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The Ordnance Survey

  • Charles Close (a1)

The connexion between Maps and Archaeology is of a very obvious and straightforward nature. All distributional problems must, for instance, be studied on maps. If we want to find out about the distribution of the beaker folk, we must plot on a map the finds of the beakers; or if we desire to learn the area covered by examples of the ‘lanternes des morts’, a map of France is essential; the same applies to the study of long barrows and to a very great variety of archaeological studies. Moreover, in a more restricted sense, maps of sites are of the essence of the study of antiquity; we cannot understand the strength of the defences of the ancient Jebusite city unless we pore over the map of the excavations on the spur of Ophel. The excavations of every site are unintelligible without an accompanying map. In a still more restricted sense, each ‘find’ requires to have its position stated by the three co-ordinates of map-making: namely, its distance north or south, east or west, from—and above or below—some datum point in the excavations. Further, the maps themselves may furnish the only record left of some relicof antiquity. And,lastly ,ancient maps—and our present-day maps will one day be ancient—are valuable records of the past, of the culture of the age they represent, of population, human distribution and settlement, and, to some extent, of the science and art of the times. It is much to be regretted that so little mapmaking was done in ancient days. We should give a good deal for accurate contemporary plans of Rome of the time of Nero or of the battle of Hastings. And how much more for a contemporary map of Jerusalem and its surrounding country, before the destruction of the Holy City by Titus !

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1 Christopher Saxton of Dunningley. Reprinted from the Thoresby Society’s Miscellanea, vol. 28. Leeds : John Whitehead and Sons, 1928.

2 Formerly at Docking Hall, Norfolk, and now in the British Museum. See British Museum Quarterly, March 1931, pp. 118–19.—EDITOR.

3 La Transformation de la gèographie politique de l’Irlande au xvne siede. Paris : Berger-Levrault, 2 vols. 1930.

4 General Roy, , ‘ Account of the Measurement of a Base on Hounslow Heath’. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, 1785.

5 Col. Wylly, H.C., History of the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, 1, 10.

6 General William Roy and his Military Antiquities of the Romans in North Britain’. Archaeologia, 1917, 68, 161228.

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