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

By Andrew Hayes | Go to book overview

PREFACE

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

-11-

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

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 5
  • List of Illustrations 6
  • Acknowledgements 9
  • Preface 11
  • 1 - Vendetta 13
  • 2 - Out of Africa 26
  • 3 - Brave New World 39
  • 4 - Megaliths and Moonshine 53
  • 5 - The Roundheads 67
  • 6 - Men of Iron 82
  • 7 - The Romans in Britain 97
  • 8 - Anglo-Saxon Attitudes 114
  • 9 - Celtic Twilight 130
  • 10 - 1066 and All That… 143
  • Further Reading 201
  • Index 203
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