Edmund Tyrell Artis is best known as an archaeologist who during the early nineteenth century made extensive excavations of Roman sites in the Nene Valley in Northamptonshire. However, his approach to archaeology had evolved from his earlier experiences collecting Carboniferous plant fossils. Between about 1816 and 1821, he amassed a major collection of plant fossils from the Yorkshire Coalfield and this formed the basis of a book entitled Antediluvian Phytology. This book was a landmark in British palaeobotany but was his only contribution to the subject. This was partly because of his growing archaeological interests and partly because of disagreements with William Buckland, one of the most influential geologists then in Britain.

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