added by archaeologs (1890-1976). British archaeologist who made major contributions to the development of excavation and recording techniques. He excavated many sites, both in Britain and abroad, especially in India (including modem Pakistan, then part of an undivided India), where he was DirectorGeneral of the Archaeological Survey of India from 1943 to 1947. He also made important contributions to the organization of archaeology in England. In 1937 he founded the Institute of Archaeology of London University, the largest and among the most prestigious archaeological institutions in Britain. He contributed also to the the popularization of archaeology through articles in the press, popular books and especially television programmes. He will probably be best remembered within the profession for his excavation and recording methods. Adopting and developing further the methods of General Pitt-Rivers, Wheeler emphasized the importance of the vertical site record and its importance in constructing the history of the site. The vertical site record is studied through the stratigraphy of the site and in Wheeler’s view the best way to do this was through the study of standing sections. In order to preserve as many sections as possible, Wheeler advocated the grid or box technique of excavation, in which small areas of excavation are separated by standing baulks. This method has generally been superseded today by open area excavation, but the importance of the section is still recognized. Important sites excavated by Wheeler include Maiden Castle, Stanwick and Verulamium in England and Arikamedu, Taxila and Charsada on the Indian subcontinent.
The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983