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Post-medieval archaeology
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Post-medieval archaeology

'Post-medieval archaeology is term used in Europe to describe the study of the material past over the last 500 years. In other areas it may be known as Historical archaeology and Industrial archaeology is one of its sub-disciplines.

The traditional date for the beginning of the post-medieval period in Britain has been 1485 when, following the Battle of Bosworth the Tudor dynasty took the throne. In practice, the medieval period is now often extended into the reign of the Tudor monarchs and the boundary between the two eras is not precise. As with all attempts to divide the archaeological record into neat chunks, efforts to impose an exact date on the transition are doomed to be questioned by current and new findings.

The date of the end of the post-medieval era is also considered by some to have come at the end of the Napoleonic Wars, the reign of Queen Victoria and others maintain that we are still living in it.

Given the relatively strong historical record running alongside the archaeological one, post-medieval archaeology is often better positioned to study the effects of known social and political change. The immediacy of the period means that it appeals in fields such as genealogy as well as to students of social history.

Post-medieval sites include The Rose Theatre in London and Fort Amherst in Chatham.

'External Links:'

Fort Amherst

The Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology