This volume marks the beginning of the twentieth year of the BHA, first published by the late Douglas Givens in 1991. Doug transferred the editorship to me at the end of 2002 (volume 12) and since that time the BHA has steadily grown in numbers of subscribers, the breadth of its coverage, and its impact. Those years have also seen a significant expansion of interest among archaeologists in the history of their discipline, and I venture that the BHA has played a part in this.
Notwithstanding the important milestone of twenty years publication, this volume is made more significant by the publication of a group of papers from HARN (History of Archaeology Research Network), an organization founded by Pamela Jane Smith in 2008. HARN is warmly welcomed because networks of this kind are vital for the success of any field, especially as they bring together (both physically and virtually) researchers that share a common interest, either as graduate students or more senior practitioners. The four papers published in BHA 20(1) (with another to follow in BHA 20(2)) are all the work of members of HARN. Coincidentally so is the Note by Gabriel Moshenska.
The geographical spread of HARN is impressive. Kathleen Sheppard (who writes of Flinders Petrie and eugenics) is based in the University of Oklahoma, Laurence Gillot (the socio-politics of archaeology in Syria) is Belgian, Herdis Hølleland (Gordon Childe and European identity) is based at the University of Oslo, and Stephen Harrison (The Yorkshire Antiquarian Club 1849–1860) comes from the East Riding of Yorkshire.
As a group the papers cover many of the contemporary concerns of the history of archaeology, from fine-grained analysis of institutions, through detailed analysis of the life and work of significant practitioners and the socio-politics of archaeology practiced in 'colonial' settings, to the broad contribution archaeology can (and does) make to identity politics. We look forward to publishing more from the HARN group in our next issue, and hopefully more in the years to come.
BHA 20(1) also boasts a longer-than-usual book review section.
I sincerely thank all the contributors to volume 20(1), and acknowledge the invaluable assistance of Pamela Jane Smith and Kathleen Sheppard of HARN, our anonymous referees, and Susan Bridekirk and of Wei Ming (both of the Archaeology Program at La Trobe University) for subeditorial assistance and for the layout and production.