Over the last twenty-five years archaeology has revolutionised our knowledge of the early history of British towns. Based on his day-to-day involvement in urban archaeology, Patrick Ottaway reviews the important discoveries and research themes of this period, and considers how long-term urban research projects have revealed new information about towns and the lives of their inhabitants. The work of the urban archaeologist is examined in close detail, and attention is given to the critical problems of preserving our urban past, especially when the interests of archaeology and property development clash.

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