Christine Wilson

5 August 2016

© Christine Wilson

Institute staff, students, friends and colleagues will be saddened to hear of the recent death of Christine Wilson.

Institute alumna, Christine, was one of the authors/illustrators of Drawing Archaeological Finds (Archetype Publications, 1990 and reprinted many times since), a staple textbook for many archaeological students in the UK and beyond.

She worked on sites in France, Egypt and Turkey, both as an excavator and archaeological illustrator, and taught Archaeological Drawing on short courses at the Institute of Archaeology and elsewhere in the 1990s.

Christine had also qualified as a designer and worked for architectural companies in London, including ABK and Conran Design Group and the taught on interior design courses at the London College of Furniture and North London Polytechnic where she became head of the BA Design degree course.

Latterly she had worked as a garden designer, this career trajectory evolving from her illustration work for gardening magazines and contributing designs to their publications.

Remembering Christine, her close and long-standing friend, Institute alumna, Romana Unger-Hamilton (PhD, 1985), indicates:

  • Christine Wilson was a beautiful and elegant woman, almost doe-like in appearance, but of surprising strength of character. She had a variety of talents each of which led her into a successful career and each of which she followed with uncompromising perfectionism. I met her at the London Institute of Archaeology where she had taken time out to study archaeology and where she was quickly recognized as being outstanding. It was particularly lucky for us archaeologists that one of her talents was drawing objects. Many an archaeological work (including my own) home and abroad was ennobled (no other word for it) by her fine drawings. Ever practical as well as dreamy, ever supportive yet honest, she had a great talent for friendship and I, amongst many others no doubt, will miss her greatly.”

According to another Institute alumnus, Chris Bergman (PhD, 1985):

  • Christine Wilson was a kind, creative and elegant woman.  She possessed a gentle and unassuming manner, which rendered her significant contributions to archaeological research less visible, except to those who had the pleasure to work with her.  Christine was an outstanding technical illustrator, contributing to numerous journal articles and book chapters.  A partial list, but nonetheless robust, includes editions of L'Anthropologie , Berytus, Paléorient, Quartär, Saudi Aramco World,  World Archaeology, as well as chapters in ‘De la Loire a l'Oder:  Les civilisations du Paléolithique final dans le nord-ouest européen’, ‘La Main et l'Outil’, ‘Hengistbury Head, Dorset: The Late Upper Palaeolithic and Early Mesolithic Sites’, ‘The Origins and Dispersal of Modern Man, Préhistoire du Levant’, and numerous volumes of British Archaeological Reports.  One of the great pleasures in my life is to have been associated with people of exceptional quality and Christine Wilson is certainly one of these.”

Our thoughts go out to her family and friends at this difficult time.

With thanks to Romana Unger-Hamilton for bringing this sad news to our attention and for the provision of information and images of Christine.

Image © Christine Wilson