The Archaeological History of Britain, Continuity and Change from Prehistory to the Present

B2158

The author has been responsible for a major achievement. Somehow he has managed to adequately cover the archaeology of 800,000 years of British history in a relatively short book that also includes a full colour plate section that captures some of the key points of that history. This is an essential text for students of history, archaeology and classical civilization, but it is also a book that deserves a wide readership. The fascination with history, and particularly in archaeology, has included a cross section of society and ages. It is a very readable text and presents case studies to illustrate the range across 800,000 years of history. An excellent book.

The case studies included and reviewed by the author produce some fascinating insights and dispel some of the myths and legends that have distorted our understanding of history in the past. Readers will take away from this book new understanding and improved understandings. As in the sub-title, the author has presented the continuity and changes from prehistory to the present. This is a book that is worth reading and enjoying.

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NAME: The Archaeological History of Britain, Continuity and Change from Prehistory to the Present
DATE: 180315
FILE: R2158
AUTHOR: Jonathan Eaton
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: hard back
PAGES: 208
PRICE: £19.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Britain, Romans, Saxons, Vikings, Normans, Tudors, Stuarts, Hanoverians, castles, forts, villages, towns, cities, religion, Magna Carta, Medieval, Victorian, Georgian, Edwardian
ISBN: 1-78159-326-4
IMAGE: B2158.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/mcjhjzb
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: The author has been responsible for a major achievement. Somehow he has managed to adequately cover the archaeology of 800,000 years of British history in a relatively short book that also includes a full colour plate section that captures some of the key points of that history. This is an essential text for students of history, archaeology and classical civilization, but it is also a book that deserves a wide readership. The fascination with history, and particularly in archaeology, has included a cross section of society and ages. It is a very readable text and presents case studies to illustrate the range across 800,000 years of history. An excellent book.

The difficulty with history is that we can never be sure how much is fact, how much fantasy, how much propaganda from the victors. It matters little that the history is oral or written. Very rarely do the historians write of something that they have observed and experienced. In many cases, histories are written long after the events and present a version that favours the victors, or those sponsoring the work. Oral history may be little different with the possible exception of family sagas. The latter are oral histories produced and maintained through families to serve as a private history and guide to leaders. As such, they avoid many of the pressures that distort public history, particularly written history. However, the passing on of a progressively longer oral history does carry the risk of memory lapses in generations and embellishments.

There has been a trend to the publishing of primary source history material and this data does carry some assurance because it is based on letters and reports that were written at the time by those who were there. It does not avoid the risk that the authors were attempting to evade blame, claim credit not due, or sanitize events, but the probability is that the content is reasonably accurate within the compass of the writers level of experience. However, there are risks and many examples where two or more people, who were present at an event have very different recollections of what happened. In war, juniors have a naturally restricted view of events when compared to that of commanders who should have access to all relevant information at least for their commands.

Archaeology is not without its risks, but it does confine itself to physical artefacts. It becomes increasingly accurate as the suite of forensic science continues to expand and becomes increasingly accurate. Some archaeology is based on using established written or oral history as a starting point, but some can begin with folk history that has been regarded as irrelevant by most historians. Whatever the starting point, archaeology requires physical evidence, either in the form of artefacts that can be seen and touched, or images produced by radar, laser scanning, photography or some other indirect system of observation and measurement. Even indirect imaging systems are likely to be followed by divers or diggers. What indirect systems offer is a way to cover much greater areas in a given time and then identify the most promising locations for further investigation, the collection of samples and artefacts, and the laboratory testing of those finds.

What we are now seeing in the use of computers to compare diverse sources of data to produce a conclusion of greater integrity. This is increasingly providing the means to test each source of data and identify the areas of potential vulnerability or inaccuracy.

The case studies included and reviewed by the author produce some fascinating insights and dispel some of the myths and legends that have distorted our understanding of history in the past. Readers will take away from this book new understanding and improved understandings. As in the sub-title, the author has presented the continuity and changes from prehistory to the present. This is a book that is worth reading and enjoying.

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