The Archaeology of Britain: An Introduction from the Upper Palaeolithic to the Industrial Revolution

By John Hunter; Ian Ralston | Go to book overview

Preface

The idea for the approach taken in 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 of the time, included comparing statistics on rising student numbers, and noting the very different archaeological world—both academic and practical—that faced the new intakes of students, compared to that which had been encountered some twenty years 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 their teachers. The format and contents of this book, an 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 and improved by anonymous referees, by the various contributors and by the staff at Routledge, initially Diana Grivas, and subsequently Vicky Peters and Nadia Jacobson.

No work of this kind could be put together without a team effort, and the contributions of our colleagues, who have authored the substance of what follows, were obviously essential for the completion of the project. Their telephone calls, e-mails and other communications were also of great help in the shaping of its contents. To those who contributed swiftly and to specification, to those who were not so swift off the mark and required cajoling, as well as to the few who felt the need to draw attention to editorial delays as we sometimes struggled to find time to fit the compilation of this work into other responsibilities, we offer our grateful thanks. 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 Ellie, Natalie, both Toms, Ben and (intermittently) Edward for putting up with fathers once again preoccupied with other matters.

We hope that the following pages encourage new students and interested amateurs in their interest and involvement in British archaeology, and that colleagues across the widening spectrum of archaeological endeavour and beyond find value in the contents.

John Hunter and Ian Ralston

Warwickshire—Kinross-shire

August 1997

-xiv-

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