Field Archaeology: An Introduction, 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Field Archaeology

An Introduction, 2nd Edition

By Peter Drewett


-18 pages | 6 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9780415551199
pub: 2011-02-02
Hardback: 9780415551182
pub: 2011-02-04
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203830871
pub: 2011-02-09
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Since its first publication, Field Archaeology: An Introduction has proved to be a key handbook for all those undertaking introductory courses in archaeology or volunteering on their first excavation. In this revised second edition, key developments in technology, theory and changes in the law are included, bringing it up to date with the most recent fieldwork practices. The dig is the face of archaeology most immediately recognised by the general public, and is often what attracts both students and amateurs to the discipline. Yet there is much more to working in the field than digging alone. Peter Drewett's comprehensive survey explores the process, from the core work of discovery and excavation to the final product, the published archaeological report. The main topics are:

  • How an archaeological site is formed
  • Finding and recording archaeological sites
  • Planning excavations, digging the site and recording the results
  • Post-fieldwork planning, processing and finds analysis
  • Interpreting the evidence
  • Publishing the report

Illustrated with 100 photographs and line drawings, and using numerous case studies, this second edition of Field Archaeology ensures it will remain the essential introductory guide for archaeology students and the growing number of enthusiasts for the subject.


'In a time of uncertainty in the profession, it’s refreshing to read a book that puts archaeology in the context of the best field practice … This is an optimistic book, with an upbeat, breezy style that reviews all the major field techniques from the formation of deposits and how to find sites, through how to record them to postexcavation. There is detailed discussion of the problems of excavation and interpretation, and the rapidly changing means of publishing the results … [This book] remains one of the best introductions to the techniques and problems of dirt archaeology.' - Mike Nevell, British Archaeology

'… it remains that Drewett’s Field Archaeology is a companionable introduction to archaeological fieldwork, with a good balance between survey and excavation.'Antiquity

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. What is an archaeological site? How is it formed and transformed? 3. Finding archaeological sites 4. Recording archaeological sites 5. Planning the excavation 6. Digging the site 7. Recording archaeological excavations 8. Post-fieldwork planning, processing and finds analysis 9. Interpreting the evidence 10. Publishing the report

About the Author

Peter Drewett is Emeritus Professor of Archaeology at the University of Sussex. Prior to this, he taught field archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, where he directed the undergraduate field training excavations and established the Institute’s Field Archaeology Unit. Early in his career he was particularly involved in the rescue excavation of plough damaged sites on the South Downs. He set up and directed the Barbados Archaeological Survey, as well as running field courses and rescue excavations in Portugal and Hong Kong. Professor Drewett has over 100 published works, including (with Mark Gardiner and David Rudling) The South East to AD 1000 (1988, Longman) and Prehistoric Barbados (1991, Archetype).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Archaeology