BHA 21-2: Reports

Histories of Archaeology Research Network
Report of Current Events and 2012 Programme of Workshops

In the last few months, the HARN Blog has posted notices of workshops, exhibitions, publications and other events reflecting the activity of many of its members. Please keep checking the blog ( for forthcoming events. The blog now links to the Bulletin of the History of Archaeology and the HARN page on the growing virtual social network for academics, (

Typecast: Francis Galton and Flinders Petrie

Saturday, 7 July 2011
Petrie Museum, University of London

Debbie Challis hosted a mini-HARN seminar around the themes of the exhibition at the Petrie Museum Typecast: Francis Galton and Flinders Petrie. In 1886 Francis Galton commissioned Flinders Petrie to take photographs of different 'racial types' on monuments from Ancient Egypt. This was part of Galton's research into human and racial difference as well as a lifelong friendship and influence between Galton and Petrie. The exhibition displays some of those photographs and explores their contentious legacies in the Petrie Museum's collection, examining and inviting comment on Galton, Petrie and the impact of racial theory on archaeology. For more information, please see

J. R. Mortimer's Driffield

Friday, 19 August 2011
Driffield, Yorkshire

On the 100th anniversary of John Robert Mortimer's death, a 'blue plaque' on the former museum building in Driffield, Yorkshire was unveiled and HARN member, Stephen Harrison lead a tour around J. R. Mortimer's Driffield. Stephen's book, J. R. Mortimer, the life of a nineteenth century East Yorkshire archaeologist came out in September.

Mortimer Wheeler's London

Saturday, 10 September 2011

A walking tour was conduced by HARN member, Joe Flatman, around central London sites associated with Mortimer Wheeler on the anniversary of Wheeler's birth.

A Pioneer of Prehistory: Dorothy Garrod and the Caves of Mount Carmel

26 September 2011 – 8 January 2012
Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford

HARN member Alice Stevenson provided information regarding a display presenting seventeen photographs from the collection of the archaeologist Dorothy Garrod (1892–1968). The collection includes portraits of Garrod's friends and mentors, as well as the famous excavations, which she directed between 1929 and 1934 at the Wadi el-Maghara (Valley of Caves), on Mount Carmel in Palestine (now in Israel). Some of the Stone Age artefacts recovered from this fieldwork are also displayed, together with signed offprints of Garrod's writings and her administrative notebook from the 1933 excavation season.

The Centre for Battlefield Archaeology Postgraduate Conference

7–9 October 2011
Centre for Battlefield Archaeology, University of Glasgow

Jonathan Trigg sent in a notice for The Centre for Battlefield Archaeology Postrgraduate Conference, We go to gain a little patch of ground: postgraduate research in conflict archaeology. The conference brings together researchers working within the field of conflict archaeology. In the last decade, conflict archaeology has transformed from a radical sub-discipline into an established, yet dynamic, academic subject covering a myriad of research avenues. Papers cover a wide range of research interests, reflecting the multifaceted nature of conflict archaeology, covering all time periods from the ancient to the contemporary. In addition, delegates are invited to participate in workshops and round table discussions during the final afternoon of conference proceedings. Selected papers from the conference will be published in a special edition of the Journal of Conflict Archaeology.

Animal, Vegetable, Mineral? Mystery Object Panel Game

Wednesday, 19 October 2011
Anatomy Building, Gower Street, University of London

UCL Museums are bringing back the classic 1950s TV show Animal, Vegetable, Mineral which launched David Attenborough's career in television and made television icons out of various academics, including Glynn Daniels, Julian Huxley and Mortimer Wheeler. Hosted by Joe Flatman.

New Histories of 19th Century 'Archaeology': Séance, Mummies, Seriality, Aerial Photography and Theories of 'Man'

Wednesday, 26 October 2011
Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge

New Histories of 19th Century 'Archaeology' will be presented, in cooperation with the Cambridge undergraduate Archaeological Field Club. Contact Pamela Jane Smith for more information at

Personal Histories Project: The Bone Room's Past

Wednesday, 2 November 2011
Biffen Lecture Theatre, University of Cambridge

Pamela Jane Smith's next instalment of the Personal Histories in Archaeology Project: The Bone Room's Past. Revolution in Palaeoeconomic Studies (see poster bellow). For more information, contact Pamela Jane Smith at To view previous project films, please see the Personal Histories web site at

Poster: Personal Histories Project. The Bone Room's Past. Revolution in Palaeoeconomic Studies.

Science in the Tropics

5–7 January 2012
IICT, Lisbon, Portugal

HARN member in Portugal, Ana Cristina Martins has sent in notification of an international conference, Science in the Tropics: glimpsing the past, projecting the future. The International Conference will celebrate the scientific research in the Tropics, to the effect of the foundation, in 1936, of the Board for Geographic Missions and Colonial Research (JMGIC), one of the predecessors of IICT – Tropical Research Institute. For more information, please see the Institute's web page:

HARN Annual General Meeting


Friday, 13 April 2012
Birkbeck College, University of London

HARN's first annual general meeting. Please join us to discuss HARN's plans, followed by a social event. Please send any items you would like to raise on the agenda to; all HARN members welcome, but please RSVP to the above address by February 28, 2012.

Workshop Programme

An Archaeology of Archaeological Archives

Saturday, 14 April 2012
Organisers: Jennifer Baird and Lesley McFadyen, Birkbeck College
Venue: University of London

Derrida writes that archives are disjointed between two forces '...a movement of the promise and of the future no less than of recording the past' (1998: 29). Similarly, the archival turn in the humanities has moved from archive-as-source to archive-as-subject (Stoler 2009: 44). In archaeology, this shift needs to factor in archive-as-practice.

