Few – if any - would deny that cartography is one of the most essential disciplines within the multi-layered scope of urban history. Elizabeth Baigent pays tribute to the possibilities and problems posed by maps in her ‘Fact or fiction? Town maps as aids and snares to the historian’, Archives: The J. of the British Records Association, 29, 110 (2004), 24–37. By looking at a map of Gloucester, compiled in 1455, and two late medieval Bristol maps (one by Robert Ricart, the other by William Smith), she outlines their usefulness as well as the problems that the modern urban historian faces. Although medieval maps can clearly help to identify ‘lost’ streets, and to elucidate the town's social geography, it is essential to consider the purpose for which any individual map was drawn, the context in which it was published (and re-published) and not least the skills of the cartographer concerned. Cartography may be an essential tool for the urban historian, but there are many other tools and topics, and this year's medieval urban periodical literature again reflects the wide scope of the subject. This is especially true for the German language periodicals which tend to relate to traditionally powerful concepts rather than to recent departures. This trend largely reflects the nature of those periodicals concerned for they are almost entirely devoted to strictly local, or at most regional concerns. They are naturally home to brief essays on mainly local matters, particularly the commemoration of anniversaries of urban charters (e.g., Paul Wietzorek, ‘Zum Titelbild: 100 Jahre Stadtwappen Zons – 1904–2004’, Der Niederrhein. Die Zeitschrift des Vereins Niederrhein, 71, 1 (2004), 2–5; Paul Wietzorek, ‘Zum Titelbild: 750 Jahre Stadtrechte Grieth 1254–2004’, ibid., 71, 2 (2004), 54–5; Paul Wietzorek, ‘Zum Titelbild: 650 Jahre Stadt Dahlen (Rheindalen) 1354–2004’, ibid., 71, 3 (2004), 114–15), overviews of town histories (e.g. Eberhard Lebender, ‘Die Weizackerstadt Pyritz. Ein Gang durch die Geschichte – von der Bronzezeit bis zur Zerstörung 1945’, Pommern. Zeitschrift für Kultur und Geschichte, 42, 2 (2004), 8–17) and recent archaeological excavations (e.g., Sven Spiong, ‘Archäologische Ausgrabung an der Paderborner Stadtmauer’, Die Warte, 65, 123 (2004), 23–6; Sven Spiong, ‘Den Stiftsherren auf der Spur: Archäologische Ausgrabung nördlich der Busdorfkirche in Paderborn’, ibid., 65, 124 (2004), 9–10). Anna Helena Schubert's ‘Archäologische Untersuchungen im Bereich der “Untersten Stadtmühle” in Olpe’, Heimatstimmen aus dem Kreis Olpe, 75, 3 (2004), 195–202, is another example of local archaeological case studies. Olpe received its urban charter in 1311; in the German context such an urban charter necessarily involved fortification. Schubert is concerned whether the ‘lower mill’ which was situated outside the first urban wall was erected at the same time or at a later date than this wall, yet has to admit that despite extensive archaeological excavation this question has to remain – at least for the time – unanswered. English articles on local excavations are too numerous to be dealt with adequately in this short review. Two examples may suffice: Robert Cowie's ‘The evidence from royal sites in Middle Anglo-Saxon London’, Medieval Archaeology, 48 (2004), 201–8, looks at the evidence for palaces c. 650 – c. 850 that emerged from recent archaeological investigations in the Cripplegate area of the City and at the Treasury in Whitehall. Mary Alexander, Natasha Dodnell and Christopher Evans have published ‘A Roman cemetery in Jesus Lane, Cambridge’, Proceedings of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society, 93 (2004), 67–94. 32 corpses were unearthed (three of them decapitated), and modest grave goods were found. This cemetery seems to have served a suburban settlement within the lower Roman town. Pottery assemblage indicates industrial activity. The excavation added significantly to our knowledge of the layout and scale of Roman Cambridge. Cambridge clearly remained a significant centre during the fourth century and sustained an economic and commercial role.