The Archaeology of Britain: An Introduction from Earliest Times to the Twenty-First Century

The Archaeology of Britain: An Introduction from Earliest Times to the Twenty-First Century

The Archaeology of Britain: An Introduction from Earliest Times to the Twenty-First Century

The Archaeology of Britain: An Introduction from Earliest Times to the Twenty-First Century


The Archaeology of Britain is the only concise and up-to-date introduction to the archaeological record of Britain from the reoccupation of the landmass by Homo sapiens during the later stages of the most recent Ice Age until last century. This fully revised second edition extends its coverage, including greater detail on the first millennium AD beyond the Anglo-Saxon domain, and into recent times to look at the archaeological record produced by Britain's central role in two World Wars and the Cold War.

The chapters are written by experts in their respective fields. Each is geared to provide an authoritative but accessible introduction, supported by numerous illustrations of key sites and finds and a selective reference list to aid study in greater depth. It provides a one-stop textbook for the entire archaeology of Britain and reflects the most recent developments in archaeology both as a field subject and as an academic discipline.

No other book provides such comprehensive coverage, with such a wide chronological range, of the archaeology of Britain. This collection is essential reading for undergraduates in archaeology, and all those interested in British archaeology, history and geography.


The idea for the approach taken in the first edition of this book emerged in late 1994 as the editors compared wounds that were the outcome of their previous collaborative editorial effort. Discussion, typical of many then and since, included considering the impacts of rising undergraduate numbers and noting the very different archaeological worlds – both academic and practical – that faced the new intakes of students, compared to that which had been encountered by young archaeologists a generation previously. Talk then turned to the concomitant need to make readily accessible suitable literature for students at the outset of their undergraduate careers, in access classes preparing for university entrance and for those taking A-level and similar courses and for their teachers. The format and contents of this second edition, a further attempt to encapsulate the British archaeological record and its present-day interpretation in an introductory and accessible way, represent the outcome of subsequent thoughts, but honed, improved and extended by anonymous referees, by our contributors and by feedback on the reception of the first edition. Lalle Pursglove and Matthew Gibbons at Routledge have also played a key role in the development of this edition.

No work of this kind could be put together without a team effort, and the contributions of our colleagues, both new and old, who have authored the substance of what follows remain central to the project. As previously, their e-mails and other communications were also of great help in the shaping of the contents. Revising, updating and extending this book (there are two wholly new chapters), and keeping it to a manageable size, was less than straightforward; we offer our grateful thanks to the chapter authors, whose efforts have allowed us to complete this new edition in an acceptable timescale, although not one where some delays did not inevitably occur. We trust they find the final product to their liking, but any deficiencies still present are our responsibility.

Thanks are also due to our partners, Margaret and Sandra, for once more tolerating the trauma of editing during the evenings and weekends and to those of our . . .

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