A Social History of Archaeology: The British Experience by Kenneth Hudson (auth.)

By Kenneth Hudson (auth.)

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3 Needham Market was nicely placed in the middle of the county and from its station there one could travel north, south, east and west with no great difficulty. Members usually made an excursion of this kind a cultural excuse for a little holiday and many of them would reckon to spend three or four days in the area, staying with friends or at a nearby hotel, in this case perhaps at Stowmarket or Ipswich. The heavy emphasis on churches in the 1871 Suffolk excursion was entirely typical of what was happening over the country as a whole at this time.

In 1893 he became President of the Anthropological Section of the British Association and in the following year he was appointed Chairman of the Committee to supervise the excavation of the Glastonbury lake village. He 24 A Social History of Archaeology endowed an annual course of lectures at the University of Edinburgh on Anthropology and Prehistoric Archaeology and in 1910, at the age of 75, he delivered the first course himself. The Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow both awarded him an honorary doctorate.

So far as the Victorians were concerned, the excavator was simply one of many possible kinds of antiquary, neither higher nor lower in the scale than the rest. The interests of these men, who represented very well what was thought of as archaeology at that time, were remarkably varied -lake dwellings, liturgical texts, metallurgy, wills, genealogy, objets d'art, arms and armour, printing, monumental brasses, medieval churches. The bond between them was a simple one, easily understood- a wish to study some aspect of the past and to make the result of their researches and enthusiasm available to others.

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