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Kent Archaeological Review extract

Recommended Reading.
by Victor Smith.

By Frank H. Goodyear (Heinemann, 3.00)

The field archaeologist, particularly the part-timer, is often inhibited in his work by a lack of readily available scientific expertise. This book, by Frank Goodyear, goes a long way towards remedying the situation and it is sensibly divided up into four clearly defined parts. Part one deals with the archaeological environment, the materials of antiquity and the interaction of materials with their surroundings; Part two, the work of the archaeological laboratories; Part three, scientific aids for the excavator and Part four, archaeological prospecting. A worthwhile message which this book carries is that the field archaeologist can often minimise the work of the scientific specialist in the museum or Institution by arming himself with some rudimentary knowledge so as to separate easily identifiable items from those which require more expert examination and consideration. Among the many aspects of archaeological excavation he mentions, Frank Goodyear gives an excellent account of the nature of soils and the science of materials (stone, metals and pottery, etc).

Better use could have been made of more and improved illustrations but this is certainly a book which is too valuable for any field archaeologist to be without.

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