Landscape Plotted and Pieced: Landscape History and Local Archaeology in Fyfield and Overton, Wiltshire

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Society of Antiquaries of London, 2000 - Architecture - 303 pages
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This book presents the results of 39 years of study of the two Wiltshire parishes of Fyfield and Overton Down. The aim of the project, using a diverse range of research methods, from archaeological excavation and experimental archaeology through the study of environmental and documentary evidence to the non-invasive techniques of geophysics and air photography, was to elucidate how and when the landscape came by its present appearance. The author draws three illuminating conclusions from this investigation. First, very little, if any, of this landscape is now natural: it has been created by the agricultural activities of successive communities over the last 6,000 years. Second, the nature of this artefact has been, and continues to be, influenced by the geology, hydrology, soils and climate of the area. Finally, the principal land-use features of the present landscape were established at particular times over the last four millennia, and that what has come to be seen as a quitessentially English landscape was in fact set some 1,500 years ago.

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2000 / 303p / 45


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A landscape and its setting
The unfenced Ridgeway 1821

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About the author (2000)

Peter Fowler absorbed the elements of field archaeology informally from several gifted teachers before he graduated in History at Oxford. Later he came under the inspiring influence of Colin Bowen, field archaeologist par excellence, who helped develop what became the author's lifelong interest in fields, farming and landscape. His principal career moves took him from the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments (England) into Adult Education at Bristol University - where he became Reader in Archaeology - back to the Royal Commission as Secretary, and then to the University of Newcastle upon Tyne as Professor of Archaeology. He eventually resigned his Chair to pursue full-time writing and research. This book is a sequel to The Farming of Prehistoric Britain (1983), also published by Cambridge University Press.

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