new publication – Breaking New Ground: how archaeology works

Landward Research have published Kenneth Aitchison’s “Breaking New Ground: how archaeology works“.

This book, available on Kindle, is a contemporary history of the last twenty years of professional archaeological practice in the United Kingdom, charting the progression of archaeology since the publication of PPG 16 and then the effects of the economic downturn since 2008. It also sets out a history of paid archaeology, from Pitt-Rivers’ appointment as the first Inspector of Ancient Monuments in 1882 through to the rescue ‘revolution’ of the 1970s and beyond.

It is available for purchase here for £2.87.


Who works as a professional archaeologist, what do they do and who do they work for?

This is the first comprehensive review of applied archaeology as a profession in the UK in the twenty-first century, using case studies of organisations and particular archaeological projects to present a contemporary history of professional archaeology that looks at who employs archaeologists, who their clients are and why those clients want archaeological work done.

It examines where the demand for professional archaeological work comes from and how this demand is met, firstly looking at how this has 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.

Archaeology had a long period of growth from 1990 to 2007, benefitting enormously and growing rapidly on the back of the UK’s construction boom. The book reviews how archaeology worked in that period – and the changes that followed the publication of PPG 16 – and then looks in detail at how the sector has been affected by economic changes since 2008 and which areas have gone into decline.


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