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Archaeologia Cantiana - Vol. 127   2007 page 444

Book Reviews

will remember the fine handaxes of Mousterian form from Oldbury, near Ightham. Were the rock-shelter remains at Oldbury a base, Neanderthal hunters could have ranged widely, even to what is now the Thames! Stringer makes mention of Neanderthal cannibalism for which there is accumulating evidence, as recently from the Spanish El Sidrón cave, but retains a telling discussion for his chapter concerning Cheddar Gorge.
   ‘What they gorged at Cheddar’ is the wry title of his sixth chapter. Despite early encounters with human and animal remains, besides artefacts, cave explorers and commercial enterprise, much has been brought together from disparate sources. There were at an early juncture Neanderthals pursuing mammoths, perhaps upon lower level terrains, as at Lynford in East Anglia. There are also cave drawings, as at Creswall Crags. Cheddar man, however, emerges as early Mesolithic and, as the western extremity of Europe was empty during the last Devensian glaciation, our Homo sapiens forebears are likely to have moved westward across what is now Kent.
   The Palaeolithic saga’s stage had, it should be remembered, a back-drop of climatic change, the successive glacials and interglacials, and it emerges that humans came to our lands, 700,000 years ago, earlier than has for long been thought. Their presence was, however, intermittent, because of the successive glaciations. Chris Stringer stresses climatic change and one should remember the fluctuations of even the second millennium ad. Homo Britannicus is a great book, stimulating as it is exciting to read, and, unlike many current archaeological books, difficult to put down. Our Palaeolithic past has at last been given humanity and dimension. Much of the action took place across and upon the lands that are now Kent.


The Survey of the Whole of England: Studies of the documentation resulting from the survey conducted in 1086. By Colin Flight. 148 pp., tables and figures. BAR British Series 405. Archaeopress, 2006. Paperback. £30.00. ISBN-13: 978-1-84171-909-2; ISBN-10: 1-84171-909-9.

Colin Flight is well known to Kent historians and archaeologists as the author of The Bishops and Monks of Rochester 1076-1214 (KAS 1997) and a number of important articles, also mostly concerned with Rochester. This book is a contribution to – indeed an attempt to resolve definitively – the long-running debate about how the survey of England in 1086 launched by William the Conqueror resulted in the surviving text (or texts) of Domesday Book. As its title suggests, Flight rejects the very name of ‘Domesday’, arguing that it is documented only from the 1170s and should be applied specifically to the preservation and use of

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