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By Stephen Harrison

the tale of John Robert Mortimer (1825-1911) encompasses either the beginnings of archaeology as a systematic learn and the main points of a existence lived totally in a single small nook of the East driving of Yorkshire. in the course of the moment half the 19th century archaeology made the transition from antiquarian pursuit to fledgling educational self-discipline. Mortimer, a corn service provider from Driffield, used to be of vital significance, laying a number of the foundations on which the topic got here to be outfitted. He dedicated such a lot of his grownup lifestyles to the systematic and cautious exam of enormous numbers of prehistoric burial mounds and different historic beneficial properties at the Yorkshire Wolds, ultimately turning into a nationally regarded authority at the topic. Self-educated, his strategies turned these utilized by glossy archaeologists, his number of artefacts and his writings nonetheless delivering a useful source for figuring out the county’s prehistoric prior. but his tale hasn't ever sooner than been informed, his significance as a number one and pioneering archaeologist little identified. This complete account of his lifestyles is helping to give an explanation for why this could be. It provides Mortimer as a nationally very important archaeologist utilizing his researches to appreciate the lives of prehistoric peoples, his view, broadly held this day, that by way of realizing the previous we comprehend ourselves.

Stephen Harrison, BA, MPhil, PhD, used to be born within the East driving of Yorkshire and has spent a lot of his existence residing and dealing within the county. because the Nineteen Seventies he has researched, lectured and written extensively at the archaeology and heritage of the sector. For him, as for Mortimer, archaeology, specially that of the East using, has been a lifelong ardour. His account of J.R. Mortimer’s lifestyles is the results of years of analysis and intimate acquaintance with the fellow, his existence and his work.

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