CATALOG: Digging Up Britannia's Past

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Science  23 Aug 2002:
Vol. 297, Issue 5585, pp. 1243
DOI: 10.1126/science.297.5585.1243b

You can't throw a pint glass in Great Britain without hitting a Roman mosaic, stone circle, tumbledown Norman church, or some other notable ruin. This catalog from the Archaeology Data Service (ADS), based at the University of York, can help you track down information on these far-flung treasures. Although it doesn't provide raw data on places or artifacts, the clearinghouse tells you which of more than 50 archives, museums, and indexes holds records about a particular site or excavation. You can search geographically using an interactive map of the country or grid references. The catalog ballooned in July with the addition of 34,000 records from the National Trust, which supervises a bounty of sites in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, ranging from Neolithic villages to World War II monuments.

Also available at the ADS site is a database with images and descriptions of Stone Age tools from Europe, Asia, and Africa. Or you can download digital archives from particular digs, such as the excavation of the 1400-year-old town of Lundenwic, a bustling Saxon river port buried beneath the Royal Opera House in London.

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