Paul Wilkinson’s beginner’s guide to practical archaeology comes with a solid endorsement from Mick Aston (‘I wish this book had been available when I started in archaeology’), and is selling very well, which reflects the demand that there is for a good primer, even in this era of constraint on volunteer archaeology.
Having said that, this isn’t a book that will turn a beginner into a site supervisor in 12 short chapters. Necessarily, this is an introduction to complex procedures and techniques that are best learned in the field under the guidance of an experienced practitioner, and it is no surprise to learn, therefore, that the book is supported (and arises out of) courses and training digs run by the Faversham-based Kent Archaeological Field School, of which the author is the Director.
As Mick Aston goes on to say: ‘it tells you everything you need to know in order to decide what sort of archaeology you want to learn more about’, and it does pack a lot in to 98 pages, including ecofact sampling, buildings archaeology and publication – perfect for people who have perhaps watched archaeology on TV and want to know more about what archaeologists do.
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