By Clive Gamble

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People make knowledge, and knowledge of the past depends on the social and political context of the time. The power relations of the modern, capitalist world are questioned and alternatives proposed. 33 ARCHAEOLOGY: THE BASICS Marxism is not, strictly speaking, a theory about the ancient past. However, because it provides a powerful analysis of human society it has proved very influential in the study of that central archaeological question: change (Box 7). The wide impact on world archaeology of Marxist approaches can be found in many edited volumes (Spriggs 1984; Champion 1989; Miller, Rowlands and Tilley 1989) which cover all periods, as well as in regional studies which continue to explore many of Childe’s interests in society and systems of production (for example, Kristiansen 1998).

The surrounding region was systematically studied through The Kingdom of East Anglia survey. The pattern of land use and settlement was reconstructed to answer the question why such wealth should have been found in what today is regarded as a rural backwater? And in order to meet the accountability criteria, Carver set out to explain and interest the public in the work. After all, the public had benefited from Mrs Pretty’s generosity and it was in their name that the site had been placed under State protection through existing Ancient Monument legislation.

And in order to meet the accountability criteria, Carver set out to explain and interest the public in the work. After all, the public had benefited from Mrs Pretty’s generosity and it was in their name that the site had been placed under State protection through existing Ancient Monument legislation. Television coverage, impractical in 1939, meant that 13 million people watched the excavations in the 1980s, as compared with perhaps a hundred who visited the original dig. 13 ARCHAEOLOGY: THE BASICS Sutton Hoo as a heritage issue The latest investigations at Sutton Hoo were partly prompted by the threat of treasure hunting using metal detectors.

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