Barry Cunliffe is an archaeological phenomenon. As an undergraduate he uncovered Fishbourne Palace near Chichester, arguably the home of Rome’s client king Cogidubnus. Elected to the Society of Antiquaries when only twenty-four, he became Southampton’s first Professor of Archaeology two years later, before getting the Oxford Chair when still a few months short of his thirty-third birthday. A string of notable excavations in southern England ran parallel to this: Roman Bath, with its buried temple to Sulis Minerva; the great Saxon Shore fort of Portchester; the Iron Age hillfort of Danebury; and the trading station on Hengistbury Head, which linked Britain to similar ports across the Channel in north-west France. All of these were published in exemplary fashion, sometimes with a popular book complementing the scholarly monograph. From being a British archaeologist, Barry Cunliffe then became a European one, working in France and producing both the prize-winning Facing the Ocean: The Atlantic and Its Peoples, 8000 BC to AD 1500 and The Extraordinary Voyage of Pytheas the Greek in 2001.
Follow Literary Review on Twitter
'Everyone talks about the light on Hydra, but sometimes there’s a very good reason why everyone talks about something. The light on Hydra is bronze and blinding.'
Joanna Kavenna on Athens, the Inklings, and why Homer thought sheep were purple.
'Narratively speaking, "Antkind" doesn’t develop. It just continues. It’s a "New Yorker" Shouts & Murmurs squib inflated to Tolstoyan girth.'
@KevPow3 struggles through Charlie Kaufman's mammoth novel, 'Antkind'.