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Mortimer Wheeler - Major Discovery - Maiden Castle

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Introduction

Sir Mortimer Wheeler - Major Discovery - Maiden Castle * What led the archaeologist to the site? Through his work, Wheeler had acquired an interest for excavating and examining sites in Britain. He had previously excavated Roman remains in Essex, Wales and Verulamium, a Pre-Roman settlement near St. Albans in England1. Maiden Castle, in Dorset County, offered much in the way of archaeology. It was thought to contain much evidence from Iron Age and Roman periods and offered a challenge for archaeologists to unearth its rich past. Mortimer Wheeler was drawn to the site because of the prospect of unearthing a piece in the puzzle of early British and Roman history. Wheeler saw it a challenge that he was up to, he attempted to use his experience to piece together a missing part in British history. * His methods of excavation. One of the main reasons Mortimer Wheeler is remembered today is for his pioneering of the box grid system. ...read more.

Middle

Because of the nature of the site and the civilisations that inhabited it this was not the case. After 2000 years of erosion much of the battlements and surrounding evidence had been destroyed5. Another problem in discovering evidence was the long periods of use undergone by the site. The site had been occupied by many civilisations including Neolithic, late Stone Age/early Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman and possibly Saxon people. Because of the extensive use of the site much valuable information and evidence was destroyed, looted or misplaced6. * Significance of the discovery. The discovery of Maiden Castle was a huge discovery in the history of early Europe and its progression into modern times. Maiden Castle is the largest known hill fort in Europe and paints a vivid picture about the lives, technologies and cultures of the early Celtic settlement in the British Isles7. The evidence uncovered at Maiden Castle gives an indication of the likely militaristic nature of the Iron Age people who constructed the fort as we know it today. ...read more.

Conclusion

Preservation of Maiden Castle was a big issue because of the exposed location of the structure. Maiden Castle has already undergone much degradation and erosion and measure to prevent further destruction of the site were undertaken by the English Heritage Commission12. ______________________________________________________________________ 1 Encyclop´┐Żdia Britannica, "Sir Mortimer Wheeler," n.d., <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/641690/Sir-Mortimer-Wheeler#ref=ref268941> (23 February 2009) 2 Encarta Encyclopedia, "Mortimer Wheeler," 2008, < http://au.encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_781531618/Wheeler_Sir_(Robert_Eric)_Mortimer.html> (24 February 2009) 3 Steve Roskams, Excavation (Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 2001) 13. 4 Encarta Encyclopedia, "Mortimer Wheeler," 2008, < http://au.encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_781531618/Wheeler_Sir_(Robert_Eric)_Mortimer.html> (24 February 2009) 5 Steve Roskams, Excavation (Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 2001) 13. 6 Mysterious Britain and Ireland, "Maiden Castle," n.d., < http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk/england/dorset/ancient-sites/maiden-castle.html> (February 2009) 7 The Heritage Trail, "English Prehistoric Sites - Maiden Castle," n.d., <http://www.theheritagetrail.co.uk/early%20ages/maiden%20castle.htm> (22 February 2009) 8 Historic UK, "Maiden Castle - Iron Age Hill Fort," n.d., <http://www.historic-uk.com/DestinationsUK/MaidenCastle.htm> (23 February 2009) 9 Steve Roskams, Excavation (Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 2001) 10 Steve Roskams, Excavation (Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 2001) 15. 11 Nation Master Encyclopedia, "Maiden Castle," 2003, < http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Maiden-Castle> (23 February 2009) 12 Historic UK, "Maiden Castle - Iron Age Hill Fort," n.d., <http://www.historic-uk.com/DestinationsUK/MaidenCastle.htm> (23 February 2009) ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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