On the Bookshelf...

Secret Britain

Mary-Ann Ochota

An Ice Age cannibal’s skull cup, a hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold, a seventeenth century witch bottle… anthropologist Mary-Ann Ochota unearths more than 70 of Britain's most intriguing ancient places and artefacts and explores the mysteries behind them. Britain is full of ancient wonders: not grand like the Egyptian pyramids, but small, strange places and objects that hint at a deep and enduring relationship with the mystic. Secret Britain offers an expertly guided tour of Britain’s most fascinating mysteries: archaeological sites and artefacts that take us deep into the lives of the many different peoples who have inhabited the island over the millennia.

Secret Britain, Unearthing our Mysterious Past, to give it its full title is great coffee table book tracing the people of Great Britain from their earliest reported sightings to the present day. Mary-Ann takes us on a countrywide tour of the most historic of our sites.

Starting in Orkney, with its architecture older than Stonehenge, it takes us the length and depth of this island. Each site or artifact is illustrated with some wonderful photography. The descriptions are informative, going into depth where needed to explain the archaeological sites in some detail. It's a book you'll dip back into many times to plan your own journey around Britain.

Mary-Ann Ochota cohosted with Tony Robinson, Time Team for one series near the end of its run. Her writing is authoritative and like her presenting style, easy to understand. This is a book that you'll keep turning back to. I guarantee this won't be left on the shelf.

Thanks to Netgallery and Quatro Publishing for the eARC copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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Review by
AJ Steel
January 23, 2024

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