Archives are the primary repositories of archaeological data, yet there is a tendency to treat them as simple sources of documentation, rather than as objects themselves, or as colonial or institutional instruments. What are the challenges in working with legacy data? What can the form of the archaeological archive tell us about the formation of archaeological knowledge? On what terms do archaeologists bring the making of the archive into their archaeological practice?

This workshop brings together those scholars from archaeology, anthropology, and architecture that explore subject and practice-based movements in archive study. Bringing the two forces of archive together, the meeting considers the temporal qualities of archival investigation and how it relates to past and future. And asks: How can archives be used to explore a more critical approach to the history of archaeology? If you are interested in participating, please contact or, as places are limited.

Archaeology and the Public: Spectacle or Science?

Saturday, 14 April 2012
Organiser: Kathleen Sheppard, Missouri University of Science and Technology
Venue: Missouri S&T, Rolla, MO

The intersections of science and the public have a long history. Whether it has been out of the public's interest in the subject or archaeology's need to have support for funding, archaeology seems to have had more to do over the past two centuries with engaging the public than many other sciences (excepting, possibly, new technologies today). This interaction led to public displays of archaeological artifacts, demonstrations, excavations, lectures, publications and more.

Using a variety of approaches such as biographies, artifact analysis, and museum studies, this panel aims to investigate these interactions and their impact on the public as well as on the science of archaeology. How did archaeologists choose to approach the public? Which publics did they choose? And how did the public audience receive the knowledge? Was there dissemination or a watering down of the scientific knowledge?

The papers in the workshop will contribute to the growing historiography, which deals with the place of science within the purview of the public. Furthermore, because of the special place of archaeology within the public imagination, when historians of archaeology begin to look at relationships between the scientific community and the general public, the studies open up a number of new avenues for analysis. If you are interested in participating, please contact Kate Sheppard,

Biographical Approaches

Date TBA 2012
Organiser: Amara Thornton, Institute of Archaeology
Venue: UCL

Biography is one of the most popular formats for exploring the history of archaeology (see Kaeser 2008; Wallace 2002; Gillberg 1998; Givens 1992). It provides a focal point for the discussion of social, cultural, political and economic factors inherent in archaeological research, and can have a wide public impact. Biography in the history of archaeology combines literary style with vigorous scholarly research and opens up questions of methods and source material. How do biographers address the complexities of individuals within the context of their time while doing justice to their work as scholars? Papers for this panel may include discussions of how biographies are constructed, the problems of source material and the selection of an individual or individuals for study.

There is also a strong need for investigating the biographies of people who support and promote archaeology as well as biographies of archaeologists themselves. How do the stories of these "archaeological supporters" relate to and inform the history of archaeology? Recent work on Amelia Edwards and William Macgregor, for example, sheds light on important social and cultural contexts of the history of archaeology (Moon 2006; Rogers 2010). It also informs our notions of gender and class in archaeology: who were the wives of the famous archaeologists? Who worked in museums and collections? Who was the workforce? Who were the funders?

Alternatively, are there other ways we can understand individuals in their context – can we move beyond biography to a better understanding of historical reality? How can we embrace and incorporate new technologies in the exploration of past lives? If you are interested in participating, please contact Amara Thornton,

Oral Historical Methodology in Histories of Archaeology

Date TBA 2012
Organiser: Pamela Jane Smith, McDonald Institute
Venue: Cambridge

Perhaps the oldest and means of gathering data is the conversation. Interviewing is a preferred tactic in many social sciences and historians of archaeology increasingly use oral-historical evidence. Oral recordings capture the tone, volume, silence, emotion and personal meaning of events. The history of archaeology becomes enriched, more complete. But, there is no sufficient analyses of methodologies. How does the interviewer stay aware of the deeper emotional issues and relationships which develop during interviews? How do we address questions of credibility, transferability, dependability or confirmability? Is the subjectivity of oral-historic evidence its greatest strength? If you are interested in participating, please contact Pamela Jane Smith,

Visual Histories of Archaeology

Date TBA, 2012
Organiser: Helen Wickstead, Kingston University
Venue: Kingston

Archaeology is saturated with the visual, but its visual practices and imagery are sometimes taken for granted. Indeed, it has recently been suggested that archaeologists are prone to a 'presentism' of the image, continually glossing visual products as 'new'. Visual imagery is heavily involved not only in conveying but also creating archaeological knowledge and ideas, but appreciation of the historical dimensions of archaeological image-production is limited. Analysis of the histories of visualising techniques suggest that by adopting more-wide-ranging, cross-disciplinary approaches, focusing on the biographies of methods and techniques as on the biographies of key individuals, archaeology's taken-for-granted visual histories can be far more complex and strange. If you are interested in participating, please contact Helen Wickstead,

The History of the Institute of Archaeology

Date TBA, 2012
Organiser: Gabriel Moshenska, Institute of Archaeology
Venue: UCL

In 2012 the UCL Institute of Archaeology celebrates its 75th anniversary. Founded by Rik and Tessa Wheeler as a training centre for archaeologists from across the world, the Institute has played a major role in the development of archaeology in Britain and beyond. Aside from the Wheelers prominent figures at the Institute have included Gordon Childe, Max Mallowan and Kathleen Kenyon. The aim of this session is to re-examine and look beyond these major figures to examine the factors that have shaped a unique and historically significant academic institution.

In recent years a growing body of research on the history of the Institute of Archaeology has been conducted, much of it drawing on archive material held in UCL Library Special Collections. At the same time, efforts have been made to conduct oral historical research on the Institute, including accounts from surviving students from its earliest years. This session will aim to draw on a number of the different strands that have emerged in these research initiatives. A further aim of this session is to bring together researchers whose work touches on the Institute of Archaeology either directly or in passing, to encourage collaboration and cooperation. If you are interested in participating, please contact Gabriel Moshenska,