Richard Morris weaves a series of interconnecting studies of apparently unrelated things and periods that are normally considered in isolation. In the process he re-examines aspects of England's story from the end of the last glacial period 12,500 years ago to the present, touching upon such things as Britain's apparent emptiness for long stretches of deep prehistory, battlefields, and the human element of the Industrial Revolution. Morris not only describes the evolution of archaeology's craft but also explores an awakening curiosity and an open embrace of the mystery of the identity of the early inhabitants of our land, who have disappeared and left little trace of themselves but were more like us than we think.
Combining the personal with the academic, amalgamating literature and myth with science, and reflecting on how and why archaeology goes about its business, the result is a fresh account of who we are and our relationship with Nature. 'Humanity's achievement', writes Morris, 'is to be the one animal out of one and a half million currently living on the planet to have discovered this story; its weakness is to suppose itself to be the story's subject'. TIME'S ANVIL challenges some popular assumptions of history, such as Domesday Book's comprehensiveness or the Romans as civilising colonists.