Filming Antiquity

'Baby Pathe' film stock in the Institute of Archaeology Collections (Photo courtesy of Ian Carroll)

Digital Archive Research

Filming Antiquity proposes to digitise and contextualise excavation footage currently held in the Institute of Archaeology. Dating to the early-mid 20th century, the footage features excavations and local context in British Mandate Palestine. The footage featured will be examined as material evidence of past practice in both archaeology and film, situating their creation within a wider social, cultural and technological context. The archaeological focus of the films will be married with larger questions about British culture and identity and the myriad relationships between archaeologists and local communities.

Filming Antiquity will have four main outcomes:

  • Conservation and Digitisation of Film
  • Interdisciplinary Symposium
  • Pilot online archive
  • Publication of peer-reviewed papers analysing the available footage

The film footage and related analyses will be collected into an online archive. In the process, Filming Antiquity will provide a model for making excavation films accessible, contribute to best practice in digital archive creation, and invite public discussions and interdisciplinary scholarship through its online platform.

The project is related to the Institute's History of Archaeology Research Network.

Related outputs

Details of related outputs will be added here in due course.

Flying to the Past - event poster
  • Ghostly and Ghastly Antiquarian Fiction - 8 December 2015, 6-7pm
    A talk by Gabriel Moshenska (UCL Institute of Archaeology) as part of the project's seminar series on 'Excavations, Exhibitions, Archives'.
  • Local Production: Amateur Film and Interwar Britain - 3 November 2015, 6-7pm
    A talk by Michael McCluskey (UCL English) looking at instances of local production through amateur films made throughout the interwar period.
  • Flying to the Past - 26 September 2015, 1-4.30pm
    Join Amara Thornton (UCL Institute of Archaeology) and Michael McCluskey (UCL English) from Filming Antiquity, and Lindsay Allen (King's College London) for an exploration into archaeology, travel and empires past. 
    The afternoon will include a screening of American archaeologist Charles Breasted's 1935 film "The Human Adventure", featuring the voyage to and excavations of ancient Persepolis in modern Iran.  Talks from each speaker will complement the footage.  A tour of Croydon Airport itself will start the afternoon off. The event is FREE but places must be reserved on Eventbrite.


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