It might be thought that in the modern world, where documentary
evidence abounds, there is no place for archaeology. But nothing
could be further from the truth. Documentary records alone are not
sufficient to provide a balanced view of Britain?s recent history.
This is hardly surprising in the agricultural and industrial
?revolutions?, when pioneers were too busy inventing to record what
was happening around them. But the same could apply in much later
times. In the Second World War the imminent threat of invasion and
the sheer pressure of events made the keeping of records less
important than the building of physical defences, such as concrete
anti-tank cubes and pill-boxes. As a result, archaeological
evidence still provides the most reliable guide to the extent of
Britain?s anti-invasion defences in the autumn of 1940.
Covering the whole of the post-medieval period, from 1550 to the
present day, Francis Pryor brings his customary wit and erudition
to the study of modern historical archaeology, probably the
fastest-growing branch of the subject. Ranging over topics as
diverse as the birth of modern agriculture, the growth of towns and
cities, and the development of roads, canals and railways, he
brings to a gripping conclusion his illuminating journey into
Britain?s archaeological past.