|New essay is launched|
A volume of papers reviewing the archaeology of Gloucestershire in the light of new discoveries and new thinking over the last 25 years has just been launched by Professor Timothy Darvill at a lunchtime gathering in the headquarters of Cotswold Archaeology near Cirencester. Edited by Neil Holbrook and John Jurica, the volume is jointly published by Cotswold Archaeology, the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, the Committee for Archaeology in Gloucestershire, and English Heritage.
Speaking at the launch, Professor Darvill noted how much had changed since the last synthesis of the countys archaeology was published back in 1984. Commercial archaeology had completely changed the way archaeology was funded; new field practices had given new opportunities for the way ancient materials were studied; and archaeological theory had radically altered the way in which the past was understood. All these things were visible in the papers presented in the volume. Rather important, however, is that this volume on Gloucestershire is the first regional study of its kind to take account of the wealth of new evidence arising from the integration of archaeological work with key stages in the spatial planning system that now applies in England. In his own contribution to the volume, which covers early prehistory, Professor Darvill draws extensively on research being carried out at Bournemouth University for English Heritage that aims to document and understand changing patterns of archaeological work across England. One outcome of this study is a database of archaeological investigations undertaken by commercial, private, and research bodies; a national resource that will no doubt by used in many future synthetic studies such as this one.
Twenty-five years of archaeology in Gloucestershire: a review of new discoveries and new thinking in Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire, and Bristol 19792004, Edited by N Holbrook and J Jurica, is available from Cotswold Archaeology. (ISBN 0 9523196 8 3. Published by Cotswold Archaeology and Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society as Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Report 3, 2006)
* Professor Timothy Darvill (left) with (left to right): Mark Bowden (English Heritage), Neil Holbrook (Cotswold Archaeology), and David Smith (President of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society)