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Breaking New Ground in Salon

 

The publication by Landward Research Ltd of Breaking New Ground: how archaeology works has been covered in Salon, the Society of Antiquaries of London Online Newsletter (issue 280, 16 July 2012).

 

E-books by Fellows: Breaking New Ground: how archaeology works

Two e-books have come Salon’s way in recent days. E-books are not the cue for a Wallace and Grommit joke but rather they are works published for Kindle and other electronic devices as distinct from books that are published conventionally but also made available digitally, usually as a PDF version of the printed book (and often costing just as much).

The advantage of a Kindle book, says Fellow Kenneth Aitchison, author of Breaking New Ground: how archaeology works (ISBN 9780957245204; Landward Research), is that the book can be published very quickly and made available at a very reasonable price of £2.87. You can also incorporate such value-added enhancements as hotlinks to relevant web material or sources. You can read the first chapter for free and you don’t need a Kindle device to read it because Amazon has built free apps that allow Kindle documents to be read on a PC, Mac, iPod Touch, iPhone, Android phones or Android tablets.

The book itself, says Kenneth, ‘is a contemporary history of professional archaeology in the UK since 1990 and up to the very end of 2010, so it looks at the long boom years of growth of opportunities, and then at how archaeology has coped since the onset of the economic changes in 2008. It features case studies of important sites and organisations, together with an introductory historical account of how we got from Pitt-Rivers to PPG16’.

The book asks where the demand for professional archaeological work comes from, who employs archaeologists, who are their clients, and why those clients want archaeological work done. It examines the ways in which the answers to these questions have changed from the earliest days of archaeological work, through the era of rescue archaeology and then by examining how and why archaeology became the commercial, applied part of the sustainable development process that it is today.

Kenneth says his aim is for this to be ‘the successor to Fellow Philip Rahtz’s Rescue Archaeology, which told the contemporary history of archaeological practice in the 1970s, and to Barri Jones’s Past Imperfect, covering the 1970s and 1980s, bringing the story up to date through the 1990s and beyond.’