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Kent Archaeological Review extract

Letter to the Editor --
Historical Research.
by W S Penn (Chairman).


The letter from Mr V Rendel on the subject of historical research and deduction raises a fundamental principle which requires comment and clarification.

It is frequently assumed by non-archaeologists and indeed by some of those who excavate that archaeology is only concerned with digging and that it finishes with the Saxon or medieval periods. Both of these assumptions are incorrect.

After excavation comes, or should come, further documentary research since not only is archaeology a tool of historical research but history is also a tool of archaeology. The emphasis certainly changes with the period for with pre-history archaeology is our sole weapon, with proto-history it is say 75% of our armoury, with Roman and perhaps the Dark Ages it is 50% and with medieval and particularly later periods it is say 25%. The figures may not be exact but they illustrate the point and the two subjects are inextricably mixed.

It was because of this that the scope of the KARGC was increased and now reads "... an interest in taking part in active archaeological and historical research."

Whether, therefore, the research is purely archaeological, purely historical, or any combination of the two, the KARGC is there to play a vigorous part and the Review is the medium for interim reports and comment.

As far as archaeology in the Marsh, is concerned, the KARGC aims to ensure adequate and responsible archaeological coverage over the whole of Kent.

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