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The discussion on archaeology's nature, destiny and philosophy, which the Editor wants me to continue (1973, 93), might risk becoming a bore unless I am brief. I will try to be. The prior articles he mentions, of course, are only the three most recent; he has printed others earlier, and now has added further letters (93-5) from Drs Salway, Myres and Webster. The best of the articles certainly seems to me to be Cecil Hogarth's (1972, 301-4). But I sympathize with David Clarke, in his 'Archaeology: the loss of innocence' (1973, 6-18), because of his scorn of claimed results from 'instinctive excavations', of the 'immortalization of subjective classifications', and of people who come to constitute 'élites'. Instinctively, even if innocently, I greatly want to agree.
With their latest publication Joseph Needham and his collaborators, according to the plan announced in the first volume, have reached the midpoint of their magistral undertaking, and their 4,016 th page. One can only guess how many more books are to be expected, since the present one covering roads, building, bridges, hydraulics and nautics in 931 pages is only part three of volume four. Themes 30-31, military and textile technology, paper and printing, will presumably occupy part four of the same volume and three volumes will be still to come.
When Mr P. P. Griffiths of Pen-y-wyrlod Farm, Talgarth, Breconshire rang the National Museum of Wales in June 1972 to announce the discovery of human remains in a stony mound on his farm, not previously recorded as an antiquity, I assumed that this must be one of the not uncommon new discoveries of Early Bronze Age round cairns. To my consternation, the following day, I was shown, in a field close to Pen-y-wyrlod (SO 151316) a long cairn far more substantial then any other previously recorded member of the Cotswold-Severn group in the Black Mountains area: it was fully 60 m. long, 25 m. wide at the widest part, and about 3 m. high—but, alas, already severely damaged by the growth of a small quarry which the farmer had been developing, in all innocence, for several years past, as a source of rubble for his yards and gateways. After all, as the farmer pointed out, the site is not recorded as an ancient monument on any map and he had concluded, as the Ordnance Survey must also have done, that it was a natural feature.
It is by now an open secret that the Inspectorate of Ancient Monuments (IAM) of the Department of the Environment (DoE) is proposing dramatic changes in the organization of rescue excavations. A corner of the veil was lifted on 22 February 1973; at the time of writing, at the end of May, the shape of the structure is tolerably clear; and sometime in June we may expect a grand unveiling ceremony. Meanwhile steps are already being taken to implement the proposals, although no paper on the new scheme has been seen by any archaeologist outside DoE. Despite the uncertainties which arise from this secrecy, it seems reasonable that readers of ANTIQUITY should receive a critical account of the scheme as it appears at the end of May. Doubtless the official announcement will appear elsewhere in these pages at the earliest possible date, and statements of fact in that must be taken as superseding similar statements here.
The origins of man and the beginnings of culture in China were taken for granted in traditional Chinese history. Man was either simply evolved in the creation of the world or created by supernatural beings. In historical times all the peoples of China were recognized as the descendants of Huang-ti, the Yellow Emperor, and the basic cultural practices were attributed to the various rulers in remote antiquity. They formed a continuous sequence with its beginnings in the third millennium BC, followed by a succession of dynasties for some 5,000 years until the present day.
Since the last war three new branches of archaeology have grown up in Great Britain. Two of these are now established and accepted divisions of the subject, with national societies devoted to their study and reputable journals for the more important work in their fields. The third has failed to establish itself and for many archaeologists remains no more than a curious oddity. Why has 'industrial archaeology' not received the scholarly recognition accorded medieval and post-medieval archaeology? Why has Industrial Archaeology not joined Medieval Archaeology and Post-Medieval Archaeology as an important outlet for archaeological research ? That these are questions in need of answer has now been recognized by at least some of those engaged in 'industrial archaeology' and it seems generally agreed that the subject is at a turning point, a 'teenage' stage, from which it can either advance or regress (e.g. Buchanan, 1970; Symonds, 1972; Harris, 1970; Hudson, 1971-73). In what direction it should advance is a problem that has yet to be solved.