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Synopsis

Of all the many thousands of earthworks of various kinds to be found in England, those about which anything is known are very few, those of which there remains nothing more to be known scarcely exist. Each individual example is in itself a new problem in history, chronology, ethnology, and anthropology; within every one lie the hidden possibilities of a revolution in knowledge. We are proud of a history of nearly twenty centuries: we have the materials for a history which goes back beyond that time to centuries as yet undated. The testimony of records carries the tale back to a certain point: beyond that point is only the testimony of archæology, and of all the manifold branches of archæology none is so practicable, so promising, yet so little explored, as that which is concerned with earthworks. Within them lie hidden all the secrets of time before history begins, and by their means only can that history be put into writing: they are the back numbers of the island’s story, as yet unread, much less indexed.”—A. Hadrian Allcroft.

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