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The Stone of Life (Hardback)

P&S History > Medieval World > Viking & Early Medieval Europe

Imprint: The Highfield Press
Pages: 220
ISBN: 9780992633608
Published: 30th November 2013
Casemate UK Academic


£9.95 RRP £45.00

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This book is about the archaeology querns and mills, simple stone instruments which are vital to survival in a society which adopts bread as its staple. They become the ‘stones of life’, an essential ingredient in the subsistence strategy of settled agriculturalists. It might be expected that as querns and mills are commonplace in archaeology, they would be key artefacts, studied exhaustively. Alas, this is far from the case. They have been woefully neglected, although in the last decade there has been burgeoning interest throughout much of Europe and because of this, it is timely to survey the subject, adopting a broad viewpoint. A study on this scale has not been attempted since the late nineteenth century when Bennett and Elton published their magisterial work on the History of corn milling.The author is Emeritus Professor of Archaeology at the University of Southampton and a Fellow of the Societies of Antiquaries. He was awarded the Kenyon Medal of the British Academy in 2011 and the Pommerance Medal of the Archaeological Institute of America in 2012. He has had a lifelong interest in querns and mills on which he has published widely. His work includes the discovery of key mill quarries in the Mediterranean – Orvieto in Umbria and Mulargia in Sardinia, while in Britain the Lodsworth quarries remain the only ones to be found by a deliberate search strategy. The reader will be grateful to Chris Green, also a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, for the clear and elegant illustrations which enhance the book and elucidate the text.

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