Antiquity and the Scope of Archaeology. (Special Section)

By Renfrew, Colin | Antiquity, December 2002 | Go to article overview

Antiquity and the Scope of Archaeology. (Special Section)


Renfrew, Colin, Antiquity


The beginnings of world archaeology

Our field is-the world, our range in time a million years or so, our subject the human race.

CRAWFORD 1927: 1

In this short paper I want to make several bold claims for ANTIQUITY, and for the achievement of the man who founded it in 1927, O.G.S. Crawford, and his successor Glyn Daniel, who edited the journal from 1958 to 1986. For, in a world today with what seems like too many periodical publications and with numerous places for discussion, it is possible to overlook that for a whole generation ANTIQUITY was perhaps the only journal in the world which already had a vision of what was later to become world archaeology. Perhaps the full potential of a global view could fully be realized only with the development of radiocarbon dating (itself first brought to wide public attention in the pages of ANTIQUITY in 1949): its systematic application by Grahame Clark, one of Crawford's younger colleagues and a regular contributor from 1931, resulted in the publication in 1961 of World prehistory, an outline, dedicated to the memory of Crawford and of V. Gordon Childe. But already, decades earlier, ANTIQUITY was blazing this global trail. To quote the concluding words of Crawford's autobiography Said and done (1955: 312):

I find it difficult to dissociate my views about the future of archaeology in general from the future of ANTIQUITY, for I want the one to reflect and influence the other. To some extent ANTIQUITY is already, just such an open forum. It has both readers and contributors in every country in the world, and when choosing a reviewer distance is no object. No other archaeological publication has this world-wide basis.

To justify that claim I would like to draw your attention to the very selective TABLE I of the date of first publication of various mainly archaeological publications, principally in the English language. I have divided them using the annus mirabilis of 1859 (the year of Darwin's On the origin of species and of the establishment of the antiquity of humankind) and utilized also the boundaries offered by the dates of World War I and World War II. In general I have omitted local regional journals, despite their early date and frequently their excellence.

From this list it may indeed be claimed that ANTIQUITY was the first archaeological journal with a world-wide scope. Of course pride of place must go to the very early antiquarian publications, such as those of the Society of Antiquaries of London (i.e. Archaeologia and Antiquaries Journal), but these were devoted primarily to English antiquarian studies. They continue today to have a mainly English bias and to deal to a significant extent with the surviving material culture of the Middle Ages and later periods. Other journals (such as Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland or Archaiologike Ephemeris) were indeed pioneering journals, but devoted mainly to the archaeology of a single country. Certainly there were some early anthropological journals which reflected the world-wide scope and interests of 19th-century anthropology (Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute; L'Anthropologie; American Anthropologist), but these were never primarily archaeological journals, although they did and still do contain important archaeological contributions.

It might have been argued that American Journal of Archaeology would be the first archaeological periodical to have a world-wide coverage, and such was indeed the stated intention of its founders (Renfrew 1980), but it soon developed a preoccupation with the classical and pre-classical archaeology of the Mediterranean lands. Thus it fell to ANTIQUITY, from its foundation year of 1927, to take on that innovatory role.

Since then, of course, it has been joined by several newcomers or even rivals. While American Antiquity is mainly (but not exclusively) devoted to the archaeology of the Americas, the coup in 1935 at the Prehistoric Society of East Anglia, engineered by Grahame Clark and C. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Antiquity and the Scope of Archaeology. (Special Section)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.