Urban archaeology, long familiar in Germany and Scandinavia, has come relatively late to Britain, but is rapidly making up for lost time. Evidence is being discovered or re-interpreted for all periods from Roman to Georgian, and the discoveries are especially exciting for the crucial, and usually undocumented, periods when towns were first founded. Publication is not, however, keeping pace with discovery. A few excavations are quickly encapsulated in definitive reports, and others are made available in annual interim reports (e.g. Winchester and York in the Antiquaries Journal, and Oxford in Oxoniensia). For many others, however, scholars have to rely at best on the brief annual surveys in Britannia, Medieval Archaeology and Post-Medieval Archaeology. The Editor believes, as I do, that the importance of recent work justifies a regular review which will attempt to summarize the most significant discoveries for the benefit of urban historians. This first review covers excavations especially of the early 1970s, with a few of slightly earlier date, especially those at Winchester. The terminal date is the time of writing (July 1974), but not all reports drawn on can be equally up-to-date, and there will inevitably be some chronological overlap with the next report.