Comptes Rendus (Book Review) : Elizabeth M. FOULDS, Dress and Identity in Iron Age Britain: A Study of Glassbeads and Other Objects of Personal Adornment, Oxford, Archaeopress Archaeology, 2017. 1 vol. broché 288 × 204 mm, 337 p., ill., 194 figs en couleur et en noir et blanc, et tabl. Langue : Anglais. Prix : £50,00. ISBN 9781784915261.
Elizabeth M. Foulds’ monograph Dress and Identity in Iron Age Britain: A Study of Glassbeads and Other Objects of Personal Adornment is quite an important contribution to the study of Iron Age clothing and appearance in Britain. One may, at first glance, consider this publication as a specialist’s analysis of Iron Age glass beads, and other small finds, from a particular geographical area, but in reality this work is much more than this; it is effectively a collection of important observations concerning the archaeology of clothing and body adornment in Iron Age Britain, a subject matter that is in its infancy, as little attention has been to date given to this aspect of later prehistoric societies of Britain. Foulds’ data analysis and interpretive work presented in this monograph comprises, therefore, an important basis, and source of inspiration, for further research on prehistoric clothing and appearance in this, among others, geographical area. Indeed, and as the author points out (« a study of dress for this period requires a mélange of archaeological sources », p. 1), direct archaeological evidence for prehistoric clothing in Britain is rare and most often indirect necessitating, therefore, the analysis and interpretation of various sources of information including not only the available archaeological record, but also iconographic and literary data (also p. 23). Consequently, the author’s contextual approach to finds that are associated with clothing and body adornment, provides an important contribution to our better understanding of these object-types and the significance and meaning of clothing and appearance in later prehistoric Britain.