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Encyclopedia > William Gowland

Professor William Gowland (1842-1922) was a mining engineer most famous for his archaeological work at Stonehenge. He worked at the Royal School of Mines at South Kensington but was also a Fellow of the Royal Society and an expert in early metal-working. He is known in Japan as the Father of Japanese Archaeology. For the Technical Symposium of NITK Surathkal Engineer , see Engineer (Technical Fest). ... Archaeology or sometimes in American English archeology (from the Greek words αρχαίος = ancient and λόγος = word/speech) is the study of human cultures through the recovery, documentation and analysis of material remains, including architecture, artefacts, biofacts, human remains, and landscapes. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Royal School of Mines entrance in Londons Albertopolis. ... The junction with Old Brompton Road and Pelham Street, outside South Kensington tube station. ... The premises of the Royal Society in London (first four properties only). ...

Contents

In England

On New Year's Eve 1900, a trilithon at Stonehenge fell over and the owner of the site, Sir Edmund Antrobus undertook to right it and set it in concrete for safety purposes. Following public pressure and a letter to The Times by William Flinders Petrie, he agreed to re-erect the stones under archaeological supervision so that records could be made of the below ground archaeology. A trilithon (or trilith) is a structure consisting of two large vertical stones supporting a third stone set horizontally across the top. ... Egyptologist Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie (3 June 1853 - 28 July 1942) was a pioneer of systematic methodology in archaeology. ...


Antrobus appointed Gowland to manage the job who despite having no previous archaeological field experience produced some of the finest, most detailed excavation records ever made at the monument. The only open ground he saw was that around the fallen Stone 56, an area measuring around 17ft by 13ft, and the difficulty was compounded in that only small areas were dug at each time to allow the concrete to be poured and set.


Despite these difficulties, he established that antler picks had been used to dig the stone holes and that the stones themselves had been worked to shape on site. His work identified the 'Stonehenge layer', a thin strata of bluestone chips that sealed many of the non-megalithic features at the site and proved that they predated the standing stones. This article is about the mineral dolerite. ...


In Japan (1872-88)

During his stay in Japan as one of the foreigners (o-yatoi gaikokujin) employed to aid the modernization of Japan, Gowland worked for the Japanese Mint and in his spare time conducted the first truly accurate scientific surveys of burial mounds (kofun) of the 3rd-7th centuries, including a number of imperial mausolea. The o-yatoi gaikokujin (Japanese: お雇い外国人 — hired foreigners, foreign employees) were foreign specialists, engineers, teachers, mercenaries and more, hired to assist in the modernization of Japan. ... Alternate meanings of barrow: see Barrow_in_Furness for the town of Barrow in Cumbria, England; also Barrow, Alaska in the U.S.; also River Barrow in Ireland. ... Daisenryo Kofun, the tomb of Emperor Nintoku, Sakai, 5th century. ...


After returning to England he published several works about his findings.

  • The Dolmens and Burial Mounds in Japan,1897
  • The Dolmens of Japan and their Builders,1900
  • The Burial Mounds and Dolmens of the Early Emperors of Japan,1907
  • Metal and Metal-Working in Old Japan,1915

See also

  • Anglo-Japanese relations

This page describes the history of the relationship between the United Kingdom and Japan. ...

References

  • Chippendale, C "Stonehenge Complete" (Thames and Hudson, London, 2004)
  • William Gowland: The Father of Japanese Archaeology, edited by Victor Harris and Kazuo Goto, British Museum Press 2004, ISBN 0-7141-2420-6

 
 

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