Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society

 Introduction to PPS index, volume 56 to 60

The previous index I produced for Proceedings appeared in 1989 with volume 55. That was the first one to be included within the covers of a volume, not printed separately, and also the first produced on computer, not hand-written cards.

It had the same format as the two earlier indexes, with Subjects and Sites listed separately, likewise Authors of Articles and Authors of Books Reviewed. This time Subjects and Sites are all together and there is one Authors section, but no Geographical Lists. This is the procedure recommended by Cherry Lavell, the doyenne of archaeological indexing, and is easier to do. I would appreciate comments from users.

It was agreed in '89 between the then editor, J.G. Evans, and myself that indexes would in future appear every five volumes, not ten. These five issues make an impressive stack and comprise a total of 2080 pages - an incalculable amount of information, which it does seem right to make more accessible as soon as possible.

Being at the cutting edge of archaeology, PPS always reflects the trends within the subject. This time what strikes me is the dramatic increase in discussion of non-functional activity in the past. Not long ago `ritual' was a dirty word, used only when you could not explain a feature any other way. Now, in these post-processual times, the entry for ritual activities has had to be split up by periods to make it manageable. Some authors will even hazard guesses as to the beliefs underlying these activities.

The British Isles naturally continue to be the main focus for articles, and you will find entries for Scotland, Ireland, and Wales (the last continues to do very well!), to help you around; also for Africa, Australia, and a few other far-flung locations. There are 13 articles on subjects outside Europe and 21 within Europe, of which 8 are in 57(1) which was entirely devoted to Palaeolithic art. This wide spread, from Papua to Ontario, is a sign of vigour in our Society, and is emphasised in the two Presidential Addresses here, by Thurston Shaw (56) and David Harris (60).

The publication of old excavations such as Dorchester-on-Thames and Heathrow, never an easy task, is particularly commendable. Excavation reports continue to be a solid feature, but regional surveys are now seen as equally important. Monuments and the landscape around them are 'in', but objects, metalwork in particular, are 'out'. What shifts of emphasis will we see in the next five volumes?

Bridget A.V. Trump

Subject Index, volumes 56 to 60
Subject Index

Author's Index, volumes 56 to 60
Subject Index

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