Routledge – 2010 – 480 pages
Drawing its numerous examples from Britain and beyond, Archaeological Investigation explores the procedures used in field archaeology travelling over the whole process from discovery to publication.
Divided into four parts, it argues for a set of principles in part one, describes work in the field in part two and how to write up in part three. Part four describes the modern world in which all types of archaeologist operate, academic and professional. The central chapter ‘Projects Galore’ takes the reader on a whirlwind tour through different kinds of investigation including in caves, gravel quarries, towns, historic buildings and underwater.
Archaeological Investigation intends to be a companion for a newcomer to professional archaeology – from a student introduction (part one), to first practical work (part two) to the first responsibilities for producing reports (part three) and, in part four, to the tasks of project design and heritage curation that provide the meat and drink of the fully fledged professional.
The book also proposes new ways of doing things, tried out over the author’s thirty years in the field and brought together here for the first time. This is no plodding manual but an inspiring, provocative, informative and entertaining book, urging that archaeological investigation is one of the most important things society does.
'Accessible, comprehensive and interesting – a bible for field archaeologists.' – Claire Smith, President, World Archaeological Congress
'Written by one of our finest excavators, distilling a lifetime's experience. Comprehensive yet provocative, it's a "must read" for both student and professional alike.' – Graeme Barker, Director of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge, UK
'This is the best book in the English language for fifty years or more on the practice of field archaeology.' – Richard Hodges, Director of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, USA
'Highly recommended.' – Choice
'Let's not beat around the bush, this is quite simply a terrific book, and is now the primer for matters of archaeological technique and methodology.' – British Archaeology Magazine
'With this book, Carver points a clear way through the system, doing much to help us all be more fully-rounded archaeologists.' – www.diggingthedirt.com
Part 1: Principles 1. The Stuff 2. Approaches 3. Field Research Procedure: A Framework Part 2: In the Field 4. Landscape Survey 5. Site Survey 6. Excavation 7. Projects Galore Part 3: Writing Up 8. Analysis 9. Assemblage 10. Space 11. Chronology 12. Synthesis 13. Publication Part 4: Design 14. Evaluation and Project Design 15. Our Profession and its Context. Glossary. Sources and Resources
Martin Carver specialises in the archaeology of early Medieval Europe and field archaeology in all periods. He was a free-lance archaeologist from 1972 until 1986, when he was appointed professor and head of department at the University of York. Since 2003 he has been editor of the journal Antiquity.