Download e-book for iPad: Archaeology: The Basics by Clive Gamble

By Clive Gamble

From archaeological jargon to interpretation, Archaeology: The Basics offers a useful review of a desirable topic and probes the depths of this more and more renowned self-discipline, providing severe techniques to the certainty of our earlier.

Lively and fascinating, Archaeology: The Basics fires the archaeological mind's eye while tackling such questions as:

  • What are the fundamental innovations of archaeology?
  • How and what will we learn about humans and items from the past?
  • What makes an outstanding clarification in archaeology?
  • Why dig here?

This final advisor for all new and would-be archaeologists, whether or not they are scholars or amateurs, will end up a useful creation to this wonderfully infectious discipline.

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Additional resources for Archaeology: The Basics

Example text

WHAT IS ARCHAEOLOGY? Changing Anglo-Saxons: a case study The developments in archaeology over the past 50 years, from culture history to anthropological archaeology are very well illustrated by the three major investigations of the Anglo-Saxon ship-burial site of Sutton Hoo in the county of Suffolk, eastern England (Carver 1998). The spirit of place The cemetery with its mounds and earlier prehistoric settlements had been hacked into by grave robbers in the seventeenth century and by antiquarians in the nineteenth century.

The process could be repeated in every country over the past 60 years. The move also involved the increasing use of science to validate claims and an awareness of contemporary issues. ’ is a big question that all archaeologists now face. Flashpoints such as the Rose theatre are extreme examples which polarise the various views and raise critical questions of professional ethics. Do you, as an archaeologist, side with the heritage lobby and the famous actors who claimed the site must be saved and displayed, or with the developer who was guided by planning legislation and arrived at a solution, preservation in situ, with the proper authorities?

They are truly Thomsen’s children. Allied with this focus on facts is the notion that an inductive approach is best suited to archaeological enquiry. Putting things in the right order, chronologically and geographically, is the most important goal for the culture historian. Hence a synthesis such as Gordon Childe’s The Dawn of European Civilisation went through six editions between 1925 and 1957. This reflects the culture history view that new data, rather than new frameworks, are the most important aspect in the development of archaeology.

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