indeed a farmer. He never went to University, he has never formally studied archaeology.
However, when Richard Bradley and
John Barrett began excavating on Cranborne Chase they joined up with Martin and trained him on the job, since when he has received wide-
spread help and support from fellow archaeologists, notably Mike Alien of the Wessex Archaeological Unit. It is amazing however in the last years how he has grown in confidence and indeed in authority.
This book is a triumph. One is
Bruce, a headmaster was an extrovert who conducted the first pilgrimages of the Wall and set in train the tourist interest.
The intervention of the State came in the 1930s. John Clayton never married and after his death his estate was dissipated and much of it was even-
tually rescued and passed into state and National Trust ownership. But this ownership was exploited not for the benefit of the massesbut for the benefit of the few, the university scholars who carried out scholarly excavations and wrote scholarly guidebooks.
What is the situation today? The tempted to say that it is academic; it is author explores five particular sites.
in no way 'popular', but it lacks the academic jargon and academic
Three of them, Chesters, Corbridge and
Housesteads, are in state ownership and have a subdued presentation.
South Shields, municipally owned, hasa far more outgoing profile, rebuilding a gateway in the teeth of English Heritage opposition. A big surprise however comes at Vindolanda, a privately owned site which is nevertheless by far the best presented to the public.
Alison Ewin is, I fear, far too kind to the current plans for the Wall as a
World Heritage Site. She writes, 'a co-
ordinated approach to the management of the Wall is obviously desirable'; she has clearly not read my comments in CA144, and the subsequent letters,
pointing out that the World Heritage Plan means squeezing out the local archaeological societies who have done so much, and indeed the
Birleys. Nor has she read my book Who Owns the
Past, even though her final chapter,
'Whose Wall is it Anyway?' covers much the same ground. Though she appears to come to the conclusion that amateurs and tourists have an interest as well as the professionals, I think she underplays the possibilities of amateur involvement. She should look again at the funding of South Shields and the role played by Earthwatch, the
American organisation that brings over volunteers, each of whom contributes substantial funding, which has paid for much of the excavation there. But this is a fascinating account with many new insights.1I
pretentiousness. It is what every academic book should be. It provides a splendid introduction to the archae-
ology of Cranborne Chase and indeed anyone looking for an introductory textbook on the archaeology of southern England might well start here.
This book is available from Current
Archaeology at the special price of £ 72.99 (inc P&P). Call us on 020 7435
7577 to order your copy.
Gentlemen implicitly, British archaeologists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries made comparisons between the experiences of the British Empire and the Roman
Empire. His approach, defined in his
Gentlemen by Richard
Hingley initial chapters on imperialism, is to take
(Routledge, £16.99) would have been a texts, notably novels and schoolboy pioneering work had it been published thirty years ago. He sets out to explore novels, and see how they promoted the idea of imperialism and the relationship the imperial origins of Roman archae- between imperial Rome and Britain.
ology, and to see how, explicitly or