An oxymoron or a contradiction!
the act or process of examining a crime, problem,statement, etc,. carefully,especially to discover the truth.
To quote the creator of Sherlock Holmes;
” Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.”
(Arthur Canon Doyle)
the study of human history and prehistory through the excavation of sites and the analysis of artefacts and other physical remains.
Archaeology is about analysing, which is to try and explain and understand what is in front of you. Archaeology records factual data, then usually analyses that data against other analysed data, developing the existing narrative by adding another piece to the 5 pieces of the jigsaw already analysed. The problem with this approach is that the possibility arises that the jigsaw unknown to the analyst who perhaps considers there are only 5 more missing pieces to be found, actually has 500 pieces, and they only have the top right hand corner of the jigsaw with blue sky and a seagull. All the analysing in the world from this point on can only arrive at a conclusion that the story is about sky and seagulls. Until somebody decides to look under the metaphorical sofa for any missing pieces of the jigsaw the analytical die is formed.
Investigating in contrast starts at the beginning with a clean sheet without any assumptions or narrative, gathers evidence with a view to establishing the facts, or a further line of investigation.
For those reading this blog it should be apparent that I subscribe to the view of investigating archaeology with a completely open mind. I respect the views and interpretations of others, but they are their views, their interpretations and usually the sum of 150 years of compound analysis, not necessarily anchored on a secure original footing.
By going back to the beginning and forming working theories based on hard evidence, common sense and logical thought, rather than trying to fit in with the narrative of others, the investigations by the Mid Tees Research Project have achieved a modicum of success in locating a number of actual and probable mainstream military and civilian Roman sites in the Tees Valley area in recent years
1 x Roman Villa
1 x Marching Camp
1 x Probable sub 100m x 100m Fort, Fortlet
4 x Possible sub 100m x 100m Forts, Fortlets
1 x Probable small town ( Not ladder settlement)
I cannot emphasise enough If you are interested in conducting original investigative archaeological research, assume nothing, be extremely cautious about embracing established theories without question, and I guarantee you will be more productive in locating archaeological sites wherevever you live. You will succeed because you will look in the areas already ruled out of the historical narrative. If your research is sound, your success is certain.