Institute's 75th anniversary set in stone

7 June 2013

Monolith erected in Gordon Square to mark the 75th anniversary of the Institute of Archaeology (Image courtesy of Lisa Daniel)

A monolith will be unveiled this evening in Gordon Square as a permanent record of the Institute's 75th anniversary.

The Institute of Archaeology celebrated 75 years of leading global archaeology in 2012. To mark this special occasion, a standing stone, or monolith, has been erected in Gordon Square.

The monolith is a sarsen (sandstone) and has been generously donated by Gillian Swanton, a farmer, from the Avebury area of Wiltshire. A standing stone is representative of a global tradition among human societies and is instantly recognisable as a feature of archaeological significance, the stone settings at both Stonehenge and Avebury being sarsens. 

Thanks are given to Gillian Swanton as well as ME Construction (who arranged for the collection and installation of the monolith), UCL Estates, Camden Council, the Gordon Square Garden Committee, Richard Gamester of the UCL Institute of Making and staff and students at the Institute who have supported this venture.

This distinctive new landmark in Gordon Square will provide a connection between the public and the activities of the UCL Institute of Archaeology, which has occupied the north side of the Square for 55 years. 

Following this event, the Institute will hold its second annual World Archaeology Festival, tomorrow (Saturday 8 June), with free and fun activities taking place both in Gordon Square and throughout the Institute building. This event is part of the Institute's ongoing commitment to public engagement and outreach activities and its remit to provide archaeological opportunities of the highest quality to all, regardless of background.