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Problems in the Advancement of Archæology

Nature volume 130, pages 377379 (10 September 1932) | Download Citation



IT is some time since anyone so closely identified with field archæology as Dr. Randall-Maclver has presided over ‘Anthropology’ at an annual meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. It was, therefore, not without wisdom that Dr. Randall-Maclver elected to make in his presidential address a comprehensive survey of the practical problems and relations of archseo-logical science as it stands to-day, rather than to deal with the results of recent research or of some specific investigation. Yet more than the mere passing of time called for some pronouncement on general principles in matters which have seemed to him to require comment. In the last decade archæological method and technique have developed rapidly; while the range of archæological activity has been extended enormously in many directions both in time and space. Areas which were once regarded as widely separated and studied in isolation, are now often viewed as links in a single chain. No longer can the methods and aims of archaeological investigation in any country be regarded as of little concern to those who stand outside the national boundary. The field of archæological studies, in fact, has undergone, and is still undergoing, a process of unification which gives a peculiar significance to any pronouncement on the organisation and administration of research which is put forward with the authority of a presidential chair of a section of the British Association.

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