By Patrick Ottaway
During this authoritative quantity, Patrick Ottaway attracts on his large adventure of city archaeology to teach how our belief of the early background of British cities has been noticeably replaced over the past twenty 5 years.
according to his daily involvement within the box, this learn highlights the most very important discoveries and study subject matters of modern years, displaying how long-term city examine tasks have printed new information regarding cities and the lives in their inhabitants.
good illustrated and hugely readable, this quantity bargains a sequence of attractive and evocative case stories. It additionally highlights the paintings of the city archaeologist, and the issues inherent in conserving our previous, whilst the pursuits of archaeology and estate improvement conflict.
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Extra info for Archaeology in British Towns: From the Emperor Claudius to the Black Death
While the problem of context definition is one important reason why archaeology is so time-consuming, it should be stressed that even the most marginal differences may be of enormous importance in revealing the occurrence of major events. 1). 2 The rubbish or cess pit—this is a tenth-century de luxe wicker-lined model from 16–22 Coppergate, York (scale 2m/6ft 6 ins) (Photograph: York Archaeological Trust) meticulous cleaning and recording, stone by stone, of spreads of finely broken-up rubble. 21 The theory and practice of archaeological recording may seem an esoteric subject to the lay person, but the way recording is carried out may profoundly affect what can be learnt about the past from excavation.
16 This strategy had a certain practical and organisational value, especially when, as on Wheeler’s sites in India, large numbers of relatively inexperienced workers were involved; but, unless the baulks were meticulously removed, matching the sequences of the strata between boxes was a problem, and the excavator was never able to get an uninterrupted view of, for example, a building’s plan. 17 The open area approach is now standard on large sites and can be seen in operation in many of the photographs in this book.
On occasions in the past, however, objects were deliberately buried as grave offerings, for religious purposes or as hoards for safekeeping during times of danger. As a result of such practices archaeologists can have the good luck to find objects of great artistic merit and monetary value. It should be stressed, however, that this is very exceptional and such finds are primarily of value for what they tell us about the past and not for what they can fetch at auction. We have looked briefly at the study of artefacts for dating purposes, but as any specialist will tell you, this is only the beginning of a process which can lead to an understanding of the technology, economy and social organisation of the community producing them.