Editorial

By Carver, Martin | Antiquity, March 2003 | Go to article overview

Editorial


Carver, Martin, Antiquity


ANTIQUITY has moved its office to the Department of Archaeology at the University of York (in north-east England) where it has been welcomed with excitement and affection. Long term subscribers will notice one or two novelties in our first edition: a new cover and a new internal structure and layout--and the website has also been given a make-over. We hasten to reassure readers that the editorial policy nevertheless remains the same as it has for 75 years--to present the results of recent research to the extended archaeological family. To do this successfully means expressing these results in plain language--something easier said than done. In these days of increasing specialisation, even researchers in different periods sometimes have difficulty understanding each other, while a thickening fog continues to rise between archaeologists in Universities and those serving the commercial sector. Our extended archaeological family includes not only all these professionals, and those of other disciplines with whom we work--chemists, linguists, geneticists - but people in other walks of life for whom the revelations of the past can provide a sustaining nectar. Thirty years ago your new editor was such a person, serving as the adjutant of the Fourth Royal Tank Regiment at Hohne in north Germany. Preparations for war had to be temporarily suspended on the day my new Antiquity arrived, while I devoured its contents as avidly as news from home, marvelling at the brilliant and troubled past of places (such as Russia, China and Iraq) reduced by the humours of the age to monochrome polygons on our military maps.

Change can be stressful in these overheated times, so we offer apologies to readers startled by the new cover and hope they will grow to like it. The intention is to bring the findings of researchers to a wider readership, something which has, of course, long been part of editorial policy. Our founder O G S Crawford, whose praises were chorally sung during 2002 (76: 1063-1125) wanted to sell Antiquity in station bookstalls. That is not expected to happen, but we might come to share a shelf with Nature, Foreign Affairs and other journals of the kind which attempt to present the top-rank scholarship of one field to another. This top-rank scholarship is what will continue to dominate our content in the form of peer-reviewed illustrated articles, but they will now be presented under three new headings: RESEARCH reports new theory, models, insights and ideas. METHOD reports new techniques or successful applications of old ones. And DEBATE is a section for response, argument and generally letting off steam about all matters which concern us. REVIEWS continue as before, but, as well as books, we have decided to review exhibitions, site presentations and the work of television producers who now willy-nilly report so much of archaeology's research output.

"Notes and News in Colour" has been moved to the website (now at http://antiquity.ac.uk) which has been enhanced to provide a broader range of services to the electronic visitor. The Project Gallery on the website is dedicated to interim reports about current research projects, and represents the rebirth of the Colour Section in a form which we hope will reach more people. Also on the website will be found Letters to the Editor of which the most pertinent are likely to form the basis for future contributions to the DEBATE section of the journal. It remains a long-term dream to put the whole content of Antiquity since 1927 on the website where it may be accessed by researchers world-wide: the desirability and economics of this plan are still under discussion. At the editorial office we welcome your views on this and any other matters which may help the significance of archaeological research to be more widely appreciated.

This journal is dedicated to diversity, in the present as well as the past. It hopes to help provide a stage for new work from under-represented subjects, places and periods (field method, Africa and the most recent two millennia spring to mind). …

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