The immediate and substantial thanks are due to Judith Winters, the Editor of Internet Archaeology, who has worked many hours to transform the conventional publication of my PhD thesis (BAR 274) into a state fit for the electronic medium. The highly structured nature of the original may have made this reasonably easy for her, but the Web user has special needs and expectations, and she has thoughtfully and carefully considered these, as well as my own sensitivities, in editing and presenting the original in this new version. Always consulting appropriately, she has made this version distinctly different from the first, giving readers clear advantages of access and choice if they wish to pursue a particular interest related to time, area or mortuary characteristic. Readers now have better access to the text and as good access to the databases as I did, and they also have the same power over the use of their content. Judith has shared my wish to put readers and authors on an equal footing, and to open up the possibility of improving upon what has been published. Her technical colleague, Jo Clarke, is thanked for her support work in converting databases into new formats, and Val Kinsler, the copy editor, made helpful comments and identified textual errors and inconsistencies. These were addressed with the corrections and amendments to the BAR version that I had supplied.

The major academic thanks go to Professor Barry Cunliffe of the Institute of Archaeology at Oxford, who was all that a research student could hope for as supervisor, being encouraging, stimulating, generous and wise in his advice, and totally approachable. He was supervising a mature student at a distance, since the research was done as a part-time Open University postgraduate degree over six years. Dr Chris Emlyn-Jones of the Open University was the internal supervisor and was always supportive and helpful with advice, even though the topic was not within his immediate area of academic expertise. Professor Bob Barnes of the Institute of Social Anthropology at Oxford was influential on the reading to be undertaken for the anthropological work when he supervised me for one term in 1997, and his interest and advice was appreciated. Dr Miranda Aldhouse-Green was a supportive co-supervisor for the first two years of my work.

The staff of the Open University Library and of the Ashmolean Library at Oxford were always extremely helpful in supplying loan services, and responding to requests for photocopied articles on which I depended as I had to work from home. The Open University granted me 90 days study leave during the period of research which was both unique for an administrator and invaluable.

Any part-time mature student with a family depends on them in various ways. Mine were more than simply understanding. My wife Jill read original draft and commented as a lay person, and three of my children also provided direct help: Ben and Marcus gave advice on technical matters in my early stages of PC-literacy; Marcus developed a program which allowed me to do simple distribution mapping of sites and characteristics, using database selections, and to compare areas and periods, without which I could have not made any comments on such things (Internet Archaeology is now providing this professional support); and Toby sorted, labelled and filed articles and thus made my large library of reference material orderly and accessible.

Dr Gerry Wait's lectures to students for the Advanced Certificate in British Archeology at Rewley House in Oxford were fascinating, and the ideas that they generated made me want to do this research when I finished the Certificate. So I did - and it was hard work but great fun - and I hope it will continue to be.

For those who engage in archaeology as amateurs, and particularly for myself, there is perhaps no more apt quotation with which to close than that below, written nearly a century ago:

In conclusion, I may state that I have often found the pursuit of archaeology, and the diversion it affords, a delightful relaxation as well as a soothing anodyne for many of the cares and troubles which so frequently beset the paths of a business life; while I feel that so long as my normal health and faculties remain, these researches will continue to be a source of pleasurable remembrance. (Mortimer J R, 1905 Forty years researches in British and Saxon burial mounds of East Yorkshire, xii)


This work is dedicated to the memory of my father, Harold Bristow, and my father-in-law, John Howey, who sadly died within four weeks of each other in March/April 1988.


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