This article appeared in the Summer 1970 (Issue #20) edition of the Kent Archaeological Review.
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The Shape of Things to Come.
The year 1970 is likely to prove a year of big decisions and the decade certainly see sweeping changes in British archaeology. Rumours are rife ar is already much talk of radical changes, state-controlled archaeology and to excavate. Nor have the implications of the proposed Antiquities Bill missed! Change is sorely needed and change, it seems, will come.
Few can deny the need for a final death-blow to the latent-antiquarianism which still lingers in some dark corners of our County. The view must forward to the 1980's and beyond and not back at the "rosy" 1920's with its dominant hierarchy of "gentlemen" antiquarians. The pace of the destruction heritage is likely to outstrip our ability to keep pace. M2 is already here, started again and M25, the Dover Bypass, the Channel Tunnel and the re-development of town-centres are all promised. Surely all our efforts must now be concentrated on rescue until eventually we can return again to our research in the peaceful countryside well beyond the threat.
But when state-archaeology arrives, as surely folks, it must, will there a place for the amateur and enthusiast in the field? That will depend on him! Only the highest standards will survive the test. Happily, there is just time to and plan and let it be said that Kent did show the way. Clearly there will be no scope for the Much-Binding village Society to descend upon its nearest villa or Saxon cemetery, without the training which the discipline of modern excavation requires. Or indeed without a director skilled enough to lead the team. The clock ticks on and the challenge thrown down is readily accepted. Time be our judge, but let us not forget that we are the Victorians of tomorrow.