Late Iron Age Oppida Conference, Reading University, 22/04/2017


On Saturday 22nd April 2017 the Henley Business School at Reading University’s Whiteknights campus was home to the Prehistoric Society’s Late Iron Age Oppida conference.


After an early start and a smooth journey, Chris and Lizzy the Apprentice had a very successful day of bookselling, networking, and meeting new customers, along with some familiar faces. Considering it was Lizzy’s first conference, here’s how she got on…

“I found it extremely interesting, especially when we got the chance to dip into some of the lectures. I found out about the specifics of earthworks surveys and how they help to map out the area during digs. It was so fun to meet all the new people, find out their interests and help them to find what they were looking for, whether we had brought it with us or I knew it was on the shelves back home. It was, overall, a really fun day (albeit sometimes a little manic when the bookstall was flooded with people). It was absolutely jam-packed with information, new faces, and new opportunities.”

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Chris was very pleased to have spotted numerous notable figures of prehistoric archaeology, including Mike Fulford, Philip Crummy, Richard Bradley, and Sir Barry Cunliffe (who certainly looked happy to see a selection of his books on Danebury and other hillforts selling rapidly). The excellent papers and accomplished company made for a fantastic day, and he can’t wait for the next conference.

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Many congratulations to Simon Smith- the winner of our £100 voucher prize draw- from all of us here at Archaeology Plus, and Patter the Office Dog!!

We’d like to thank everyone at The Prehistoric Society and Reading University for accommodating us, and another huge thank you to all the speakers, and of course everyone who bought our books!


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Spotlight- Crazy Books to Love

As the team are becoming more familiar with the fine details of the books, we thought you deserved to learn some too. So, this week, we’re taking a dive into some of the more scarce finds from our 10,000+ strong collection…


CURZON’S MONASTERIES. In 1849 John Murray of London published the adventures of The Hon. Robert Curzon, under the title ‘Visits to the Monasteries of the Levant’. He started at Constantinople in 1833, as permission was required from the Sultan of Turkey to travel in any of the countries of the Near East, which were all under Turkish rule at that time. Boat wrecks on the Nile, temples and pyramids, Greek monasteries, the wrecks of naval battles – all are commented on in a time just before Queen Victoria came to the throne in Britain and over 20 years before the American Civil War, the Indian Mutiny or the meeting between Stanley and Livingstone in the centre of Africa.


He sketched the places and people he saw and writes about them all in a style that sounds very naïve to our ears nearly 200 years later but which has a real freshness about it. Curzon’s travels ended with drama too – on his return to Constantinople his boat was nearly attacked by pirates!

THE A TO Z OF GEORGIAN LONDON. The London Topographical Society has published a series of volumes called ‘The A to Z of ….. London’ covering the Elizabethan, Restoration, Georgian, Regency and Victorian periods. It is in the same format as the familiar modern ‘A to Z’ maps and it is fascinating to see roads that have stayed largely the same for centuries (like the A5 Edgware Road for example) and others that have come into existence in recent times. Probably the biggest changes happened in the Restoration period (Great Fire of London etc.) and the Victorian period (coming of the railways and the huge expansion of the suburbs and the population). For anyone fascinated by London and its history, or by ancient maps generally, these are ‘must see’ books!


TRAC Conference 2017 at Durham Uni.

The team at base did their usual great job getting ready for Trac at Durham. The books were chosen and put on a pallet; the signs, change box, invoices and 101 other things assembled…but I forgot to book my own accommodation for the trip…oh panic! NEXT TIME the team will do that too – Lizzie and I have a checklist for travel and accommodation worked out – whew!

The Conference was great – excellent papers, lots of friends and acquaintances there and really good book sales. I have a funny feeling that my longtime friend, amateur archaeologist and bibliophile, John Steer and I are a bit like two thirds of ‘Last of the Summer Wine’. In fact I’m sure some people come by the Archaeology Plus bookstand just to see the comedy show as we keep losing things and finding them again.


Thanks to everybody who visited us at the Conference and congratulations to the winner of our Free £100 Prize Draw. Next up is a week digging near Pompeii and hope to see you at the International Medieval Conference at Leeds Uni in early July.