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Interpreting the English Village: Landscape and Community at Shapwick, Somerset By Mick Aston Chris Gerrard An original and approachable account of how archaeology can tell the story of the English village Shapwick lies in the middle of Somerset, next to the important monastic centre of Glastonbury the abbey owned the manor for 800 years from the 8th to the 16th century and its abbots and officials had a great influence on the lives of the peasants who lived there It is possiAn original and approachable account of how archaeology can tell the story of the English village Shapwick lies in the middle of Somerset, next to the important monastic centre of Glastonbury the abbey owned the manor for 800 years from the 8th to the 16th century and its abbots and officials had a great influence on the lives of the peasants who lived there It is possible that abbot Dunstan, one of the great reformers of tenth century monasticism directed the planning of the village The Shapwick Project examined the development and history of an English parish and village over a ten thousand year period This was a truly multi disciplinary project Not only were a battery of archaeological and historical techniques explored such as field walking, test pitting, archaeological excavation, aerial reconnaissance, documentary research and cartographic analysis but numerous other techniques such as building analysis, dendrochronological dating and soil analysis were undertaken on a large scale The result is a fascinating study about how the community lived and prospered in Shapwick In addition we learn how a group of enthusiastic and dedicated scholars unravelled this story As such there is much here to inspire and enthuse others who might want to embark on a landscape study of a parish or village area Seven of the ten chapters begin with a fictional vignette to bring the story of the village to life Text boxes elucidate re occurring themes and techniques Extensively illustrated in colour including 100 full page images This title was the winner of the 2014 British Archaeological Association s Best Archaeological Book Award.
Mick Aston Chris Gerrard
Michael Antony Mick Aston, FSA 1 July 1946 24 June 2013 was an English archaeologist who specialised in Early Medieval landscape archaeology Over the course of his career, he lectured at both the University of Bristol and University of Oxford and published fifteen books on archaeological subjects A keen populariser of the discipline, Aston was widely known for appearing as the resident academic on the Channel 4 television series Time Team from 1994 to 2011.Born in Oldbury, Worcestershire to a working class family, Aston developed an early interest in archaeology, studying it as a subsidiary to geography at the University of Birmingham In 1970, he began his career working for Oxford City and County Museum and there began his work in public outreach by running extramural classes in archaeology and presenting a series on the subject for Radio Oxford In 1974, he was appointed as the first County Archaeologist for Somerset, there developing an interest in aerial archaeology and establishing a reputation as a pioneer in landscape archaeology a term that he co invented with Trevor Rowley by authoring some of the earliest books on the subject In 1978 he began lecturing at the University of Oxford and in 1979 became a tutor at the University of Bristol, supplementing these activities by working as an archaeological tour guide in Greece.In 1988, Aston teamed up with television producer Tim Taylor and together they created two shows which focused on bringing archaeology into British popular consciousness The first was the short lived Time Signs 1991 , although this was followed by the successful Time Team, which was produced for Channel 4 from 1994 to 2013 Aston was responsible for identifying sites for excavation and for selecting specialists to appear on the show, and through the programme became well known to the viewing public for his trademark colourful jumpers and flowing, untidy hairstyle In 1996 he was appointed to the specially created post of Professor of Landscape Archaeology at Bristol University, and undertook a ten year project investigating the manor at Shapwick, Somerset He retired from his university posts in 2004, but continued working on Time Team until 2011 and in 2006 commenced writing regular articles for British Archaeology magazine until his death Although Aston did not believe that he would leave a significant legacy behind him, after his death various archaeologists claimed that he had a major impact in helping to popularise the discipline among the British public.
Interpreting the English Village: Landscape and Community at Shapwick, Somerset By Mick Aston Chris Gerrard
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