John Gilbert Hurst 1927–2003


in Proceedings of the British Academy, 138 Biographical Memoirs of Fellows, V

Published by British Academy

Published in print January 2007 | ISBN: 9780197263938
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734236 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

John Gilbert Hurst 1927–2003

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  • Theory, Methods, and Historiography


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John Hurst made an important pioneering contribution in three separate but interrelated fields: medieval archaeology, post-medieval archaeology, and ceramic studies. Before his lifetime's devotion to these three disciplines, they had not been taken seriously in Britain or Europe, either academically or professionally. Medieval archaeology was still the study of major buildings seen through the records of historians and anti-quarians, and of portable antiquities divorced from their context. Post-medieval archaeology was principally the study of industrial relics. Ceramic studies in the post-Roman period was the preserve of art collectors, anxious to understand the output of major factories and firms, though a few people collected medieval pottery as examples of folk art. It is a measure of Hurst's perceptiveness and persistence that all these three fields are now studied more widely and practised seriously.

Keywords: medieval archaeology; post-medieval archaeology; ceramic studies; biography; obituary

Chapter.  8415 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Theory, Methods, and Historiography

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