Excavation of a site in the Cambridgeshire fens reveals a Bronze Age settlement with connections far beyond its watery location. Over the past ten months, Must Farm has yielded Britain’s largest collections of Bronze Age textiles, beads and domestic artefacts. Together with timbers of several roundhouses, the finds provide a stunning snapshot of a community thriving 3,000 years ago.
The Almoravid and Almohad empires flourished in the western Mediterranean of the 11th and 12th centuries. Despite controlling vast tracts of land, these Berber dynasties are little known in the English-speaking world. In her latest book, Dr Amira Bennison looks at the rise and fall of Berber empires that made a lasting contribution to the history of Islamic culture.
The trappings of violence were embedded into the culture of 16th century Europe. Victoria Bartels, a PhD candidate in the Faculty of History, has conducted research in a Florentine archive to show how, even at a time when the bearing of arms was prohibited, men negotiated ways to sport their daggers and swords in public.
New analysis reveals a strong correlation between precolonial institutions in Africa and current levels of deforestation. Researchers suggest that many of these structures still operate at a local level, controlling and exploiting natural resources under the radar of the state, and that such legacies of governance pose a major challenge for implementing conservation policies.
The Cambridge Animal Alphabet series celebrates Cambridge’s connections with animals through literature, art, science and society. Here, Y is for Yak: an animal that is an integral part of high-altitude livelihoods throughout the Himalayas, Tibet and Central Asia.
In two separate books, anthropologists Dr Franck Billé and Dr Christopher Kaplonski look at the identity of Mongolia, a country that stands at a cultural and political crossroads. While Billé explores Mongolia’s relationship with its powerful neighbours, Kaplonski revisits a dark period in the country’s recent history.
Dr Michael Hrebeniak describes himself as inveterately curious about people and places. His fascination for a messy patch of Cambridge, best known for its traffic jams and retail park, has led him to create with words and film ‘a deep map’ of the layers of human experience on the fringes of the city.
Crocodiles have pearls in their ears; statues move and speak. The first English translation of a collection of Arab fantasy stories opens a window on to the imaginings of the medieval mind. Professor Malcolm Lyons has brought alive for the modern reader the gripping yarns in Tales of the Marvellous and News of the Strange.
When food is scarce, tool use among non-human primates does not increase. This counterintuitive finding leads researchers to suggest that the driving force behind tool use is ecological opportunity – and that the environment shapes development of culture.