Neil’s latest book is Digging Sedgeford: a people’s archaeology, which has just been published by Poppyland. He is joint editor of the book, along with Keith Robinson and Gary Rossin, as well as being a major contributor.
The book is, however, a monument to the contributions of hundreds of people to the Sedgeford Historical and Archaeological Research Project (SHARP) over almost 20 years of field-based research
The first SHARP dig in the Norfolk village of Sedgeford took place in 1996. Every year since a team of volunteer archaeologists has camped in a field for six weeks each summer to continue exploring 5,000 years of history from the Stone Age to the First World War. Experts and amateurs work side by side to learn the story of how our ancestors lived, work, and died in a very ordinary piece of English countryside. This is the book of the story revealed so far.
The book is available from Poppyland Publishing at www.poppyland.co.uk
Endorsements for SHARP and Digging Sedgeford
‘Sedgeford never fails to surprise. For the past 18 years its remarkable archaeological riches have been explored by a dedicated grassroots team that has pioneered ‘democratic archaeology’. Fittingly, their groundbreaking achievements are presented here in an engaging style accessible to all.’
Dr Matthew Symonds
Editor, Current Archaeology
‘Sedgeford is the kind of long-term, problem-focussed project that is all too rare in these days of small-scale contract archaeology. It gives a snapshot of the highly-developed Early Medieval landscape of north-west Norfolk that is all the more important for being probably typical. This report, which brings it to a wider public, is destined to be a landmark.’
Professor John Blair
University of Oxford
‘In a world almost totally dominated by the commercial sector, the Sedgeford project represents one of the few undertakings of its kind. Free of institutional constraints, the project has shown just what can be achieved with determination, engagement, and a constant flow of ideas. The present volume will be the first of many and represents a valuable contribution to the study of the emergence of the Medieval landscape.’
Professor Andrew Reynolds
Institute of Archaeology UCL
‘Every generation, there are a few excavations which become firmly embedded in the national consciousness and which have a profound effect on their participants. Sedgeford is undoubtedly one of these projects – its study of prehistoric, Roman, Saxon, and Medieval remains has not only made Sedgeford an envy of most rural parishes in England, it has also bound together hundreds of people from diverse backgrounds into a close-knit camaraderie, the like of which lies at the heart of any exceptional venture. “I dug at Sedgeford” is already a refrain uttered with deep pride.’
Dr Sam Moorhead
National Finds Advisor, Portable Antiquities Scheme, British Museum
‘This is an extremely readable account of one of the most important excavations carried out in East Anglia over the past few decades. It also presents a radical new model for how archaeological research might be organised. It will be essential reading for all those interested in the archaeology of the region, but also for students of Anglo-Saxon and Medieval settlement more generally.’
Professor Tom Williamson
University of East Anglia
‘The Sedgeford project has brought together professionals, amateurs, volunteers, and locals in a unique way to investigate the development of human settlement in a part of eastern England which has witnessed fascinating and important archaeology over a long period of history. The project continues to play an essential role in education and training. This highly readable and stimulating volume is a significant and welcome contribution to the archaeology of Norfolk.’
Dr John Davies
Chief Curator, Norfolk Museums Service
‘Sir Mortimer Wheeler famously said that archaeology was about digging up people. The Sedgeford project has both respected and reversed this maxim, using people to dig and to undertake subsequent research. The result is a new and rich resource for the historical rural environment.’
Dr Brian Ayers
Former Norfolk County Archaeologist
Neil’s book A Marxist History of the World: from Neanderthals to Neoliberals was published by Pluto Press in April 2013. Here’s a press notice about the book.
‘We face the greatest crisis in the history of humanity. Economic depression, imperialist war, climate catastrophe, and grotesque social inequalities threaten to tear the world apart. What is to be done?
The lesson of history is that human beings make their own history. Launching his new book, A Marxist History of the World: from Neanderthals to Neoliberals, archaeologist and historian Neil Faulkner argues that history is open and contested. It is an active process of creation in which different futures are possible. It depends on what we do.
Powered by the interaction of technological change, wars between rulers, and class struggle from below, history is a constant battle for control over society’s wealth. For 5,000 years, that wealth has served greed and war. Now, in the great crisis of the early 21st century, we must act to create a different future.
Described by The Guardian as ‘enlightening and apocalyptic in equal measure’, Dr Neil Faulkner is a research fellow at Bristol University, a revolutionary socialist activist, and the author of numerous books, including Rome: empire of the eagles (2008). He was a lead consultant and contributor to Sky Atlantic’s The British.’