By Patrick Ottaway
During this authoritative quantity, Patrick Ottaway attracts on his wide adventure of city archaeology to teach how our notion of the early historical past of British cities has been significantly replaced during the last twenty 5 years.
according to his everyday involvement within the box, this research highlights one of the most vital discoveries and learn topics of modern years, displaying how long-term city examine initiatives have published new information regarding cities and the lives in their inhabitants.
good illustrated and hugely readable, this quantity bargains a chain of enticing and evocative case reviews. It additionally highlights the paintings of the city archaeologist, and the issues inherent in conserving our prior, whilst the pursuits of archaeology and estate improvement conflict.
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Extra resources for Archaeology in British Towns: From the Emperor Claudius to the Black Death
The final step is to interpret these facts, to infuse them with some meaning so that we may gain a new understanding of the past. 2). There are a number of illustrations in this book which show how effective the reconstruction of buildings is as a means of interpretation, but the exercise is not without problems, since it is rare for a buried urban structure to survive in such good condition as the twelfthcentury merchant’s house recently excavated at St Martin-at-Palace-Plain in Norwich (see p.
Food remains are good indicators of how standards of living varied over time and can indicate social distinctions between different parts of towns. In medieval Southampton, for example, the thirteenth century saw a marked change in diet,30 at least for the rich merchants living near the quayside. Compared to their forebears in the twelfth century they had a much greater variety of meat including veal and sucking pig. The bone material showed, moreover, that the meat was no longer cut off the carcass on the premises, but arrived as small joints prepared on a commercial basis by a specialist butcher.
Until, perhaps, the mid-1960s plans were usually only made of major structural or cut features. The systematic planning of the surfaces between them was largely ignored, indeed there was no option when the job of recording was reserved for a few trained staff. As a result the subtle patterning of soil colouring or the disposition of stones which might, for example, give away the presence of major timber buildings, was often missed. As far as urban archaeology is concerned, the detailed recording of surfaces was another of the great innovations of Biddle’s Winchester excavations22 and was soon universally copied.