Editorial

By Malone, Caroline; Stoddart, Simon | Antiquity, March 1998 | Go to article overview
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Editorial


Malone, Caroline, Stoddart, Simon, Antiquity


It is a daunting task to write our first Editorial, following in the footsteps of three remarkable Editors of ANTIQUITY. There is certainly much to report, not only of what is in this issue, and of present events and matters, but also of past and future. ANTIQUITY is now in its 72nd year of production, and it is worth describing some aspects of this long history of archaeological communication. Unlike almost all other serious journals of archaeology, ANTIQUITY is an independent Trust, and relies entirely on its subscribers, rather than any society or larger organization. It was founded by O.G.S. CRAWFORD to be independent, and so it has remained. Crawford wrote an Editorial after 10 years of production (ANTIQUITY 40 (1936)) and described what he had originally envisaged for the journal. 'What I had in mind was to found a journal which would raise the general status of archaeology, and would popularize its achievements without vulgarizing them . . .' Crawford went on to encourage readers to become subscribers - 'Circulation is the life-blood of every journal' - and that is as true today as it was in Crawford's time. ANTIQUITY subscribers come from every country in the world, although it may surprise readers to learn that we can divide these numerically into three equal parts - Britain, North America and the rest of the World. With many subscriptions arriving in American dollars, we are rather dependent upon the whim of international money markets and the rate of exchange, and as anyone who has travelled recently will know, Sterling has been too strong for its (or indeed ANTIQUITY's) good. We will have to be a little slimmer in size (just under 1000 pages annually, but with a useful new supplement - see below and p. 16) - until Sterling weakens. Following Crawford's lead, we also ask that subscribers introduce new subscribers to the journal, so that ANTIQUITY can publish more and better.

ANTIQUITY has had an unusual history with only three Editors in 70 years, O.G.S. CRAWFORD and GLYN DANIEL taking equal share of the first 60 years, and CHRISTOPHER CHIPPINDALE the last 11, with a one-year sabbatical leave covered by HENRY CLEERE. After Glyn Daniel's long term of office the Trustees are tending to the view that a decade was long enough for any Editor, so the cycle of new Editors will quicken as we move into the 21st century.

Christopher Chippindale brought much that was new to ANTIQUITY and we wish to pay tribute to his work. From the outset of his Editorship, new electronic technology was employed, desktop publishing from its infancy in the 1980s to the routine sophistication of the late 1990s. Under the previous editor, traditional typesetting and printing was used, which was expensive and slow. Christopher and his wife Anne as Production Editor pioneered new technologies and not only speeded up the production process, but also brought down the costs, as demonstrated by the increased size of ANTIQUITY over the last 11 years. This enviable speed of production has ensured topicality of the latest archaeological developments and ideas. Christopher has brought a powerful international flavour to ANTIQUITY, and continued and developed the World perspective of archaeology that ANTIQUITY has always espoused, but he has done so spectacularly. Even though the first editors always included discussion and papers from much of the world, recent years have seen attention paid to regions often overlooked or disregarded. Australia, in particular, has been a subject of much debate, but so too have the emerging nations of the former eastern bloc of Europe and the southern continents generally. This trend has been welcomed by much of the ANTIQUITY readership, since ANTIQUITY has always sought to explore the broader world of archaeology and its interdisciplinary concerns, rather than to seek to satisfy interest in one or two subject or regional areas. One particular characteristic of his work was to broaden the scope of papers, and to encourage young scholars and archaeologists to publish in ANTIQUITY.

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