The excavation report as a literary genre: traditional practice in Britain
Bradley, R. (2006) The excavation report as a literary genre: traditional practice in Britain. World Archaeology, 38 (4). pp. 664-671. ISSN 0043-8243
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1080/00438240600963338
Although ways of thinking about the past have changed, in Britain the reporting of excavations has followed a series of shared conventions for nearly 100 years. This article considers two of them. It investigates the relationship between accounts of stratigraphic evidence and the publication of the associated artefacts and ecofacts and suggests that it results from the combination of two separate intellectual traditions in the late nineteenth century. It also identifies certain widely shared proportions between the separate components of excavation monographs published over a long period of time. Their existence has never been acknowledged. The excavation report has become a well-established literary genre and authors who are familiar with such texts unconsciously reproduce the same structures in their writing.