The Idea of Prehistory

The Idea of Prehistory

The Idea of Prehistory

The Idea of Prehistory

Excerpt

When the University of Birmingham honoured me with an invitation to give the Josiah Mason Lectures (founded by the Rationalist Press Association) for the year 1956-7 I thought it might be interesting to devote the eight lectures to a discussion, necessarily brief and sketchy, of the development of the idea of prehistory in Western European and particularly British thought. I had already written a short history of the development of prehistory between 1840 and 1940 in my Hundred Years of Archaeology. The Mason lectures seemed to provide a good opportunity for isolating the important events in the history of that hundred years and relating them to what went before and what came after.

These lectures are printed almost exactly as they were given, and are records of the spoken word. I have added to them a few footnotes and some suggestions for further reading, and included eight plates to illustrate various points in the general argument.

It gives me pleasure to record here my thanks to the University for inviting me to give these lectures, and my appreciation of the kindness and hospitality of individual members of that University while I gave them, notably the Vice-Chancellor and the Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Professor Charles Meade, and Professor Sargant Florence.

GLYN DANIEL

St. John's College Cambridge 1 June, 1960 . . .

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