Kent Archaeological Review extract

New Archaeological Committee for Canterbury.
by Malcolm King.

On 14th June, 1975 the Canterbury Archaeological Society held a meeting, for which specific invitations were sent out, to form a new archaeological committee for rescue-work in the town. It was felt that this was needed to employ at least one field officer because, as the invitation stated:

  1. Local volunteer archaeologists cannot cope with the growing opportunities for excavation and recording opened up by modern development.
  2. Modern archaeological techniques require full-time professional experts to guide the efforts of local volunteers.

Although invitations had been spread over the whole country, including to junior staff of various bodies, no official invitations were sent to the CKA, or KAS, nor to the Kent Rescue Unit nor even to the new Kent committee. This is another example of the jealous and short-sighted attitude which has bedevilled archaeology in the Canterbury area for many years.

The prospect that the new committee could bring new ideas to Canterbury is most exciting. There has been a great deal of criticism in recent years of many lost opportunities and of a poor record of publication in and around the town. In the past two decades a great deal has been destroyed without record and some fear that it is now too late. The new committee is chaired by Prof. B Cunliffe (Oxford) and its members include Mr M Biddle (Winchester), Professor S Frere (Oxford) and representatives of the CBA, Rescue and the Canterbury Archaeological Society. Significantly, perhaps, none of the Kent county bodies, rescue or research, have been included.

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