Synopses & Reviews
Britain was the industrial and political powerhouse of the nineteenth centuryandmdash;the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution and the center of the largest empire of the time. With its broad imperial reachandmdash;and even broader indirect influenceandmdash;Britain had a major impact on nineteenth-century material culture worldwide. Because British manufactured goods were widespread in British colonies and beyond, a more nuanced understanding of those goods can enhance the archaeological study of the people who used them far beyond Britainandrsquo;s shores. However, until recently archaeologists have given relatively little attention to such goods in Britain itself, thereby missing what is often revealing and useful contextual information for historical archaeologists working in countries where British goods were consumed while also leaving significant portions of Britainandrsquo;s own archaeological record poorly understood.and#160;
The Importance of British Material Culture to Historical Archaeologies of the Nineteenth Century helps fill these gaps, through case studies demonstrating the importance and meaning of mass-produced material culture in Britain from the birth of the Industrial Revolution (mid-1700s) to early World War II. Examining items such as ceramics made for exportandmdash;wig curlers and their significance as evidence of changes in fashionandmdash;various goods related to food culture, Scottish land documents, and artifacts of death, these studies enrich both an understanding of Britain itself and the many places it influenced during the height of its international power.
andldquo;This book is important to the field of historical archaeology as it provides the necessary comparative framework for all material culture studies worldwide. . . . The ideas here will spark a very important movement in England that will give historical archaeology or the archaeology of the modern world its proper spot in the legacy of archaeology in Britain.andrdquo;andmdash;Stephen Brighton, associate professor of anthropology at the University of Maryland and author of Historical Archaeology of the Irish Diaspora: A Transnational Approachand#160;
About the Author
Alasdair Brooks is a heritage consultant in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and the editor of the journal Post-Medieval Archaeology and ofand#160;Society for Historical Archaeology Newsletter. He is the author of An Archaeological Guide to British Pottery in Australia, 1788andndash;1901.