The Birth of Modern Britain: A Journey Into Britain's Archaeological Past: 1550 to the Present

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9780007299126: The Birth of Modern Britain: A Journey Into Britain's Archaeological Past: 1550 to the Present

From the author of 'Britain BC', 'Britain AD' and 'Britain in the Middle Ages' comes the fourth and final part in a critically acclaimed series on Britain's hidden past It might be thought that in the modern world, where documentary evidence abounds, there is no place for archaeology. But nothing could be further from the truth. Documentary records alone are not sufficient to provide a balanced view of Britain's recent history. This is hardly surprising in the agricultural and industrial 'revolutions', when pioneers were too busy inventing to record what was happening around them. But the same could apply in much later times. In the Second World War the imminent threat of invasion and the sheer pressure of events made the keeping of records less important than the building of physical defences, such as concrete anti-tank cubes and pill-boxes. As a result, archaeological evidence still provides the most reliable guide to the extent of Britain's anti-invasion defences in the autumn of 1940. Covering the whole of the post-medieval period, from 1550 to the present day, Francis Pryor brings his customary wit and erudition to the study of modern historical archaeology, probably the fastest-growing branch of the subject. Ranging over topics as diverse as the birth of modern agriculture, the growth of towns and cities, and the development of roads, canals and railways, he brings to a gripping conclusion his illuminating journey into Britain's archaeological past.

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About the Author:

Francis Pryor has spent 30 years studying the prehistory of the Fens. He has excavated sites as diverse as Bronze Age farms, field systems and entire Iron Age villages. From 1980 he turned his attention to pre-Roman religion. In 1982, while working in a drainage dyke at Flag Fen, on the outskirts of Peterborough, he discovered the waterlogged timbers of a Bronze Age religious site. In 1987, with his wife Maisie Taylor, he set up the Fenland Archaeological Trust, which opened Flag Fen to the public. He appears frequently on TV's 'Time Team' and is the author of 'Seahenge' as well as 'Britain BC', 'Britain AD' and 'Britain in the Middle Ages'.

Review:

'Hugely enjoyable!You will learn a lot from it -- and one of the things is how much work has gone into unearthing all this stuff. You will certainly never look at the A5 in the same way again' Daily Telegraph 'No one person has previously attempted such a journey into Britain's entire archaeological past, and this book brings the series to a successful -- and refreshingly jargon-free -- conclusion' BBC History magazine '[Pryor's] enthusiasm for getting his hands dirty is infectious' Sunday Times 'Much to admire!fascinating details' Guardian 'Immensely fascinating case histories' Daily Express Independent: 'Pryor specialises in the personal touch'

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