Prehistoric Pompeiis? An exploration of sites with exceptional preservation
with Edward Martin (Independent Scholar)
at Sutton Hoo on Saturday, 25th November, 2017

An exploration of sites, both Continental and British, where volcanic activity, waterlogging, deep burial or an unusual chemical environment has led to the exceptional preservation of ancient artefacts and structures, enabling a fuller than usual understanding of the lives of people in prehistory.

Provisional Programme

09.50 – 10.15:          Coffee on arrival

10.15 – 11.15:          EARTH.

The Neolithic tell of Çatalhöyük, Turkey and the Iron Age salt mines of Hallstatt, Austria

11.15 – 11.40:          Coffee break

11.40 – 12.40:          WATER.

The Neolithic to Iron Age Swiss ‘lake villages’, the Bronze Age barrows of Denmark, and the Bronze Age and Iron Age sites of the English Fenland

12.40 – 14.00:          Lunch break

14.00 – 14.50:          FIRE.

The Bronze Age volcanic sites of Santorini in Greece and Afragola in Italy

14.50 – 15.10:          Tea break

15.10 – 16.00:          ICE.

Ötzi the Copper Age ‘Iceman’ from the Italian Alps and the frozen Iron Age burial mounds at Pazyryk in the Eurasian steppes

c.16.00:                   Thanks and Close

About Edward Martin

Edward worked for many years as an archaeologist with Suffolk County Council, specialising in prehistory and historic landscape studies. He has excavated on a range of Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age sites. He co-edited An Historical Atlas of Suffolk (3rd edition 1999) and has written and lectured widely on this region’s archaeology, landscape and architectural heritage. He is a vice-president and a past chairman of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History.


At previous Study Days by Edward Martin participants said this when asked ‘What was best about the day?’:

  • Brilliant lecture, well planned day
  • Edward Martin himself – his extensive knowledge – vast range yet also detailed information, his interesting delivery and ‘visuals’  Appetite whetted for more of him & this subject!
  • Enthusiasm and illustrations.  Very knowledgeable
  • The coherent explanation of complex issues on a very wide canvas
  • Edward kept us interested and inspired all day
  • Enthusiasm, knowledge, plentiful examples and illustrations
  • Informative and entertaining tutor
  • I enjoyed everything
  • Academic level absolutely fine: easy manner belies depth of scholarship.
  • Just the tremendous knowledge our speaker has; excellent presentation.
  • Very good introductory background. Having expert answers to questions


Some Suggestions for Optional Background Reading

Most of the material for this course comes from specialist articles and monographs, but here are some books that are both more general and more accessible:

British Museum, Frozen Tombs. The Culture and Art of the Ancient Tribes of Siberia, BM, London 1978.

Doumas, C.G., Thera. Pompeii of the ancient Aegean, Thames & Hudson 1983

Fleckinger, A., Ötzi, the Iceman, Südtiroler Archäologiemuseum, Bolzano 2014

Glob, P.V., The Mound People. Danish Bronze Age Man Preserved, Faber, London 1974

Hodder, I., Çatalhöyük, The Leopard’s Tale. Revealing the mysteries of Turkey’s ancient ‘town’, Thames & Hudson, London 2006

Marinatos, N., Art and Religion in Thera. Reconstructing a Bronze Age Society, Editions Souanis, Santorini 2016

Menotti, F. (ed.), Living on the Lake in Prehistoric Europe. 150 years of lake-dwelling research, Routledge, London 2004

Rudenko, S.I. (trans. M.W. Thompson), Frozen Tombs of Siberia. The Pazyryk Burials of Iron-Age Horsemen, University of California Press, Berkeley & Los Angeles and J.M. Dent, London, 1970.

Simpson, St J & Pankova, S., Scythians: warriors of ancient Siberia, Thames & Hudson, London 2017

Spindler, K, The Man in the Ice, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London 1994