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EDITORIAL

  • Robert Witcher (a1)
Extract

Both Antiquity and archaeology have changed immeasurably since O.G.S. Crawford penned this journal's first editorial in 1927. The discipline has grown in size and sophistication, and has achieved professional status and public recognition. What was novel at that time, such as aerial photography and the use of ethnographic parallels, both flagged in that first editorial, have now long been integral to archaeological theory and practice. Antiquity has documented—and often driven—these developments, itself evolving along the way. Nine decades after its foundation, Antiquity publishes more content, on more varied periods and places, and authored by an ever-more international cast of contributors. It has also changed in terms of its audience. Part of Crawford's original vision was to communicate archaeology more effectively to the general public, not least with the intention of debunking the misleading, sensationalist and downright incorrect fare peddled in the bestsellers and newspapers of the day. The content of Antiquity today is aimed at a more professional readership, what one previous editor, Martin Carver, called “the extended archaeological family” of academics and field archaeologists, and the many associated specialists in cognate disciplines with whom we work. All these developments notwithstanding, it is striking that many of Crawford's concerns and interests still continue to resonate. The disciplinary imperative to communicate with the public is stronger than ever, finding new opportunities in social media, blogs and TV programmes, and under pressure from funding bodies to demonstrate public benefit or ‘impact’. The analytical, and aesthetic, importance of aerial photography that Crawford worked hard to promote has too taken on a new lease of life through satellite imagery, LiDAR and, most recently, photography using drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (see Frontispiece 1).

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References
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1 Crawford, O.G.S. 1927. Editorial. Antiquity 1: 14. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0003598X00000016

2 Carver, M. 2003. Editorial. Antiquity 77: 58. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0003598X00061287

3 Chippindale, C. 1987. Editorial. Antiquity 61: 49. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0003598X00072434

4 Pikirayi, I. 2015. The future of archaeology in Africa. Antiquity 89: 531–41. https://doi.org/10.15184/aqy.2015.31

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Antiquity
  • ISSN: 0003-598X
  • EISSN: 1745-1744
  • URL: /core/journals/antiquity
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