Keys to the Past

Glossary

Antiquarian

An early archaeologist or historian of the 17th to 19th centuries. These were usually of the gentry or clergy, such as William Greenwell, (Greenwell, William), who often concentrated upon local areas - sometimes within their own country estates and lands. The techniques of their excavations, though now seen as unsophisticated, often digging straight into the centre of a barrow or cairn, slowly evolved into the archaeological techniques employed today. Societies were set up nationally and locally throughout Britain where antiquarians could discuss or publish their ideas - though the term is still used in the titles of some societies, it need nor reflect the present day attitudes.

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