Historians seeking to understand what happened to antiquarianism in the nineteenth century have frequently appealed to science as a key to the problem. Historians of science themselves have shown that during the period under discussion, science itself was very far from stable as a concept and the individual branches of science, such as geology or chemistry, were not fully formulated. It is a truth universally acknowledged that at some point in the nineteenth century, antiquarianism lost its significance as a field of intellectual endeavour. The stylistic table is primarily associated with Thomas Rickman, whose stylistic terminology has become the common currency of medievalists. During the second half of the eighteenth century, changing aesthetic sensibilities combined with political factors to engender new interest in national antiquities, and medieval architecture started to attract notice in its own right. Generalizations, however, can be made about popular conceptions of science in the early nineteenth century, which may be relevant to the antiquarian viewpoint.