Announcing the Prehistoric Society Online Collections (PSOC)
The first volume of the Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society was published in 1935 and included two of the most important figures in the study of prehistory: Gordon Childe (President) and Grahame Clark (Editor). At that time, the Council members of the Society included many archaeologists such as W.F. Grimes, Christopher Hawkes, and Stuart Piggot whose work defined the course of prehistoric studies over many years. Childe’s Presidential address in this inaugural volume set out to review the ‘Changing methods and aims in prehistory’, in which he remarked with conviction, ‘Archaeology can survey the vicissitudes of man's material culture, of human economies, not only over the beggarly 5000 years, patchily illumined by written records, but over a span of 5000 centuries. It opens up a horizon wide enough for the accidental features of the landscape to assume their correct proportions.’ This is the importance of prehistory.
It is only fitting, during a global pandemic, to reflect on the achievements of prehistorians. We have used this moment to look back at the hundreds of articles published since 1935 to create a series of thematic ‘Online Collections’ for all our readers. These Collections have been curated by members of the Prehistoric Society’s Council and Editorial Board, who are leading scholars on the themes and subjects that have been chosen. The series brings together seminal papers which highlight longstanding topics of interest in the study of prehistory, from monuments and metals to seafaring and rock art.
With new collections to be launched in the coming months and years, it is our hope that the Prehistoric Society Online Collections (PSOC) will act as starting points into these important themes and that, like us, you will enjoy exploring the many pathways of prehistory that interlace the Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society.
Clive Gamble, Julie Gardiner & Courtney Nimura