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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index P > Augustus Henry Lane-Fox Pitt-Rivers Quotes

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Augustus Henry Lane-Fox Pitt-Rivers
(14 Apr 1827 - 4 May 1900)

English archaeologist often called the 'father of British archaeology,' who stressed the need for total excavation of sites, thorough stratigraphic observation and recording, and prompt and complete publication.

Science Quotes by Augustus Henry Lane-Fox Pitt-Rivers (2 quotes)

No excavation ought to ever be permitted except under the immediate eye of a responsible and trustworthy superintendent. ... Superfluous precision may be regarded as a fault on the right side. ... [P]ottery [i]s the human fossil, so widely is it distributed.
Some of the basic principals of digging he adopted.
— Augustus Henry Lane-Fox Pitt-Rivers
Excavations in Cranborne Chase. Quoted in Alice Beck, The Land of Prehistory: A Critical History of American Archaeology (1998), 62-63.
Science quotes on:  |  Archaeology (49)  |  Basic (139)  |  Digging (11)  |  Excavation (8)  |  Eye (423)  |  Fault (55)  |  Fossil (136)  |  Human (1470)  |  Immediate (95)  |  Precision (68)  |  Principal (63)  |  Regard (304)  |  Right (452)  |  Side (232)  |  Superfluous (21)  |  Trustworthy (11)

Tedious as it may appear to some to dwell on the discovery of odds and ends that have, no doubt, been thrown away by the owner as rubbish ... yet it is by the study of such trivial details that Archaeology is mainly dependent for determining the date of earthworks. ... Next to coins fragments of pottery afford the most reliable of all evidence ... In my judgement, a fragment of pottery, if it throws light on the history of our own country and people, is of more interest to the scientific collector of evidence in England, than even a work of art and merit that is associated only with races that we are remotely connected with.
On the importance of pottery to an archaeologist.
— Augustus Henry Lane-Fox Pitt-Rivers
Excavations in Bokerly and Wansdyke, vol. 3, ix-30. Quoted in Cambridge Antiquarian Society, Proceedings (1895), vol. 8, 180.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4107)  |  Archaeologist (17)  |  Archaeology (49)  |  Art (657)  |  Connect (125)  |  Country (251)  |  Detail (146)  |  Discovery (785)  |  Doubt (305)  |  End (590)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Fragment (54)  |  History (675)  |  Importance (287)  |  Interest (386)  |  Light (609)  |  Merit (50)  |  More (2559)  |  Most (1729)  |  Next (236)  |  People (1005)  |  Pottery (4)  |  Race (268)  |  Rubbish (12)  |  Scientific (940)  |  Study (656)  |  Tedious (14)  |  Trivial (57)  |  Work (1351)

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  • 14 Apr - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Pitt-Rivers's birth.

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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