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Archaeologia Cantiana - Vol. 126   2006 page 412 - Book Reviews - continued

Park. Other thematic chapters look at such diverse topics as the Linton estate of the Mann and Cornwallis families, following a short survey of the conditions of the nineteenth-century poor; rural arts and crafts; the landscape artists; and the North Downs in the Second World War, before concluding with the positive and negative influences facing the landscape in the twenty-first century, balancing the innovative farming initiatives at Lees Court Estate against the vulnerability of villages in the face of closing local amenities and the spread of housing developments.
   According to the fly-leaf Brandon spent much of his youth exploring on foot and bicycle the Surrey Hills and his early love of that part of the North Downs shines through all his descriptions, whereas his later discovery of the detail of the Downs in Kent are slightly more detached, but to this native of that more eastern part his study only serves to fan the flames of a similar early love.


Iwade: Occupation of a North Kent Village from the Mesolithic to the Medieval Period. By Barry Bishop and Mark Bagwell, Pre-Construct Archaeology Monograph 3. 2005. 150 pp. 116 figures + 21 tables. Paperback £14.95. ISBN 0 9542938 2 7.

Archaeological reports can be a bit dry, with discussions which focus entirely on features and artefacts. The authors of this monograph have made determined efforts to ‘people’ the landscape which they have uncovered. From a small group of later Mesolithic hunters repairing their flint toolkit in the shelter of a fallen tree, perhaps around 5000 BC, to the sensitive and careful burial of a small pet dog in about 1500 AD; the authors never forget that essentially archaeology should attempt to tell a human story.
   The opening chapter gives the background to the excavations at Iwade, which is the last village on the main road to the Isle of Sheppey before the Swale crossing is reached. The two areas explored lay either side of the main road and the archaeological investigation took place in advance of two separate housing developments. This introductory chapter also outlines the methodology adopted and the scope of the report. The second chapter puts the village of Iwade into its regional context. There are discussions of the changing coastline, the environment, topography and geology.
   Chapters 3 to 5 form the archaeological core of the publication and cover a huge period of 8,000 years or so, from the Later Mesolithic period to the Medieval. Chapter 3 begins by looking at the earlier prehistoric activity on the site. The earliest human activity is represented by a quantity of flintwork discovered in a pit, which the excavators interpreted as the hollow formed by a fallen tree. But this was temporary, short term occupation which seems to have been the pattern until the middle Bronze

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