Mortimer Wheeler Adventurer in Archaeology
John Bintliff on a study of the most famous 20th-century archaeologist.
- Mortimer Wheeler Adventurer in Archaeology
Jacquetta Hawkes. 387 pp. (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1982)
The late David Clarke tried to teach archaeologists that the subject was barely on the threshold of a serious discipline. It relied too often on intuitive, untested procedures to derive a kind of pseudo-history from the ambiguous and fragmentary results of excavation. In the early 1970s, he announced that archaeology was apparently on the brink of disciplinary 'critical self-consciousness', when the weaknesses of its birth-throes would be revealed and rejected for a new, truly scientific rigour at every level of investigation from the individual dig to the general historical synthesis of subcontinents.