The series looking at the stories behind the objects from the Portable Antiquities Scheme continues with Worcestershire. Victoria Allnatt, the Finds Liaison Officer for West Staffordshire and the South West Midlands, has selected objects from across the chronological range that are representative of the material routinely recorded (weapons and tools that characterise the Bronze Age records give way to coins and brooches in the Iron Age) or are in some other way special. Among the objects are a Palaeolithic handaxe, a Bronze Age or later amber bead (prized, perhaps, for its perceived healing properties), a shoe-shaped Roman brooch, a medieval pilgrim souvenir in the form of a lead alloy ampulla, a Civil War-era iron cannonball, and a First World War medal, posthumously awarded.
Whether functional, ornamental, personal, or intimate, every object tells a story. Victoria not only makes their voices heard, but also puts them succinctly into context with the help of excellent illustrations and chapter introductions. The book is a useful guide to the finds of the region and a fine addition to the series.
This review appeared in CA 343.