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Was he more than just ‘Dr Took’?
Jonathan R. Trigg

This chapter presents a reflection and assessment of the life, career and work of the little-studied seventeenth-century physician and ‘Renaissance man’ Robert Toope. He is currently, perhaps, chiefly known for his correspondence on wide-ranging, eclectic, subjects with the likes of John Aubrey and Robert Boyle, together with later less-than-complimentary references by William Stukeley. The evidence suggests that the latter, albeit famous, observations were bafflingly unconsidered. Toope was more than merely a product of his time. He was clearly someone who was subject to periods of intense activity that had great influence on the work of his contemporaries and without which we would have far less understanding of the archaeological record of southern Britain. Yet, unlike many fellow antiquarians, for example, he did not publish his own observations, favouring perhaps the communication of such to other contemporary scholars. The chapter highlights the paradigmatic importance of going back to the original sources. It also serves to establish such facts as are known about Toope, correct some misinterpretations and introduce some new information in what is more than merely a nuanced biographical essay.

in Communities and knowledge production in archaeology

The dynamic processes of knowledge production in archaeology and elsewhere in the humanities and social sciences are increasingly viewed within the context of negotiation, cooperation and exchange, as the collaborative effort of groups, clusters and communities of scholars. Shifting focus from the individual scholar to the wider social contexts of her work, this volume investigates the importance of informal networks and conversation in the creation of knowledge about the past, and takes a closer look at the dynamic interaction and exchange that takes place between individuals, groups and clusters of scholars in the wider social settings of scientific work. Various aspects of and mechanisms at work behind the interaction and exchange that takes place between the individual scholar and her community, and the creative processes that such encounters trigger, are critically examined in eleven chapters which draw on a wide spectrum of examples from Europe and North America: from early modern antiquarians to archaeological societies and practitioners at work during the formative years of the modern archaeological disciplines and more recent examples from the twentieth century. The individual chapters engage with theoretical approaches to scientific creativity, knowledge production and interaction such as sociology and geographies of science, and actor-network theory (ANT) in their examination of individual–collective interplay. The book caters to readers both from within and outside the archaeological disciplines; primarily intended for researchers, teachers and students in archaeology, anthropology, classics and the history of science, it will also be of interest to the general reader.