By Patrick Ottaway
During this authoritative quantity, Patrick Ottaway attracts on his large event of city archaeology to teach how our perception of the early heritage of British cities has been notably replaced during the last twenty 5 years.
according to his everyday involvement within the box, this learn highlights the most vital discoveries and learn topics of contemporary years, exhibiting how long-term city study tasks have printed new information regarding cities and the lives in their inhabitants.
good illustrated and hugely readable, this quantity deals a sequence of enticing and evocative case reviews. It additionally highlights the paintings of the city archaeologist, and the issues inherent in retaining our prior, while the pursuits of archaeology and estate improvement conflict.
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Extra info for Archaeology in British Towns: From the Emperor Claudius to the Black Death
Until the early 1960s the vast majority of excavations on deeplystratified urban sites were small, narrow trenches, useful primarily for determining sequences of occupation rather than for revealing the development of the urban landscape. Archaeologists today will, of course, still employ narrow trenches for evaluation, but much more useful for studying the interrelationship of buildings, streets, yards and so forth, is what has come to be known as ‘area excavation’. This may involve the examination of several hundred square metres at a time, with results that are, as we have already seen at John de Tytyng’s house, extremely rewarding.
17 The open area approach is now standard on large sites and can be seen in operation in many of the photographs in this book. , unravelling them in excavation is a complex and time-consuming business. mason’s 4– inch pointing trowel’), but also by pick and shovel, tools of surprising subtlety in the right hands. During excavation an archaeological site, with its uneven ground 24 URBAN ARCHAEOLOGISTS AT WORK surface punctuated by holes and trenches of varying sizes and depths, often resembles a lunar landscape or a gruyère cheese.
The depth and position of discoveries were recorded up to a point, but with little attempt to relate them to a sequence of stratification, which in turn made it difficult to relate them to an exact historic and cultural context. Stratigraphic excavation is, of course, more difficult to organise than spit excavation. There is, first of all, the logistical problem of ensuring work proceeds across the site on layers which are roughly contemporary, while keeping the team fully occupied. ’19 Secondly, there is the problem of defining the individual layers and features.
Archaeology in British Towns: From the Emperor Claudius to the Black Death by Patrick Ottaway