This year’s winner of the Book of the Year award is The History of Archaeology, edited by Paul Bahn.
Exploring how archaeology is practised in countries ranging across Europe, the Far East, Africa, and Latin America “ often prompting surprising comparisons — this thought-provoking book examines how archaeology is not always politically neutral, and closes with a look to the future.
On receiving the award, Paul Bahn said:
“The award says “by Paul Bahn”, but in fact I edited this book and wrote only a small part of it. So this award really goes to the remarkable international team of specialists that I first put together nearly a quarter of a century ago and have worked with ever since. They are tremendously good at what they do, producing books that are not only popular but also rigorously scholarly, and together we have published not just histories but also dictionaries, atlases, encyclopedias and volumes on specific themes. I would like to pay particular tribute here to those who have been with the team since the very first project — Caroline Bird for Oceania, Peter Bogucki for prehistoric Europe, Phil Duke for North America, David Gill for the Classical World, and Joyce Tyldesley for Egypt. I am delighted that their work has achieved such recognition. With this particular volume we tried to do something different — our previous History of Archaeology (published by Cambridge University Press in 1996) was structured in a traditional chronological way, so this time we decided to approach the subject regionally, with — I think for the first time — individual chapters on Russia and the Far East. I am delighted that it has proved so popular, and I would like to thank you on behalf of the team and myself for giving us this award – thank you very much.”
Below are all the nominees in this category:
Time’s Anvil: England, archaeology, and the imagination
(Richard Morris, CA 286)
This category-defying book contemplates England’s past over a period of some 750,000 years, interweaving art, poetry, autobiography, and archaeology. The author contends that classing sites and finds according to chronological period blinds us to long-term patterns.
Religion in Medieval London: archaeology and belief
(Bruno Barber, Christopher Thomas, and Bruce Watson, CA 289)
Thanks to the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the Great Fire, and the Blitz, many of London’s early religious buildings survive above ground today only as street-names. This beautifully illustrated book explores how archaeology can help resurrect their secrets.
The Secret History of the Roman Roads of Britain
(Michael Bishop, CA 293)
This wide-ranging book casts the highways and byways of Britain as a driving force of our history. Rather than discussing Roman roads as a foreign imposition, it considers the influence of prehistoric routes on their layout, and how Roman roads paved the way for the Medieval and post-Medieval network.
The Great Archaeologists
(Brian Fagan, CA 293)
Throughout its history, archaeology has had more than its share of eccentrics, adventurers, and visionaries. Here the lives of some of its leading lights, spanning three centuries, are used to create a biography for the discipline itself.
The History of Archaeology
(Paul Bahn, CA 295)
Exploring how archaeology is practised in countries ranging across Europe, the Far East, Africa, and Latin America often prompting surprising comparisons this thought-provoking book examines how archaeology is not always politically neutral, and closes with a look to the future.
Home: a time traveller’s tales from Britain’s prehistory
(Francis Pryor, CA 297)
This is a book as warm and funny as it is informative, interweaving research news and anecdotes about site visits with biographical snippets from the author’s life. It is a perceptive account of how ideas of prehistory have evolved, both in terms of scientific advances and public understanding.