An early Christmas present from the Society for Medieval Archaeology

Pictish Stone
Pictish Stone. Photo (cc) Pamela Adam. Click on the photo to read her comments.

Good news from the Society for Medieval Archaeology and the wiz­ards at the Archaeology Data Service. The first fifty (50) issues of Medieval Archaeology are avail­able for free online. Its not quite open access, because the issues can’t be archived else­where, but that’s no real prob­lem as long as the ADS stays funded.

The Society exists to “fur­ther the study of the period from the 5th to the 16th cen­tury A.D. by pub­lish­ing a journal of inter­na­tional stand­ing deal­ing primar­ily with the archae­olo­gical evid­ence, and by other means such as by hold­ing reg­u­lar meet­ings and arran­ging con­fer­ences.” It’s clear mak­ing the journal freely access­ible is going to do a lot for their work, but even so when you also have to bal­ance the fin­an­cial needs of the Society it’s still a cour­ageous step in a field where most pub­lic­a­tions are subscription-only.

But the real reason to cel­eb­rate is that the journal is very good. There is plenty of stuff in it that deserves a wide audi­ence. For instance Pictish sym­bol stones are a bit of a mys­tery. However I can read about them in the art­icle Investing in Sculpture: Power in Early-historic Scotland by Meggen Gondek, which is avail­able as a PDF from Volume 50 of Medieval Archaeology.