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Introductions to Heritage Assets (Archaeology)

Here you can find our Introductions to Heritage Assets (IHAs) for archaeology, which are accessible, authoritative, well-illustrated summaries of what we know about specific classes of  sites or monuments.

While there is no aspiration to have an entirely comprehensive series covering all types of sites from early prehistory to present, the 41 IHAs completed to date do include the majority of the main groups of heritage asset from early prehistory to the end of the Middle Ages.

More will be added as time goes on, especially when new research alters accepted understanding.

What IHAs cover

IHAs share a common approach, headings and format.

A short Introduction defines the asset type, notes any alternative names by which the site or monument-type is known, gives the broad date range, and discusses the distribution and number of known examples.

Next comes a Description, or Historical background,  which considers in greater detail the sites’ locations in the landscape, their form and plan, and how it is thought they functioned.

With more complex asset types there may be a separate section on Chronology, tracing their development through time, followed by a discussion of the Development of the monument type as revealed by investigation - what has been revealed by archaeology or survey work of all sorts.

In each case a narrative guide to Further Reading is supplied, which signposts key works, especially those of an accessible character.

On 1 April 2015 the part of English Heritage represented on this website changed its name to Historic England. You may notice that some of our content still refers to English Heritage. We are in the process of rebranding, but in the meantime please be assured that all our content and guidance is still current. 

Animal Management

Animal Management

Published 23 May 2011

An introductory guide to Animal Management.

Artillery Defences

Artillery Defences

Published 23 May 2011

An introductory guide to Artillery Defences.

Banjo Enclosures

Banjo Enclosures

Published 23 May 2011

An introductory guide to Banjo Enclosures.

Burnt Mounds

Burnt Mounds

Published 23 May 2011

An introductory guide to Burnt Mounds.

Causewayed Enclosures

Causewayed Enclosures

Published 23 May 2011

An introductory guide to Causewayed Enclosures.

Caves, Fissures and Rockshelters

Caves, Fissures and Rockshelters

Published 23 May 2011

An introductory guide to Caves, Fissures and Rockshelters.

Earthwork Castles

Earthwork Castles

Published 23 May 2011

An introductory guide to Earthwork Castles.

Enclosed Prehistoric Settlements

Enclosed Prehistoric Settlements

Published 23 May 2011

An introductory guide to Enclosed Prehistoric Settlements.

Field Systems

Field Systems

Published 23 May 2011

An introductory guide to Field Systems.

Hermitages

Hermitages

Published 23 May 2011

An introductory guide to Hermitages.

Hillforts

Hillforts

Published 23 May 2011

An introductory guide to Hillforts.

Later Prehistoric Shrines and Ritual Structures

Later Prehistoric Shrines and Ritual Structures

Published 23 May 2011

An introductory guide to Later Prehistoric Shrines and Ritual Structures.

Linear Frontiers

Linear Frontiers

Published 23 May 2011

An introductory guide to Linear Frontiers.

Medieval and Early Post-Medieval Glassworks

Medieval and Early Post-Medieval Glassworks

Published 31 October 2012

An introductory guide to glassworks.

Medieval and Later Fieldworks

Medieval and Later Fieldworks

Published 23 May 2011

An introductory guide to Medieval and Later Fieldworks.

Medieval Settlements

Medieval Settlements

Published 23 May 2011

An introductory guide to Medieval Settlements.

Megalithic Chamber Tombs

Megalithic Chamber Tombs

Published 23 May 2011

An introductory guide to Megalithic Chamber Tombs.

Mills

Mills

Published 23 May 2011

An introductory guide to Mills.

Oppida

Oppida

Published 23 May 2011

An introductory guide to Oppida.

Pre-Christian Cemeteries

Pre-Christian Cemeteries

Published 23 May 2011

An introductory guide to Pre-Christian Cemeteries.

Prehistoric and Romano-British Settlements with Structures

Prehistoric and Romano-British Settlements with Structures

Published 23 May 2011

An introductory guide to Prehistoric and Romano-British Settlements with Structures.

Prehistoric Avenues and Alignments

Prehistoric Avenues and Alignments

Published 23 May 2011

An introductory guide to Prehistoric Avenues and Alignments.

Prehistoric Barrows and Burial Mounds

Prehistoric Barrows and Burial Mounds

Published 23 May 2011

An introductory guide to Prehistoric Barrows and Burial Mounds.

Prehistoric Henges and Circles

Prehistoric Henges and Circles

Published 23 May 2011

An introductory guide to Prehistoric Henges and Circles.

Prehistoric Linear Boundary Earthworks

Prehistoric Linear Boundary Earthworks

Published 23 May 2011

An introductory guide to Prehistoric Linear Boundary Earthworks.

Prehistoric Rock Art

Prehistoric Rock Art

Published 23 May 2011

An introductory guide to Prehistoric Rock Art.

Pre-industrial Ironworks

Pre-industrial Ironworks

Published 23 May 2011

An introductory guide to Pre-industrial Ironworks.

Pre-industrial Lime Kilns

Pre-industrial Lime Kilns

Published 23 May 2011

An introductory guide to Pre-industrial Lime Kilns.

Pre-industrial Mines and Quarries

Pre-industrial Mines and Quarries

Published 23 May 2011

An introductory guide to Pre-industrial Mines and Quarries.

Pre-industrial Roads, Trackways and Canals

Pre-industrial Roads, Trackways and Canals

Published 23 May 2011

An introductory guide to Pre-industrial Roads, Trackways and Canals.

Pre-industrial Salterns

Pre-industrial Salterns

Published 23 May 2011

An introductory guide to Pre-industrial Salterns.

River Fisheries and Coastal Fish Weirs

River Fisheries and Coastal Fish Weirs

Published 23 May 2011

An introductory guide to River Fisheries and Coastal Fish Weirs.

Roman Amphitheatres, Theatres and Circuses

Roman Amphitheatres, Theatres and Circuses

Published 23 May 2011

An introductory guide to Roman Amphitheatres, Theatres and Circuses.

Roman and Medieval Pottery and Tile Production

Roman and Medieval Pottery and Tile Production

Published 23 May 2011

An introductory guide to Roman and Medieval Pottery and Tile Production.

Roman and Medieval Sea and River Flood Defences

Roman and Medieval Sea and River Flood Defences

Published 23 May 2011

An introductory guide to Roman and Medieval Sea and River Flood Defences.

Roman Forts and Fortresses

Roman Forts and Fortresses

Published 23 May 2011

An introductory guide to Roman Forts and Fortresses.

Roman Settlements

Roman Settlements

Published 23 May 2011

An introductory guide to Roman Settlements.

Saxon Shore Forts

Saxon Shore Forts

Published 23 May 2011

An introductory guide to Saxon Shore Forts.

Shielings

Shielings

Published 23 May 2011

An introductory guide to Shielings.

Shrines (Roman and Post-Roman)

Shrines (Roman and Post-Roman)

Published 23 May 2011

An introductory guide to Shrines (Roman and Post-Roman).

Stone Castles

Stone Castles

Published 23 May 2011

An introductory guide to Stone Castles.

Water Meadows

Water Meadows

Published 1 December 2013

This short guide provides an introduction to the history and typology of water meadows. It is intended to support the scheduling selection guide on Agriculture.

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