Archaeology of the British Isles: With a Gazetteer of Sites in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland

Archaeology of the British Isles: With a Gazetteer of Sites in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland

Archaeology of the British Isles: With a Gazetteer of Sites in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland

Archaeology of the British Isles: With a Gazetteer of Sites in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland

Synopsis

This is a guide to the archaeology of the British Isles from the Ice Age through to the medieval period. Beginning with an introduction to the methods and techniques of modern archaeology, the author moves on to cover the story of the archaeology of the British Isles, answering such questions as when the British Isles were first inhabited, how the great Neolithic monuments were planned and built and what impact the Roman Conquest had. The book is completed by a detailed gazetteer of 468 sites that can be visited.

Excerpt

The writers on antiquity generally find more difficulty, in so handling the matter, as to render it agreeable to the reader, than in most other subjects. Tediousness in any thing is a fault, more so in this than in other sciences. Tis an offence, if either we spend such time in a too minute description of things, or enter upon formal and argumentative proofs, more than the nature of such accounts will well bear. Nevertheless the dignity of the knowledge of antiquities will always insure a sufficient regard for this very considerable branch of learning, as long as there is any taste or learning left in the World. William Stukeley, Stonehenge.

To condense the story of over a quarter of a million years of the human occupation of the British Isles is not a task to be entered into lightly. But I hope that my readers will not find me guilty of too many lapses from the high standards set by my eighteenth-century predecessor. For in the past generation British ar chaeology has been transformed by the application of new techniques, new theories and exciting new discoveries. the result is that an image of the past has begun to emerge that has called into question many basic assumptions about the lives and times of our ancestors. We are now better equipped than ever before to grasp how society, culture and landscape developed into their present form. This book aims to introduce these new insights to a wider audience. For the sake of convenience the familiar, traditional periods have been used, but readers should always be aware of the underlying sense of continuity that runs through all of these rather arbitrary divisions of time. Finally to tempt the armchair enthusiast out into the field I have supplied an extensive gazetteer of sites to visit in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

A. R. M. Hayes

Midsomer Norton

June 1992

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