In 2012 the archives of Archaeologia, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of London and The Antiquaries Journal were published on Cambridge Journals Online. Collectively they comprise the journal archives of The Society of Antiquaries of London and span 242 years, encompassing key research in the study of material culture and antiquity.

To celebrate the digitisation of these archives, the Editor and Assistant Editor of the Journal, Kate Owen and Christopher Catling have chosen their selection of seminal papers from The Antiquaries Journal. These are available freely until the 31st December 2013, and include papers published  since the journal was first introduced in 1921. We ask Christopher what influenced his decision of key papers and why these papers are still important today:

As the Antiquaries Journal heads towards its 100th issue (due in 2021), it has been instructive to look back over the archive and to see how many of the papers published since the Journal started in 1921 can still be read with pleasure and profit. Indeed, choosing just one paper per decade to create my personal ‘best’ list proved very difficult. I could have chosen many more, including all the first-hand accounts of many major excavations: as it is I have chosen the Sutton Hoo report, the first account of an excavation that pioneered new techniques and that has transformed our understanding of Anglo-Saxon art and society. That took place in the long hot summer that preceded the outbreak of the Second World War. The Journal did not cease during the war: two of the papers I have chosen come from antiquaries using their war service to carry out research — in one case, recording Malta’s medieval buildings even as the bombs rained down and destroyed many of those buildings. I have chosen others because of the distinctive voice of the writer or because of their pioneering work, or because they have written a paper that has yet to be superceded. I have tried to cover most archaeological periods, and a range of different approaches to the study of the past. Someone else might make an entirely different selection — there is no shortage of good papers in this archive, and I hope you enjoy exploring it and revisiting it as much as I do.

Read the article selection here until the 31st December  2013

Find out more about the journal here.

This seminal collection of articles is amongst the 670,000 now available in the Cambridge Journals Digital Archive (CJDA). You can find out more about the CJDA here. 

The image used in this Blog post was originally included in the 1921 article ‘Stonehenge : Interim Report on the exploration’ by W. Hawley. The article details how the stones were lifted and concrete was placed beneath to reinforce the chalk ground.


  1. unable to reach the article selection – every link leads to ‘FirstView Articles’

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