There have been many books about Birmingham's history but this one is different. It is based on the archaeological evidence from the first major excavations to be carried out in Birmingham city centre. The book is written in a lively, accessible style and contains over 100 illustrations, most in colour. It provides new evidence of Birmingham's origins and its growth as a market town and industrial centre in the medieval period. The book also offers a new perspective on the transformation of Birmingham into 'the first manufacturing town in the world' in the 18th and 19th centuries. A large part of the book is devoted to the excavation of St. Martin's Churchyard, which uncovered 857 burials - in simple graves and elaborate tombs - of the people who made the Industrial Revolution. The burials are explored in fascinating detail, together with analysis of the health of the population based on scientific study of the skeletons. New research reveals intimate details of the lives of the men and women of the town of a thousand trades. If you are interested in the history of Birmingham, this book is essential reading.